Edmonton is a cultural haven, one that’s chock-full of museums—including some you may have never even heard of before! Take a trip through history and learn something new and unexpected at one of the Edmonton region’s unique and lesser-known museums.
1) Canadian Militaria Preservation Society Museum
Located just a few blocks north of the Royal Alberta Museum, military enthusiasts of all ages will love this museum. The CMPS museum is home to a vast array of sword, firearms, medals, armour, and much more from around the world. The collection covers two centuries of history, with items dating from the early 1800s right up to the present day. The staff of this not-for-profit institution are experts on military history who are happy to share their extensive knowledge about the items on display. You can visit the museum Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 10 am and 2 pm. || 10769-99 St., 780-708-0625
2) John Walter Museum
The John Walter Museum consists of three original homes once belonging to John Walter and his family, the oldest dating back to 1875. These houses were at the heart of Walterdale, a community that was part of Strathcona from 1870 to 1942. Learn about pioneer life and the industrial age of early Edmonton with tours, programs and demonstrations running throughout the year. Admission is free! The museum is also part of Kinsmen Park, with walking trails, picnic sites, and a playground. For even more history, enjoy a self-guided Walterdale Walking Tour, covering many sitesthat played a key role in the industrial heyday of the Strathcona-Edmonton corridor. || 9180 Walterdale Hill, T5J 2R7, 780-496-4701
3) Multicultural Heritage Centre
Located west of Edmonton in Stony Plain, the Multicultural Heritage Centre Museum is a living history museum that contains two original buildings, a 1925 schoolhouse and the 1910 Oppertshauser House. The latter is now an antiques store and artisanal gift shop, where you can find beautiful local goods; it also serves as an old-fashioned candy shop. Feeling hungry? Enjoy a delicious, gluten-free donair or cabbage roll soup at Wheet Nothings. A variety of workshops and programs are available throughout the year, including horse-and-buggy mural tours. In addition to the museum, the Heritage Centre also includes an art gallery, community garden, and much more. || 5411-51 St., Stony Plain, 780-963-2777
4) Yesterday’s Auto Gallery
This museum is a shrine to the automobile, with an extensive collection of classic cars and memorabilia dating all the way back to 1926. Relive those old memories or indulge your passions as you wander through their spacious, wheelchair-accessible gallery. Enjoy a nostalgic meal of burgers, fries, and old-fashioned milkshakes at the retro-styled Silv’s Diner, complete with neon lights and jukebox decor. Special all-ages events and concerts throughout the year mean that you’ll have a new experience every time you visit. The gallery is open to visitors Friday to Sunday. || 8707-51 Ave NW, 780-203-2886
5) Neon Sign Museum
You’re sure to find this outdoor museum illuminating! 20 neon signs from throughout Edmonton’s history have been restored to their former glory and are now on display on the south side of the Mercer Warehouse and the east side of the TELUS building in downtown Edmonton. It’s the first attraction of its kind in Canada! Take an evening stroll beneath the signs and get a glimpse into the city scenes of yesteryear. No admission is required; stop by any time to enjoy the lights. || 104 St. & 104 Ave.
Know any unique museums in Edmonton that you’d love to spread the word about? Any hidden gems we missed? Let us know @WhereEdmonton!