Province/Territory: Nova Scotia

Touch the private world of a public genius

  • 01 world-renowned inventor
  • 03 inspiring behind-the-scenes tours
  • 100+ personal artifacts to hold history in your hands

Pull on your white gloves and slip behind the scenes to discover the private life of one of the most influential figures in human history.  When Alexander Graham Bell landed in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, he fell in love with the landscape. Now you can touch the depths of his inventive genius.
In the "The Parlour" hold Bell’s comfort items: his favourite jacket, walking stick, the personal notebook he kept tucked in his pocket. Follow the love story between "Alec" and Mabel Bell, "the girl for whom the telephone was invented." Pull the curtain back in "The Workshop" to see how Bell put everyday items to extraordinary use. Pick up his vacuum jacket (forerunner to the iron lung), model kites and hydrofoils. In "The Aeronautics Laboratory" trace Bell's path to flight, examining propellers, rotors, paper wing-shaped models and items used to build Canada’s first airplane, the Silver Dart. Hold Bell's history in your hands; it might just change your world.

Why you should visit

• Get to know a genius who was teacher, engineer, scientist, inventor, humanitarian and family man.
• Learn the stories behind the artifacts and the scope of Bell's passion from kites and airplanes to sheep-breeding and artificial respiration.
• Find out Bell's connection to Helen Keller and his lifelong devotion to serving the deaf.
• Discover the touching love story between Alec and Mabel Bell, a marriage that inspired his greatest invention.
• Hold Bell's cane and notebook in your hands, and feel his passion pass through your fingertips.
• Pull back the curtains on inventions you never knew existed, including Bell's hydrofoil boat and vacuum jacket, to assist patients with lung problems.
• Uncover Bell's pioneering work in aeronautics and love of flight.
• See the full-scale replica of The Silver Dart (Canada's first powered airplane) that flew as part of the 2009 Centennial celebrations.
• Picnic on the grounds overlooking beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes.
• Linger in beautiful Baddeck, the beginning and end of the world famous Cabot Trail.
• Explore the world's largest collection of Bell's artifacts and inventions, including replicas of the first telephones and a full scale model of the HD-4 hydrofoil craft.
• Make, decorate and fly a kite that's yours to keep during high season.
• See Bells' beloved home "Beinn Bhreagh" from the rooftop deck.

Weather

• Temperatures on Cape Breton Island are cooler along the coast and warmer inland. Weather can change quickly, so make sure to dress in layers and bring along a jacket.
• Summers (mid-June to August) are often hot and humid. Fall (September to November) bring gorgeous fall colours along the Cabot Trail. Spring (April to mid-June) can be cool but comfortable and winter (November to March) is moderately cold.
• Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.

Visitor information

• Open between Victoria Day (late May) and Thanksgiving Day (mid-October).
Museum Hours & Admission Prices.
• White Glove Tours available seven days a week in July and August; call ahead for availability in shoulder season.
• Choose from three White Glove Tours; maximum 6 people per tour; enhanced programming fees apply .
• Wheelchair accessible.
• On-site museum store and café.

When to go

• High season in July and August is the most popular time to visit the museum, when full programming and White Glove Tours are offered daily.
• Shoulder season is May, June, September and early October.
• October brings the popular Celtic Colours Festival. Group tour operators should call ahead about admissions and reservations.  
 

Need to know

• White Glove Tours are 30 minutes long, but plan to spend at least two hours touring the museum.
• Participants must be 12 years of age or older.
• White Glove Tours subject to enhanced programming fee.
• On-site parking and picnic tables.
• Children’s programs are available.
• Tours available in English and French.

Getting Here

• The Museum is a one hour drive from Sydney Airport or the Canso Causeway, located  at 559 Chebucto Street, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, (Hwy 205).
• Baddeck is a four hour drive from Halifax.
• From New Brunswick, PEI or Newfoundland, travel to Cape Breton Island by sea.
Shuttle service to Baddeck on the Cabot Trail is available.