Ted Raymond CTV News Ottawa Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist
At least three national museums in the capital region say they will remain closed for at least another week because of the ongoing "Freedom Convoy" demonstration in downtown Ottawa.
In a media release, the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa’s Centretown neighbourhood says it was scheduled to reopen Wednesday, following the easing of COVID-19 public health measures by the Ontario government, but the continual presence of heavy trucks and demonstrators means the museum will remain closed until at least Feb. 9.
"The decision is due to potential access and security concerns for visitors and staff in light of the traffic congestion and demonstrations in downtown Ottawa," a media release said. "Those with advance ticket reservations will receive an automatic refund. Ticketholders do not need to contact the museum. Animal care and other essential services at the museum will continue throughout the closure."
The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. will also be closed until Feb. 9.
"Ongoing protests in the region continue to have a significant impact on traffic circulation in downtown Ottawa, Gatineau, and across the interprovincial bridges, making access to our sites extremely difficult," a statement on behalf of both museums said.
The National Gallery of Canada will also remain closed until Feb. 9.
At this time, websites for the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, and the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum indicate they will be open this week.
The protest began Friday and drew significant crowds over the weekend. While the demonstration is ostensibly aimed at removing public health measures and reopening businesses, many downtown businesses, including the Rideau Centre shopping mall, have chosen to remain closed while the protest remains in place.
A sticker asking to stay 2 metres apart is displayed as staff members take part in a viewing of the Canadian Museum of Nature and its COVID precautions in Ottawa Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, prior to the museum’s reopening on Saturday, Sept. 5th. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
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