Museum Renewal

Museum Renewal 

The Peterborough Museum & Archives is pleased to announce the completion of the Museum Renewal project.  This exciting project has resulted in the provision of facilities that will help the Museum fulfill its mandate to preserve and celebrate the collective memories of our community: stories, images and traces of the people and the land.  

The Museum’s storage crisis had been well documented.  When the Museum was constructed in 1967, it was intended to provide adequate storage to accommodate collection growth for at most 20 years.  However, only two years after opening, a plea for further expansion was made by then Curator, Anne Heideman.

While the need was unquestioned, earlier bids to expand were ultimately deemed financially unmanageable.  The Museum has since sought lower cost alternatives to address the most critical facility deficiencies.

The Museum undertook a major facelift to its public spaces (lobby, entrance and galleries) in 2010.  The positive results were instantly recognized by the public and visitation has steadily increased since then.  However, despite these transformative improvements, creating additional space was the only solution that would facilitate organizational improvements in other areas.

Now as the Museum approaches its 50th anniversary, it finally has storage facilities that match the extent and significance of its collections.  Where collections were once tightly (albeit carefully) packed, now sufficient space helps ensure their long term care and protection.  Some of the Museum's most significant collections - once stored off-site - are now securely located on-site where staff can best monitor and provide access to them.

Once hampered by limited space, the Museum now has full and safe access to its collections which will, in turn, ensure improved public access, better research opportunities and richer exhibitions.


Under the Museum Renewal project, a 9,000 square foot stand-alone facility was constructed on Museum grounds to securely store the Museum's extensive collections.

Vastly improved public, staff and volunteer work space, mechanical systems and programming space have been gained through a significant renovation (about 3,000 square feet) to the Museum's lower level.

All Museum collections are now stored on site (archival collections, including photographs, stored in the lower level of the main building, and all other artifacts stored in the new storage facility.)


The Museum Renewal project improves and ensures:

- on-site storage facilities (and environmental controls) for all collections;

- separation between storage areas and other uses (better environmental conditions for the artifacts, improved safety and security for artifacts and people);

- working facilities for staff, volunteers, students and the public;

- public access to collections, programming, and services;

- security, improving human and collections safety;

- dedicated programming space within the main building;

- the Museum’s capacity to expand its collections, thereby preserving a greater percentage of Peterborough’s important cultural legacy.      


Total approved budget of $3,343,200 for:

  1. Construction of a 9,000 square foot Curatorial Centre;
  2. Renovation to about 3,000 square feet of the Museum's lower level;
  3. Storage and relocation of the Museum's collections.

Confirmed funding of $3,343,200 from:

  1. City of Peterborough ($2,836,966)
  2. Department of Canadian Heritage, Cultural Spaces Fund ($380,000)
  3. Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program ($50,000)
  4. Fleming College ($60,000)
  5. City of Peterborough, Access Fund ($13,000)
  6. Peterborough Utilities Group, Save on Energy Fund ($3,234)


The Museum officially broke ground on 5 November 2013 and site preparation began almost immediately.  Renovation work within the Museum's main building took place through the winter of '13-'14.  In February, 2014, work commenced on the new Curatorial Centre and was completed by autumn, 2014.  Collections were returned from temporary storage in late autumn, 2014.  The Museum celebrated the completion of the Museum Renewal project with a special opening reception, held on 12 February 2015.


Throughout all phases of the Museum Renewal, the Museum remained open to the public and continued to: host new exhibitions, welcome school groups, operate camps and activities for children, host Fleming College's Museum Management & Curatorship program, as well as provide facility rental services.

The Archives was unavailable for public appointments while the collections were in temporary storage.

Who Was Involved?

The Museum Renewal project was led by a Steering Committee with representation from several City of Peterborough Departments (Finance, Building and Community Services).

Lett Architects Inc. were the Prime Consultants and designed the new facility as well as the renovation to the lower level.

Mortlock Construction Inc. oversaw the construction of the new facility and the renovation of the lower level ensuring that the various phases were well coordinated.  Many local sub contractors worked with Mortlock to undertake the construction and renovation work.

p2i Strategies Ltd. served as Project Managers for the Museum Renewal project.

JHG Consulting Network Inc. were the Collection Relocation Consultants who oversaw all movement of collections.

AMJ Campbell Van Lines undertook the physical relocation and temporary storage of the collections.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of all Museum Renewal funders.