One of the most respected art institutions in the world, the NGO’s appeal spans all ages and levels of artistic knowledge. It is also one of Canada’s oldest cultural establishments, having been in existence since 1880. The National Gallery hosts exhibitions, events, music and activities, in addition to its art collections, which include Canadian art, indigenous art, international art, Asian art, prints and drawings, contemporary art and photographs. There are three cafes to enjoy onsite, as well as a bookstore.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization, just across the river from Ottawa in Quebec, also encompasses the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum and an IMAX theatre. The galleries are divided into levels. Level 1 offers a collection relating to Canada’s First Peoples, level 2 has three galleries devoted to changing exhibitions, level 3 is known as the Canada Hall and boasts sights and sounds from the country’s history, while level 4 is the Canadian Personalities Hall. There are outdoor exhibits as well. Visitors have a choice of cafeteria, express café, or fine dining on the premises. The museum also has a boutique for shopping.
Address: 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M8
The Canadian Museum of Nature is housed in a famous landmark building often referred to as the “castle.” Over 150 years old, the museum has undergone renovations to expand exhibition space and to add a theatre, café and boutique, among other upgrades. There are six established galleries to explore: Water Gallery, Earth Gallery, Animalium, Mammal Gallery, Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery, Bird Gallery, and the dynamic, hands-on Discovery Zone for the kids! The museum always has an exciting special exhibit happening, as well as activities such as Trading Post, where children up to age 14 can bring in fossils and minerals they have collected to trade!
Address: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1A1