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14 Must-Visit Art Galleries in Ottawa: A Complete Guide

14 Must-Visit Art Galleries in Ottawa A Complete Guide

The Canadian capital boasts not only a rich political and historical background but also a thriving art scene. Dynamic and diverse, Ottawa’s art scene is showcased in its numerous galleries, each offering a unique perspective on the world of art. 

From funky modern sculptures to timeless paintings, Ottawa has it all. So, if you’re searching for a new addition to your art collection or just looking for a unique gift for your art-nerd friends, these are the top art galleries that you should visit!

National Gallery of Canada

Location: 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4, Canada


Contact details: +1 613 990 1985, 1 800 319 2787; [email protected] 

Operating hours:

Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

March 4 and 11: Closed

Starting the list, of course, is probably the most popular art gallery in the country, the National Gallery of Canada. This massive art gallery is home to over 75,000 artworks and is a must-visit for contemporary and fine art fans.

Right outside the gallery is a jaw-dropping spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois called “Maman,” which is one of the gallery’s most popular pieces of work to date. Along with these are several indigenous and Canadian art that will leave you mesmerized.

Don’t forget to also drop by the National Gallery of Canada’s shop and browse over its wide selection of books, stationery, and exhibition merchandise. It’s the perfect destination for art lovers who want to bring home a souvenir from their trip!

Pro Tip: Save up on the entry fee by visiting on a Thursday night from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM! Admission to the gallery’s national collection is free to the public during this time, so just spend that $20 entry fee on the gallery’s shop.

Ottawa Art Gallery

Location: 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa, ON K1N 0C5, Canada


Contact details: 613 233 8699, [email protected] 

Operating hours:

Tuesday and Wednesday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Thursday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Sunday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Ottawa Art Gallery is undeniably one of the coolest places for art enthusiasts to visit. This art gallery houses more than 1,000 artworks from Canadian artists, from funky sculptures to breathtaking paintings, making every exhibition a cultural buffet for visitors.

The gallery isn’t shy about giving fresh, up-and-coming artists a chance to shine alongside the big names in the art scene. Seasonal exhibitions, along with permanent ones, are hosted to give every Canadian artist a stage to showcase their talent.

Another thing worth praising about the Ottawa Art Gallery is its building, as it is a masterpiece itself. Sleek, modern, and infused with a touch of cheekiness, it begs you to strike a pose even if you aren’t really the type to post Instagram stories.

Pro Tip: For art collectors who want to bring some art home, you can visit the gallery’s gift shop. They sell textiles, ceramics, homewares, jewellery, books, art supplies, and other merchandise from local artists.

Orange Art Gallery

Location: 290 City Centre Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 7R7, Canada


Contact details: 613 761 1500, [email protected] 

Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Orange Art Gallery is a family-owned art gallery founded in 2010. It’s been representing 25 contemporary artists since its foundation and is still actively seeking new artists who need help displaying their masterpieces.

The gallery connects artists to potential buyers through physical and virtual exhibits, creating a vibrant community that celebrates and supports local artistic talent. It also connects artists to aspiring artists by holding various art classes throughout the year.

Orange Art Gallery also revolutionized its clients’ art-buying experience by introducing online purchasing options. This means you can browse through their art collections and buy the pieces you love wherever you are in the country!

Pro Tip: For art lovers looking for the perfect venue for a wedding, birthday, or other celebration, you can rent Orange Art Gallery! Just call them at 613 761 1500 or email [email protected] to book a tour and get more information!

Koyman Galleries

Location: 1771 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4, Canada


Contact details: 1 877 526 1562; [email protected], [email protected] (for customer support)

Operating hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Koyman Gallery, proudly standing as the largest commercial art gallery in Canada, is an absolute powerhouse in Ottawa’s art scene. Housed within a massive 13,000-square-foot building, the gallery is a visual extravaganza that’s hard to ignore.

The gallery’s size not only allows for an extensive collection but also transforms the visit into an adventure, each corner revealing a new facet of the art scene. It has almost every art form you know—contemporary, traditional, paintings, sculptures—you name it.

Beyond its colossal size and impressive collection, Koyman also offers remarkable services to first-time collectors or art sellers. With over 50 years of experience, they can provide services like art appraisal, art consultation, and custom framing.

Pro Tip: For purchases that cost at least $1,000, you can opt to pay for the art piece over six equal monthly payments. If you purchased something more expensive, say over $1,500 or $2,500, there are better financing options that you can avail of!

Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Location: 293 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E5, Canada


Contact details: 613 789 7145, [email protected] 

Operating hours: 

Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Saturday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Galerie St-Laurent + Hill is surprisingly an underrated art gallery in Ottawa despite being in business since 1997. But trust us when we say this is one of the best private art galleries to visit in Ottawa, even if it’s not always the locals’ first recommendation!

