Canada Hall - Virtual Tour

Would you like to embark on a journey through time and see exhibits on aspects of Canada’s social and economic history?
All you need is Apple's QuickTime VR player which you can download (it's free!) by clicking on the logo:


There are 21 modules in the QuickTime VR tour of the Canada Hall. Each can be viewed as a separate panoramic movie (some have more than one movie). Or you can download a multi-node movie containing all 21 modules.

Within each QTVR movie, you can look around by using the left and right arrows on your keyboard, or by clicking and dragging the "mouse" in the direction you wish to go. The Shift (Windows) or Option (Macintosh) key allows you to zoom in closer to the images, and the Control key allows to you zoom out. To travel forward and backwards through the hall (in the multi-node movie), click the mouse on the symbol to move to the next module.

full tour


Multi-node movie - high resolution

Multi-node movie - low resolution

module 1
539K Crossing the North Atlantic

A Norse Settlement in Newfoundland
The Norse (Vikings) crossed the North Atlantic in search of new lands, circa 1000. The first exhibit depicts a Norse family unloading tools and supplies from a small boat upon their arrival in Newfoundland.
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European Exploration, circa 1500
The search for a sea route to the Spice Islands and the Orient led the Europeans to explore North America. The coastal waters off Europe had been overfished, so by the mid-sixteenth century, European ships began crossing the Atlantic to fish and hunt whales.
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The San Juan
This is a reconstruction of the stern of a Basque whaling ship, believed to be the San Juan, which sank in 1565 off Newfoundland during a storm.
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module 2
538K A Basque ship

Winter in Labrador
Insufficient protection against the cold, unhealthy living conditions, and an inadequate diet took a toll on the number of sailors.
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Cod Fishing
Four men are cleaning the cod and packing the fish into large barrels.
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module 3
539K Whaling

Hunting Whales
Each spring, hundreds of ships would make the four-week crossing from Europe to Newfoundland for the annual whale hunt.
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Whaling Stations
The Basque established a dozen whaling stations on the southern coast of Labrador. Once the whales were brought to shore, the blubber was rendered into oil at the tryworks.
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module 4
538K Early Acadia

Salt-Marsh Dike
The Acadian exhibit shows a cross section of a dike built to convert the salt marshes into rich farmland in the Bay of Fundy.
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Acadian Cart, circa 1750
Constructed with either four wheels or two, they would have been drawn by oxen or horses.
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module 5
520K Farm Life

The farmhouse is typical of the New France era. Inside, there were normally one or two rooms, divided by a central fireplace used for cooking and heating.
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module 6
520K The Town Gate

Gates to fortified towns in New France (circa 1750) displayed the royal coat of arms.
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module 7
520K Fortified Walls

As you enter the Place de la Nouvelle-France town square, you pass through the fortified wall that protected urban dwellers from enemy attack.
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module 8
539K Place de la Nouvelle-France

New France Towns
Most towns were located at strategic points on the banks of rivers and lakes. Port towns were centres of military, administrative, and commercial activity.
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The white house belongs to a wealthy artisan, the cooper, a skilled craftsman who manufactured barrels. The stone house is the residence and workplace of a shoemaker. The wooden building is an inn, a popular meeting place for travellers and local men.
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module 9
539K Inside the Inn

The inn’s modest size meant that guests slept on the floor. Food was cooked in the fireplace. For entertainment, guests enjoyed games such as nine-pin bowling, checkers and chess.
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module 10
539K Inside the Shoemaker’s House

In rather cramped quarters, the shoemaker housed and fed his family, and made and repaired shoes and leather goods.
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module 11
538K The New France Convent

The Hospital
Only a small part of the convent hospital (the white building) is visible, but it would have been connected to a much larger institution.
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The Chapel Bell
The chapel bell from Beauport, Quebec, is the oldest bell in Canada.
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module 12
538K Inside the Hospital

Nuns provided daily medical assistance to all members of the community, including long-term care for the chronically and mentally ill.
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module 13
538K The Fur Trade

A Voyageur Camp
The fur trade was the major commercial activity that sustained New France. In camp settings such as this, Europeans and Native trappers exchanged furs for trade goods.
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Trade Goods
The major trade goods were woollen blankets, cotton and linen cloth, metal goods, firearms, and fishing gear.
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module 14

The Métis
View A
View B

Using horses, oxen, and Red River carts, the Métis achieved great mobility in the Canadian West. At large campsites they gathered to butcher the meat and prepare the hides following the buffalo hunt. Several days were spent processing the meat into pemmican.
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module 15
539K The Timber Trade

In the early nineteenth century, a new industry emerged in the forests of eastern and central Canada. The camboose shanty is typical of those found in Ottawa Valley lumber camps. By mid-century, sawmills were producing more and more milled lumber, needed for shipbuilding, for urban development, and for the production of paper.
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module 16
539K The Loyalists

Loyalist Settlement
Following the American Revolutionary War, waves of immigrants (Loyalists), poured into Canada, using transportation like the Conestoga wagon. Refugees were housed in tents the first few months.
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Efforts were made to fortify the borders of British North America through the construction of citadels, forts, and blockhouses.
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module 17
539K The British Military

Following the 1763 conquest, the influential British military establishment occupied a prominent place in many Canadian urban centres. The military was responsible for defence, maintenance of civil order, surveying, map making, road construction, and other tasks.
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module 18
539K Maritime Trade

Canadian ships were involved in transatlantic trade, carrying domestic goods such as lumber, fish, agricultural products, tobacco, and manufactured goods, as well as American cotton. Between 1850 and 1870, the Canadian merchant sailing fleet grew to be the fourth largest in the world.
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module 19
539K Shipbuilding

The shipbuilding industry has been active on the east coast since the early days of settlement. With improved technology and the increased importance of maritime trade, the production of bigger and faster ships began. The ship under construction is a tern schooner, the type built in Nova Scotia in the 1870s and 1880s.
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module 20

Ontario Town Life
View A
View B

An Ontario Street
A street scene from a small town in Ontario, circa 1885, illustrates the optimism and affluence due to technological innovations.
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The goods displayed in the windows of the glass and earthenware shop and the millinery and fancy dry goods store are indicative of fashion trends. The cabinetmaker’s shop is an example of progress in the manufacturing sector.
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The Merchant's House
The merchant’s house illustrates the comfort and affluence enjoyed by the town’s elite.
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The Railway Station
The railroad, which had been recently completed, opened new domestic and foreign markets, so that many imported luxury goods, like those seen in the shop windows, became available.
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module 21
539K Inside the Merchant's House

The Drawing Room
The dominant feature was the mantel, on which were displayed the family’s prized possessions. The main furnishings included a sofa, a variety of small chairs and tables arranged to facilitate conversation in small groups.
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The Dining Room
The sharing of daily meals was an important part of the lives of the merchant, his wife and his children.
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object movie
(module 21)

Tea Service (Merchant's House)
large version
small version
The entertaining of guests at afternoon teas and dinner parties, served on fine chinaware, was of vital importance to a family’s image.

Text: Nancy Ruddell
Photography: Harry Foster
Quicktime VR Production: Romy Randev
Web page production: Stephen Alsford