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A state-of-the-art facility for Canada’s national science and technology collection

Ingenium Centre

Steam locomotive CP 1201 is pushed by a diesel engine along tracks in a parking lot through a large door into the Ingenium Centre

Ingenium Centre

A woman points at an old utility truck in a bright storage room full of vehicles and other large artifacts

Ingenium Centre

A bright storage room filled with old cars.

Ingenium Centre

A brightly lit library with shelves full of books, a counter and armchairs

Ingenium Centre

A bright hallway with large windows, high ceilings and armchairs.

Ingenium Centre

Ingenium Centre

The new Ingenium Centre

What is the Ingenium Centre?

The Ingenium Centre is a state-of-the-art facility designed to protect and showcase Canada’s national science and technology collection, which is stewarded by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.

The Ingenium Centre is located beside the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. When fully operational, the Ingenium Centre will be home to a Research Institute and Digital Innovation Lab, as well as continue to provide public access to Ingenium’s Library and Archives. In addition, public guided tours will make it one of the most accessible collection storage facilities in the world.

The collection includes more than 85,000 artifacts of different shapes and sizes, including locomotives, tractors, porcelain plates, seeds, nuclear reactors, and household objects. Ingenium’s three museums — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum — can only display about 12 percent of the collection at any given time. The majority of the artifacts linked to space and aviation remain in storage within the Canada Aviation and Space Museum’s Reserve Hangar; the remaining artifacts will be stored at the Ingenium Centre.

Quick facts

  • In 2016, Ingenium received $150-million in federal funding to build the Ingenium Centre. Construction started in 2017.
  • The facility is nearly 36,000 m², and has only four floors but is about 10 stories high. This is due to the huge size of some items stored there! The building houses over 85,000 artifacts and nearly two million 2D artifacts.
  • Moving the entire collection into the building will take approximately two years.

This complex project involves moving:

  • The 1201 Locomotive — one of the largest objects in the collection. It weighs 185 t (410,000 lbs), and is 23 m long by 3 m wide. It was used at Expo 1986, and was built in the Angus shops of Montreal around 1944. Learn more about the locomotive move
  • 12 locomotives and 10 rail cars
  • 177 cars — the oldest is the 1867 Seth Taylor Steam, built in Québec
  • 190 bicycles. Learn more about the bicycle move
  • 6,000 agricultural artifacts
  • 4,000 domestic technology artifacts
  • 40,000 pieces of trade literature, 29,500 monographs, 3,000 rare books, and 2,000 serials

Key Features

Recently completed, this four-storey building – the size of a football field – will consolidate over 85,000 science and technology artifacts which had previously been spread across three warehouses. The Ingenium Centre is also home to nearly 800 m (2600 linear feet) of archives, a Research Institute, conservation laboratories, workshops, and staff workspaces.

Library and Archives

A modern library and archives — open to the public in Ottawa and accessible online to users worldwide — will offer a rich array of library books, rare books, trade literature, and other resources, ideal for users researching the history of science, technology, agriculture, and food in Canada. The Library and Archives is schedule to open at some point in 2020.

Research Institute

The Research Institute is a place for Ingenium staff, visiting scholars, students, and guest curators to build communities of knowledge around the national collection, and to inject new ideas and experiences into our public offerings.

A special collection and artifact examination room offers an intimate, hands-on space to engage with objects, to learn from the complexities of genuine material culture experiences, and to encourage multi-person encounters with objects. The Research Institute includes a collaborative collection space as an accessible service for researchers and teachers, along with a robust fellowship program.

Digital Innovation Lab

The Digital Innovation Lab takes Ingenium’s collection beyond the physical walls of the Ingenium Centre. This lab enables users to develop new approaches in digitization, 3D modeling, visualizations, games and game engines, and augmented, virtual, and mixed-reality applications.

Through cutting-edge digital initiatives, and in collaboration with Digital Humanities scholars throughout Canada, Ingenium is positioned to be a national and international leader in digital museum exploration and practises.