October 15, 2015
This summer the grounds at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa underwent a landscape transformation with the installation of Landscapes of Canada Gardens.

The site has been developed into three ecosystems found in Canada: Arctic tundra, boreal forest and prairie grasslands. This outdoor exhibit area will extend the museum’s program onto the landscape around the museum building.

CSW Landscape Architects was the prime consultant for the project, with Landscape Ontario Ottawa Chapter member Exel Contracting completing the plant and landscape installation. Nutrilawn Ottawa was the irrigation contractor.

Work began in June 2015 with construction and landscaping. It continued through the summer and fall. The project involved soil excavation and preparation and grading of the new gardens, seeding planting of new trees, grasses and plants in the ecozones. The work is expected to continue until November 2015. It will include a new Arctic-themed sculpture. All species are native to Canada; the project will include a log trail, boulders in the tundra terrain, a path through the grasslands zone and an open air classroom in the prairie zone.

The most challenging part of the transformation was moving the life-size sculptures of a woolly mammoth family from the original site to the newly landscaped area at the museum.