Ottawa Museums - Let Us Help You Explore Ottawa!

As the nation's capital, Ottawa has an enormous amount of history and culture that can intrigue even the most informed traveler. Find information about Ottawa's art & photography galleries, historical sites, attractions, museums, current exhibits and much, much more!

Ottawa's Hottest Museums

Prepare to be awe-struck by the power and beauty of our planet at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Housed in the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, but known to locals as “the castle,” this impressive limestone building (built in 1905, and beautifully renovated in 2010) is a true Ottawa landmark. The world-class display of galleries and exhibitions will be sure to delight visitors of all ages.
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Discover the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped the nations's culture and history. The Museum of History, formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization, features permanent and international exhibitions, a 3D IMAX® Theatre and the renowned Canadian Children's Museum where young visitors discover one incredible destination after another. A world of discovery where parents have as much fun as their kids!

Telling the story of how our country has been shaped by conflict, the Canadian War Museum is truly a national treasure that every Canadian, and visitor who wishes to better understand Canada, should visit. This world-class museum preserves our national heritage by telling the stories of all Canadians affected by war, and by honouring the sacrifices of those who have served our country.
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Featured Exhibits

colvilleBeauty's Awakening: Drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and their Contemporaries from the Lanigan Collection

9 Oct 2015 - 3 Jan 2016


This elaborate exhibit brings the Victorian era to life. The collection depicts the broad evolution of British draftsmanship and vividly shows how the appreciation for the art of drawing grew between 1837 to 1901, during the Queen Victoria era. The exhibit highlights the work of artistic geniuses such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais. From prep sketches to finished masterpieces, Beauty's Awakening is a treat for the eyes.

photo credit: Frederick Sandys, King Pelles’ Daughter Bearing the Vessel of the Sanc Graal, 1861. Pen and black ink on wove paper, 32.2 × 23.5 cm. Lanigan Collection, Saskatoon. Promised gift to the National Gallery of Canada. Photo © NGC   [+] read more

Alex Colville. A Canadian Icon
23 Apr - 7 Sept 2015
With more than 250 paintings, sketches, prints and drawings – including 17 works from the National Gallery’s collection and more than 100 preparatory drawings from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives –  the exhibition brings into focus Colville’s aesthetics, born out of the residual scars of his experience in war. Charting a course through five main sections that explore the complete career of this Maritime painter, Alex Colville begins on the front lines of the Second World War and moves though the artist’s life and times. To find out more about the exhibition, visit
photo credit:  Alex Colville, To Prince Edward Island (detail), 1965. NGC, Ottawa. Photo © NGC

PrattMary Pratt: This Little Painting

04 Apr 2015 - 04 Jan 2016

Mary Pratt’s 1972 painting Red Currant Jelly has long held a pride of place in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada where it has been on near permanent view for over two decades. Drawing on a selection of works and study materials created at key moments throughout her extraordinary career, this exhibition tells the story behind the oil on Masonite production affectionately referred to by the artist as "this little painting."

photo credit: Mary Pratt, Red Currant Jelly, 1972. NGC, Ottawa. Photo © NGC. [+] read more

Monet: A Bridge to Modernity

Monet: A Bridge to Modernity

October 29-2015 - February 15, 2016

This special exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada brings together 12 of Claude Monet’s masterpieces from around the globe to examine his fascination and experimentation with the motif of the bridge during the 1870s in Argenteuil. Among them is the famous “Le pont de bois” (1872) painting, which is currently on a long-term loan to the Gallery. Photo credit: Claude Monet, The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil (detail) 1874. The John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art [+] read more

Bugs: Outside the BoxBugs: Outside the Box

October 23, 2015 to March 27, 2016 

Get an in-depth, up close and personal look at nature's busiest creatures. Created by Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti, you can wander among 16 realistic models of varying insects. [+] read more

WitnessArctic Voices

Challenge your perceptions about the Arctic in this all-new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Arctic Voices takes you on a journey to a rapidly-changing land and shows us our connections to the Arctic environment, people and wildlife. Enjoy many engaging interactive components to discover what affects the Arctic and in turn, how the Arctic has an impact on the whole planet. [+] read more


On Nov. 9, 1989, the wall between East and West Berlin came down reuniting a city and a country, and marking the end of the Cold War. The Berlin Wall came to be a symbol of division and a barrier to a peaceful resolution of over 30 years of tension. This exhibit at the Diefenbunker Museum celebrates this moment as an acknowledgement of the hundreds of thousands acts of civil courage that led to the end of the Cold War.  [+] read more

Living in SpaceLiving in Space

Learn how to adapt to the rigours of daily life on board the International Space Station (ISS). This exhibit at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum will show you how astronauts work and play in a weightless environment, and how they tackle such basics as personal hygiene, eating, and sleeping among the stars. [+] read more

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