Ottawa Famous Galleries Walking Tour (Self Guided), Ottawa

Ottawa is home to a large number of great galleries and offers something to everyone. You'll discover a plethora of masterpieces of sculptures and paintings from ancient times to the present. Whether they be small family-owned galleries or large national galleries, they teach you more about Native Canadian art and its evolution. Be sure to take a walking tour through Ottawa's famous galleries and discover the jewels of this northern city.
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Ottawa Famous Galleries Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Ottawa Famous Galleries Walking Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Ottawa (See other walking tours in Ottawa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Author: helenp
National Gallery of Canada

1) National Gallery of Canada (must see)

The National Gallery of Canada is one of the most acclaimed art institutions in the world and contains the most exceptional collection of artworks. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the Gallery building is one of the most beautiful in Ottawa. Completed in 1988, it houses a huge and diverse collection of paintings, drawings and other works of art, created by both Canadian and prominent European masters.

For years, Canadians had wanted a national gallery of their own where they could display Canadian art, as well as preserve, learn and educate people about their country’s cultural heritage. In the course of the centuries, the country has accumulated wonderful works of art from around the globe – sculptures, paintings, photographs etc. – belonging to various historical periods.

A tour of the Gallery reveals how it came into being as such a magnificent cultural institution. Among other interesting things, The National Gallery presents a captivating story of Canadian Civilization in the form of visual arts. From here, one can also enjoy a stunning view of the Ottawa River and the skyline of the Canadian capital.

In 2000, the National Gallery was chosen by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada as one of the top 500 buildings created in the country over the past millennium. Many exhibitions are hosted by the Gallery in collaboration with other national art galleries and museums. Many of the items held in the Canadian National Gallery have been purposely donated or purchased. The sculpture of a giant spider was mounted in front of the Gallery in 2005.

A remarkable piece of architecture, The National Gallery of Canada is a site worth seeing, not only for the huge collection of artistic masterpieces. It is a definite must-see for everyone visiting the country. Time seems to fly by when you are here!

Why You Should Visit:
The place to understand and learn about Canadian artists, both native and contemporary.
Many excellent paintings of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists artists as well: Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, Matisse...
As a bonus the show of the Danish Golden Age is superb; there are many fine paintings of Eckersberg and Hammershøi.

The gallery is free on Thursdays after 5pm.
Includes a cafeteria with a "view" and a coffee shop.
For more upscale food options and wine, check out the excellent 7 Tapas bar in the Great Hall.

Opening Hours:
Oct 1 – Apr 30: Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-8pm;
May 1 – Sep 30: Daily: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-8pm
Galerie d'Art Jean-Claude-Bergeron

2) Galerie d'Art Jean-Claude-Bergeron

Located in downtown Ottawa, the Galerie d'art Jean-Claude-Bergeron is a very famous art gallery in Ottawa. It was founded in 1992 by Jean-Claude Bergeron, an established artist and owner of the gallery. His vast knowledge and experience in visual arts and printmaking have enabled him to garner such a wonderful collection of modern Canadian and international art works. Today, the owner eagerly assists visitors with finding a suitable piece of art for their interiors or a corporate gift, which is a living proof of his dedication.

The Galerie d'art Jean-Claude-Bergeron is situated near Byward Market and is just a stone’s throw away from the National Gallery of Canada. Located in an old Victorian house, known as "La Maison Rochon", the gallery is named in honour of one of the renowned wood carvers of Notre-Dame Basilica present in the close vicinity of the gallery.

Galerie d'art Jean-Claude-Bergeron houses the widest range of original works. On average ten exhibitions are organized here every year. One of such exhibitions is traditionally dedicated to the work of an artist of international repute. The gallery also arranges a national competition of works on paper every two years. A Collectors' Club also works under this gallery roof and offers special packages to its more than 150 members.

A multitude works of arts displayed in this gallery include paintings on silk, canvas, woodcuts and many other materials. This gallery in Ottawa is worth seeing and definitely requires some time to appreciate its splendour.

Operating hours: Wed-Sun: 12:00-17:30
Lafreniere & Pai Gallery

3) Lafreniere & Pai Gallery

Founded in 2000, the Lafrenière & Pai Gallery seeks to present the most amazing contemporary Canadian sculpture and jewelry. The Gallery intends to support and explore new ideas significant to our contemporary time. Don't hesitate to spend a few hours on touring this wonderful gallery. Operating hours: Sunday & Monday 12 pm to 5 pm; Tuesday & Wednesday 11 am to 6 pm; Thursday & Friday 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.
Koyman Galleries

4) Koyman Galleries

Established in 1965, Koyman Galleries is an art gallery in Ottawa spread over an area of 13,000 square feet. Filled with photographs and paintings, it features the work of over 200 Canadian artists. The gallery is very simply decorated and the area displaying pictures is very neat so that visitors could focus their attention on the paintings rather than the décor. As a result, each work of art presented here gets the deserved attention.

