- Type: Art Museums/Galleries
NileGuide Expert tip:
Free admission to the main exhibits Fridays after 5 p.m. Outside the gallery, visitors enjoy having their photo taken beside the huge sculpture of a spider. At night this beautiful crystal gallery is lit from within and can be seen for miles.
Architect Moshe Safdie, famed for his Habitat apartment block and Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, designed a rose-granite crystal palace that gleams from its promontory overlooking the Ottawa River. A dramatic long glass concourse leads to the Grand Hall, commanding glorious views of Parliament Hill. Natural light also fills the galleries, thanks to ingeniously designed shafts with reflective panels. The museum displays about 800 examples of Canadian art, just a sliver of the 10,000 or so works held in its permanent collection; one recommended way to take it all in is to go to the second floor and proceed down and counterclockwise. Among many highlights are Benjamin West's famous 1770 painting of General Wolfe's death at Québec; the fabulous Rideau Convent Chapel (1888), a rhapsody of wooden fan vaulting, cast-iron columns, and intricate carving created by architect/priest Georges Bouillon; the works of early Québécois artists such as Antoine Plamondon, Abbé Jean Guyon, and Frère Luc; Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven artists; and the Montréal Automatistes Paul-Emile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle. The European masters are also represented, from Corot and Turner to Chagall and Picasso, and contemporary galleries feature pop art and minimalism, plus later abstract works, both Canadian and American.
Pause for a contemplative moment on the balcony of the central atrium looking down on a garden of triangular flower beds and a grove of trees that repeat the lines of the pyramidal glass roof. Each year, three or four major traveling exhibits are displayed, showcasing works by the likes of da Vinci, Michelangelo, and van Gogh. Other facilities here include two restaurants, a gift shop/bookstore, and an auditorium.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about National Gallery of CanadaLocals have answered 4 questions about Ottawa.
Ask Ottawa Locals about National Gallery of Canada
- Very Highly Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: +1 613 990 1985
- fax: +1 613 993 4385
- send email
- 380 Sussex Dr
- At St. Patrick St
- Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4
- May-Sept daily 10am-5pm (to 8pm Thurs); Oct-Apr Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (to 8pm Thurs). Guided tours daily at 2pm (Wed-Sun at 2pm in off season); register at information desk
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