If you walk in downtown Ottawa, be careful. Who knows, you could find yourself face to face with a triceratops! Or a mammoth!

The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa is undoubtedly one of my favorite. I stopped counting the number of times I went there. It is one of the oldest in the capital, and one of the oldest in the country (the Victoria Memorial Museum building has housed the museum since 1912).

For the child I was, it was not so much its old Scottish castle aspect that impressed me, but rather the large-scale reproductions of triceratops and mammoths on the east and west sides of the museum. They were the first thing I noticed when I arrived, and they reminded me of all the amazing things that I would see inside the museum: fossils, skeletons, animals, insects…

Perhaps in case the reproductions would come alive at night (as in the movie Night at the Museum) and decide to escape, the museum installed these rather unusual signs. There are two, one on the east side, near the triceratops, the other on the east side, near the mammoths. An original way to capture the attention of passerby!

Among the other interesting facts about the museum, note that it was the headquarters of the Canadian government from 1916 to 1919 after a fire destroyed Parliament, located at the other end of Metcalfe Street. It should also be noted that the museum is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Ottawa. Legend has it that the ghost of a Cree warrior, or that of the castle’s architect, haunts the scene and is the cause of several unexplained phenomena.

So if you are not too afraid of ghosts, a visit to the museum is a must when you are in Ottawa!

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