Visiting the Cottage

McDougall Cottage Historic Site is an 1858 granite and limestone cottage located in the heart of downtown Cambridge that features exhibits, special events, tours, and more! We offer engaging activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy as well as many special events that take place throughout the year. Visit our events calendar to see special events that take place at the Cottage.

Visit our Hours and Admission Fees to plan your visit!

Tips for Visiting and Visitor Policies

In the interest of safety and security for our staff, visitors, building and collections the following practices are observed at McDougall Cottage.

Covid Protocols

To keep in line with COVID protocols we will be requiring face masks, social distancing and limiting our numbers to 10 people at a time.

Tips for Visiting
  • Pets, except for service animals, are not permitted. 
  • For First Aid or lost and found articles, please approach any museum staff member and ask for assistance.
  • We encourage you to connect with family and friends with your cell phone but please be respectful of other guests around you.
  • McDougall Cottage assumes no liability for items left in the museum. 

Tips for Families

  • Visitors must inform staff immediately, should a child become lost or separated from their guardian(s).
  • Strollers are permitted 

Conduct in the Cottage

  • Children 13 years of age and under must be accompanied by a person who is at least 16 years of age.
  • The Cottage requires that shirts and footwear be worn at all times.
  • Please do not touch artifacts or items located behind barriers.
  • Photography with or without flash and video recording is permitted in the historic building, and on the grounds, for personal use only, with hand-held equipment.
  • All visitors are asked to refrain from running, shouting and generally disruptive behaviour.
  • Using profanity, obscene or abusive language is not permitted.
  • Visitors are not permitted to smoke in the historic building, and must be a minimum of nine metres away from entrances.
  • Large umbrellas, Nordic walking poles, tripods and monopods are not permitted in the historic building.
  • Pens, indelible markers and paint are prohibited.
  • Selling or attempting to sell, distribute or solicit any good or service to other guests or staff is not permitted.
  • The Region of Waterloo reserves the right to amend these restrictions. Special exhibitions may have additional restrictions.
  • Admission is subject to compliance with applicable laws, by-laws, regulations and facility rules (collectively the "Rules").  Failure to comply with the Rules may result in non-admission or expulsion or immediate revocation of membership.


The Cottage is not currently accessible to people in wheelchairs, and interior steps may be a barrier to people with mobility impairments.

Photograph Policy

Personal Use Photography
Photography is allowed for personal use only with hand-held equipment. Photography must be non-disruptive to other visitors and staff. The use of tripods, monopods, lights, etc., is not permitted. Photography in special exhibitions is permitted unless otherwise indicated. Signs will be conspicuously posted in galleries where photography restrictions apply. 

Professional Photography
Professional photography is not allowed on the museum's premises without prior approval of the ROW Museums Manager or site supervisor.

Rights and Reproductions
Photography is permitted for personal use only with hand-held equipment. Personal photographs may not be published, sold, or otherwise distributed for commercial purposes. Visitors may post images from their museum visit on personal social media sites, provided there is no profit involved.

Collection Digital Image Requests
Digital photographs of objects in the museum's collection are available for commercial and publishing use. A reproduction fee may apply. 

For more information regarding our Photography Policy, contact the Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator.