The museum is located near the forks of the Thames River in a building designed by Raymond Moriyama, architect of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto and the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
Its collection includes more than 5,000 regional and Canadian works and over 45,000 artifacts. The art collection includes works by Paterson Ewen, Jack Chambers, and Greg Curnoe among many others. Particular noted examples of Canadian art include Group of Seven and Paul Peel.
In January 2015 the museum was visited by actor and comedian Steve Martin. Martin was there to see Lawren Harris' oil on canvas painting called From the North Shore, Lake Superior, c. 1927.