The gallery focuses on painting, photography, and sculpture. It has been holding exclusive exhibitions for local Canadian contemporary artists like Whitney Lewis-Smith and Sarah Hatton, so it’s a must-see if you’re interested in Canadian art.

If you’re pretty unfamiliar with the artist or some works, their knowledgeable staff will gladly explain the pieces to you. These same staff have been assisting collectors in finding the best additions to their collections for years, so you can absolutely trust them!

Pro Tip: After exploring the main gallery, discover more artworks at the back, behind the separating wall. The artwork here is usually more diverse and unique than the ones in the main, so you might find something you’ll like!

L.A. Pai Gallery

Location: 13 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M5, Canada


Contact details: +01 613 241 2767, [email protected] 

Operating hours: 

Tuesday to Friday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Saturday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sunday: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Established in 2000, L.A. Pai Gallery has hosted over 200 solo and group exhibitions over the past 23 years. It’s a pretty unique art gallery that has a special emphasis on awe-inspiring sculptures and stunning jewellery pieces.

The gallery has quite a large number of artists, like Jess Bischoff, Anthia Barboutsis, Patricia Barrowman, Miguel-Angel Berlanga, and more. If you’re looking for more emerging talents, the gallery also hosts the National Jewellery Student Competition!

While the gallery mainly focuses on jewellery and sculptures, L.A. Pai also features some amazing paintings, prints, photos, and textile art you won’t find elsewhere in the city!

Pro Tip: If there’s a piece that you really want but is too pricey for you, discuss it with the gallery staff! L.A. Pai allows payments over time, so that might help you get the art piece that you really want!

SAW Gallery

Location: Floor 1, Arts Court, 67 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B9, Canada


Contact details: +01 613 236 618, [email protected] 

Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

SAW is an artist-run gallery that has been standing firmly since 1973. With sprawling 15,000 square feet at its disposal, SAW welcomes over 30,000 visitors each year to explore its diverse array of contemporary paintings, photographs, films, and more.

The gallery’s hallowed halls have hosted countless exhibits from huge artists, launching many to stardom at the start of their careers. Even now, SAW continues to showcase emerging talents, solidifying its reputation as a haven for groundbreaking creativity.

SAW also doesn’t just stop at the traditional gallery space; it also has Club SAW, a venue that draws in thousands of artists and musicians. Here, artists and audiences get to enjoy art that’s quite different from the ones you’ll find in the main gallery.

Pro Tip: There’s a $7 per hour parking fee on Nicholas Street from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, so just ride a train and hop off at the Rideau O-Train Station. However, parking is free if you visit after 5:30 PM, so you can bring your car around that time!

OWAA Gallery

Location: CARDELREC Recreation Complex, 1500 Shea Rd, Stittsville, ON K2S 0G8, Canada


Contact details: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] for art purchases

Operating hours: 

Monday to Friday: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Saturday: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Sunday: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The Ottawa West Arts Association Gallery, also known as OWAA Gallery, is another great art gallery to visit in Ottawa. Despite being relatively smaller than other art galleries in the city, OWAA’s artworks speak to why it’s one of our favourite galleries.

The gallery features artworks from local artists, both on its physical site and online website. They seek out new artists regularly and host new exhibits every two months, so there’s always something new for everyone visiting.

Art collectors will also absolutely fall head over heels for the gallery as every single masterpiece they exhibit is up for sale. This means you don’t have to feel sad about not being able to see your favourite piece every day because you can take it home!

Pro Tip:
If you’re an emerging artist, OWAA might be the best place to start your career. Gallery members enjoy various benefits that can help introduce them to buyers, like opportunities to join exhibits, virtual exhibits, special events, and more.

If you’re interested, contact the gallery’s membership coordinator, Wendy Murray, at 613-435-5075, 613-266-0044 or [email protected]

Foyer Gallery

Location: Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave, Nepean, ON K2G 1W2, Canada


Contact details: 613 580 2424, [email protected] 

Operating hours:

Tuesday and Wednesday: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Thursday: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

For over two decades, Foyer Gallery has been a haven for artists and art enthusiasts around the world. This artist-run exhibition space is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the beauty and diversity of visual arts.

Each corner of the gallery holds a unique treasure, displaying an array of mediums, including oil, watercolour acrylic, graphite, pastel, coloured pencils, and more. Visitors can also marvel at sculptures crafted from wood, metal, clay, marble, and glass!

The best part? Foyer hosts new exhibitions every three weeks! You won’t ever get bored of the gallery every time you visit!

Pro Tip: If you’re a homebody or can’t visit the gallery because of certain commitments, you can still marvel at Foyer’s art through its online gallery! You can also purchase the artwork straight from the website without leaving your couch.