A soft background music enables the visitors to observe paintings in a relaxed atmosphere. There is enough place for art lovers to appreciate each piece of work from up close and a distance. The gallery's previous location lacked this convenience.

Koyman Galleries displays the work of both modern and classical artists. For over half a century, it has been hosting works and exhibitions by an ever growing number of artists, Canadian and foreign. The former enjoy a special place, though.

Consultants and designers at Koyman Galleries offer a professional opinion for those who want to make purchases to complement the décor of their hotels, offices or homes. Today, paintings from Kayman Galleries can be seen embellishing the interiors of many offices, restaurants and hotels around the city of Ottawa. Also on offer is a wide range of services available to the clients, from choosing a piece of art to fixing it at the right place. Group and solo exhibitions are held at the Koyman every month. Although only three years in business, this gallery at St. Laurent has already earned a high and well deserved reputation.

Operating hours: Mon – Fri 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sat 10:00 am - 5:30 pm; Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Ottawa Art Gallery

5) Ottawa Art Gallery

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is an art gallery committed to the production, distribution, interpretation and acquirement of modern art. It is an independent non-profit institution dedicated to benefiting the local arts community. Its main focus lies on the presentation of Canadian culture through the works of art, pursuant to which objective it regularly organizes exhibitions, tours, lectures, publications and many programs for young people.

OAG is not allied with the federal government but is owned and operated by the City of Ottawa. One of its most important collections is known as the Firestone Collection. It is a first class exhibition that features works by Paul Émile Borduas and Emily Carr. Overall, the collection of Ottawa Art Gallery consists of over 1,600 works of art brought together by O.J. and Isobel Firestone.

The OAG is unique in terms of making available for rent any of its art pieces, including those from the Firestone Gallery, to various functions, corporate events, parties etc.

The OAG is doing the utmost to become the most important modern visual arts gallery in Ottawa. It has become a cultural meeting place and strives to foster relationships between artists and broader Canadian community.

Operating hours: Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Astrolabe Gallery

6) Astrolabe Gallery

Located at 71 Sparks Street in Ottawa, the Astrolabe Gallery is an exclusive gallery that is loaded with historical art works specifically related to maps. The broad range of works presented here includes ancient maps, drawings, books, globes and historical manuscripts. This extensive collection is considered to be one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It is particularly noted for having hundred percent original works of art in a superb condition. Some of the displayed items are well over 500 years old.

The Astrolabe was established in 1969 and since then has been delivering exceptional pictures, manuscripts and antique maps to avid collectors and main institutions not only in Canada but also far abroad. The gallery is proud to be staffed by seasoned professionals, eager to address the needs of their clientele and assist them in finding an artifact of choice from any available collection. The gallery also offers a service of framing the pictures and restoring damaged paper prints. Passionate collectors will be delighted to find here first editions of a large number of books, plus a vast choice of exclusive pictures of the city of Ottawa. These pictures and prints make admirable souvenirs for those who want to capture the beauty of the Canadian capital forever.

Operation hours: Mon - Sat: 10:00 - 18:00.
Snow Goose Gallery

7) Snow Goose Gallery

Snow Goose Gallery is a true gem among art galleries. Family owned and operated, it has on display various native Canadian artifacts and items of a great historical value. You can find out more about aboriginal jewelry, handmade moccasins, quill baskets and many more artworks. With its large collection of dream catches, Inuit prints, masks, totems and leather goods it will provide you with a unique experience. Operating Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Walking Tours in Ottawa, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Ottawa

Create Your Own Walk in Ottawa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Ottawa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ottawa Famous Museums Walking Tour

Ottawa Famous Museums Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 km
Ottawa Haunted Walking Tour

Ottawa Haunted Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Byward Market Nightlife 1

Byward Market Nightlife 1

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 km
Byward Shopping Tour in Ottawa

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Ottawa Famous Churches Tour

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The city of Ottawa has some amazing religious sites and it is a perfect religious destination for people interested in that. With most of the attractions located in downtown or in the near vicinity, you will have no trouble in visiting some of these attractions on your trip. We invite you to take a walking tour and see the formidable churches of Ottawa.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 km
City Orientation Walk

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Ottawa the capital of Canada is located in the Province of Ontario. Being the fourth largest city in the country it boasts a large number of memorials, historical buildings and quite a few museums. Its mild weather will definitely cheer you up and keep you busy. Here is a list of the best tourist attractions you should check while in Ottawa.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km