• By: Kat Walcott

Best of Ottawa 2019: Museums & Galleries

?After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this weekly series, we share our picks with you —
our top hotels, live music venues, local brews, bands
and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!

Ottawa Art Gallery — 50 Mackenzie King Bridge

Under two years old, the new Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) has become a staple landmark in Downtown Ottawa, it's various temporary exhibits and events offer something for everyone. The gallery’s Firestone Collection is a must-see permanent collection of well-known Canadian artists. The gallery is open seven days a week and admission is always free, which we love!

Photo: Ottawa Art Gallery


?Canadian Museum of Nature — 240 McLeod Street

With four floors of fascinating and beautiful collections to explore, the Canadian Museum of Nature is one of Canada’s top national museums. The dinosaur replicas, giant blue whale skeleton, and the Arctic exhibit are must-sees. Aside from their permanent galleries, the museum also regularly features special, temporary exhibits like the popular “Butterflies in Flight” which is on now.

Photo: Courtesy Canadian Museum of Nature


?Bytown Museum — 1 Canal Lane

The Bytown Museum may be small, but it is a landmark site situated on the edge of the beautifully scenic Rideau Canal. The museum features a comprehensive audio tour that walks through everything you need to know about how our city evolved – from its first inhabitants and early days as Bytown to present day Ottawa. The artifacts are well preserved and there are toys from the 1800s that kids can still play with. If you’re a tourist visiting the city, the Bytown Museum is a perfect way to start your trip and the entrance fee is only $2!

Photo: Courtesy of @bytown



?Canadian Museum of Science & Technology — 1867 St. Laurent Blvd

From the first Blackberry model to monumental medical advancements, the Science and Technology Museum has lots to see and do. It features all sorts of fun exhibitions including temporary ones, like the current “Iron Willed: Women in STEM” focused on women engineers and scientists, to permanent installations like the famous crazy kitchen.

Photo: Courtesy of Canadian Science and Technology Museum

National Gallery of Canada — 380 Sussex Drive

The National Gallery of Canada is not only gorgeous architecturally, being arguably one of the most admired buildings in the city after Parliament and the Chateau Laurier, it also houses an amazing collection of treasures. Whether you’re into art or not, you should visit the National Gallery at least once. With 12,400 square feet of exhibition space, ranging from ancient pieces to contemporary, it is one of the largest art museums in North America.

Photo: National Gallery of Canada


?Canadian Aviation and Space Museum — 11 Aviation Pkwy

The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum is great for all ages. There are many activities including, a flight simulator, an interactive space section and even plane rides outside. You can explore the open cockpits and planes of varying sizes from the Silver Dart to the Avro Arrow. Learn about all sorts of aerospace technology such as rovers, space suits and more. If you enjoy the thrill of flying, this museum is for you!

Photo: Courtesy of Canadian Aviation and Space Museum

Canadian War Museum — 1 Vimy Place

If you’re interested in military history, and Canada’s legacy in particular, the Canadian War Museum is the place for you. The museum holds interesting exhibits that showcases over 500,000 artefacts related to Canada’s involvement in major wars and conflicts throughout history. Fun fact: noticeable from both outside and in, the small narrow windows high up on the museum wall spell out “Lest We Forget” in Morse code.

Photo: Canadian War Museum

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum — 901 Prince of Wales Drive

Perfect for kids and families, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum offers endless fun. Focused on plant and animal farming, food production and agriculture technology and located on the grounds of the Experimental Farm, the museum gives great insight into Canada’s huge agriculture industry. The museum is best known for all the adorable farm animals out in the barns!

Photo: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum


?Bank of Canada Museum — 30 Bank Street

The Bank of Canada Museum is dedicated to all things Canadian money. Entry is free and you'll receive a bracelet that can tapped at certain areas to dive deeper. The museum has a 6.5 meter-long touch screen featuring 400 digital artifacts that you can enlarge, drag and swipe to learn more about. They also have interactive games to help kids learn about money, as well as an E-Money exhibit.

Photo: Courtesy of Bank of Canada Museum

Alpha Art Gallery?????? — 531 Sussex Drive

The Alpha Art Gallery is small, but really nice. Located in the ByWard Market, it’s the perfect locally-owned spot to drop in when you are browsing around the area. The gallery features predominantly Canadian art by independent, up-and-coming artists. It’s the perfect spot to scope out unique, one-of-a-kind paintings.

Photo: Alpha Art Gallery