Rothwell Gallery and Framing Ottawa

Location: 1162 Ogilvie Road, East of Cummings Ave, Southside, Gloucester, ON K1J 8V1, Canada


Contact details: +01 613 745 6410, [email protected] 

Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Rothwell Gallery and Framing Ottawa is a haven for art enthusiasts, a place where creativity thrives, and beauty is preserved. This one-stop shop has everything you need, from new pieces for your wall to custom frames for all your beloved treasures.

Local Canadian artists are given a well-deserved spotlight, with their works displayed in the gallery. But for those who can’t make it in person, the website boasts an extensive collection of featured artists and their works, complete with prices for easy browsing.

Rothwell also offers more than just a gallery experience and custom framing. They are dedicated to caring for and preserving your beloved art pieces, providing meticulous conservation and restoration techniques for your treasured artworks.

Pro Tip: Stay in the loop with all the promotions of the gallery. They sometimes give huge discounts for their repairs and framing on certain months and celebrations, like 30% off for their glass repairs in March!

Wallack Galleries

Location: 225 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W9, Canada


Contact details: +1 613 235 4339, [email protected] 

Operating hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

As one of Canada’s oldest commercial galleries, Wallack Galleries is certainly one of the most deserving galleries to add to this list. This art gallery has been in service since the 1930s and has been home to various contemporary and historic Canadian artists.

If you’re looking for artwork from Canada’s renowned artists, this is the place to go. Many of its artists are either featured in public collections or are members of prestigious organizations like the Royal Canadian Academy or Royal Academy (England).

On top of its stellar artist list, Wallack also offers specialized services and consultations to individuals, corporations, and government bodies. Think expert evaluations, skilled restorations, secure storage, and seamless installation all in one place!

Pro Tip: For a more convenient and personal experience, you can book a private in-person or digital showing at Wallack. Just hit them up at 613 235 4339 if you’re interested!

Galerie d’art Jean-Claude Bergeron

From @harrika26

Location: 150 St. Patrick St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5J9, Canada


Contact details: 613 562 7836, [email protected] 

Operating hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Galerie d’art Jean-Claude Bergeron, or Jean-Claude Bergeron, is located near the National Gallery of Canada and just on the outskirts of Byward Market. It packs a punch with its impressive collection of artworks from both local and international artists.

Its beautiful artwork collection aside, the gallery also offers stunning architecture. It’s housed in the “La Maison Rochon,” a Victorian residence named after Aphonse Rochon, a renowned cabinet maker who worked on Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral. 

While all of these are impressive, the real star of the gallery is none other than its owner, Jean-Claude Bergeron himself. With his expertise, finding the perfect piece for your personal collection or a unique gift for special occasions can’t be easier.

Pro Tip: Monitor the gallery’s new arrival tab on its website because they regularly update new paintings there! You might lose on some awesome paintings if you don’t!

The Snow Goose Gallery

Location: 83 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5A5, Canada


Contact details: 613 232 2213, 1 866 348 4004; [email protected] 

Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The Snow Goose Gallery in Spark Street is quite a hidden treasure among all the other art galleries in Ottawa. It’s not always the top recommendation of many travel vlogs, but it’s undoubtedly one of the city’s favourite galleries of local art lovers.

The store has been around since 1963 and has been focusing on showcasing the arts from the Inuit and First Nations. Hence, you’ll mostly see sculptures, jewellery, and wood carvings in the gallery, unlike other galleries that focus on contemporary art.

That said, if you’re looking for some prints, don’t lose hope yet because Snow Goose also has a range of First Nations serigraph and giclee prints that you might love! These are limited edition prints, so hurry and head over to the gallery or its website!

Pro Tip: They don’t upload all their collections on the website, so always confirm with them if the item you’re looking for isn’t on the website. Just call them at 613 232 2213 or 1 866 348 4004 to ask for more information about their collections.

Wall Space Gallery + Framing

Location: 1090 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3X5, Canada


Contact details: 613 729 0003

Operating hours: 

Monday to Friday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Saturday: 10:00 to 5:00 PM

Wall Space Gallery is another gallery to visit if you’re looking for new contemporary art pieces to add to your collection. It hosts exhibits featuring works from rising and established Canadian artists working on traditional and modern media.

The gallery is filled with wonderful art pieces curated by Tiffany April, a visual artist and graduate of Master of Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa. Tiffany’s various exhibitions speak to her talent and expertise in the field, so you can trust her with your art needs.

If you aren’t quite sure which piece would match your office or home’s aesthetic, Wall Space offers art consultation services. They can even do custom framing to elevate the painting’s overall look!

Pro Tips:
Wall Space can ship anywhere in the world, so don’t be disappointed if you live outside Canada because the gallery will still help you bring your art piece to you! As for Canadians, you’re entitled to free shipping if your order is over $1,000!

If you’re purchasing an artwork from the gallery, we also recommend getting it framed in the gallery instead of looking elsewhere. The gallery offers a 25% discount on custom framing for all artworks purchased in the gallery.