Rocks and Minerals
View our extensive collections of rock and mineral specimens. See the brilliant colours of some and the amazing crystal shapes of others. A sampling of what you can see:
Rhodochrosite - occurs in lower temperature hydrothermal veins and consists of manganese and carbonate. The lighter the pink, the more manganese that has been substituted with calcium.
- Petrified wood - formed 50 to 200 million years ago, wood was replaced by the mineral quartz, turning it to stone over a long period of time to preserve it in beautiful colours of red, yellow and brown.
- Pyrophyllite - Does this rock look soft to you? Because Pyrophyllite ranges from 1.0-1.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, you could scrape it with your nails!
Dinosaurs and Ice Age Mammals
See our large collection of animals that lived from 70 Million to 10,000 years ago. Meet the king of the dinosaurs (the Tyrannosaurus rex!), one of the first meat-eating dinosaurs, Coelophysis, our complete skeleton of Albertosaurus, and even a cave bear from Russia!
Mastodon: Life, Death, and Discovery
"Mastodon: Life, Death, and Discovery" is an augmented reality exhibit that was installed at the museum in October 2014.
Through a mobile media device app, visitors to the museum have the opportunity to travel through time and observe the fossilization and discovery of a mastodon skeleton. The app uses the device camera to detect the mastodon mural on the second floor of the museum and projects an augmented reality on the device screen.
You can experience the app at the museum from the second floor. In 2018, the Mastodon app will be made downloadable to museum visitors prior to their visit.
Read about the mastodon exhibit and Mark Rehkopf's work in this KW Record article from October 12, 2014.
Read more about mastodons and mammoths in Southern Ontario.
Experience what life in the Ontario mining industry was like in the past. Our tunnel is based on a 1960s silver mine in Cobalt, Ontario. This exhibit features a locker room, geologist’s office and a replica mining tunnel which contains real items from Cobalt including silver ore specimens and minecarts.
Mistaken Point Fossils
This fossil assemblage contains evidence of the oldest forms of complex life ever found on earth. The fossils are of soft-bodied creatures that lived 575 to 542 million years ago at the bottom of the ocean.
The replica of the unique fossils was made using a mould of the Point’s surface by Research Casting International and is found in the museum atrium.
Other Animal and Plant Fossils
Learn about the evolution of life, from mosses and ferns to the flowering plants of today, and from trilobites to humans. See the oldest type of animal fossils to be discovered on earth- stromatolites, and animal fossils from the Burgess shale from Yoho National Park in British Columbia - one of the most diverse collection of soft-bodied organisms in one place! The museum is also home to a large piece of petrified wood from Arizona, donated by Jim Reimer.
What else do we have to offer? Come see our giant slab of granite gneiss rock - it stands 9 metres tall! We also have a to-scale fountain of the Great Lakes!