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!
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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

Forged in FireForged in Fire: The Building and Burning of Parliament

Jan 29th to Oct 31st, 2016

 

This new exhibit highlights the hundredth anniversary of the fire that destroyed Ottawa’s original Parliament Buildings on Feb. 3, 1916! All was lost during the fire except for the beautiful Library of Parliament, which was saved by solid iron doors.

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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  http://www.gallery.ca/colville/en/
photo credit:  Alex Colville, To Prince Edward Island (detail), 1965. NGC, Ottawa. Photo © NGC

El DoradoGold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia

08 Apr 2016 - 15 Jan 2017

Relive the tumultuous days of gold’s discovery in British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon. Travel back to 1858 and meet starry-eyed, fortune-seeking prospectors who dreamed of astonishing finds — like the huge Turnagain Nugget. Find out how the gold rush brought thousands to BC and forever transformed this once-remote region.This exhibition is organized by the Royal BC Museum, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History. [+] read more

Horse Power! The Paul-Bievenu Horse Carriage Collection

Monet: A Bridge to ModernityMarch 24th, 2016 to April 17th, 2017

Exquisite craftsmanship blends with the romance of bygone days in this sumptuous exhibition of 18 horse-drawn sleighs and carriages, handcrafted between 1770 and 1950, and on loan from Québec’s Musées de la civilisation Paul-Bienvenu Carriage Collection. An exhibition developed by the Musées de la civilisation, Quebec City, and presented by the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau.

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Star TrekStar Trek - The Star Fleet Academy Experience

May 13th to September 30th 2016

Learn the actual science behind the science fiction in this new immersive and interactive exhibit that explains tricorders, warp drive theory, phasers and teleporters. As a Starfleet cadet, you’ll be put through a rigorous training program that looks at aspects of science, engineering, medicine and command courses. [+] read more

WitnessUltimate Dinosaurs

June 11th to September 5th, 2016

See dinosaurs that you’ve never seen before. Coming in 2016, this brand new exhibit features exotic, larger dinosaurs from the Southern Hemisphere (South America, Africa and Madagascar). Discover more than 20 new full-scale and flesh-covered beasts! More details to be announced. [+] read more

Elizabeth Louise

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

Living from 1755 to 1842, this female artist was born in Paris and became Queen Marie-Antoinette’s official portraitist. See paintings, pastels and drawings associated with feminine grace and pride. Vigée Le Brun is behind a famous portrait of the Queen surrounded by her children, which was an attempt to separate Marie-Antoinette from her extravagant, libertine-like image. Other than Ottawa, this exhibit is only being shown in Paris and New York. [+] read more

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier

This new exhibit highlights the works of Alex Janvier, an Aboriginal and contemporary artist. Born in 1935 to Mary and Alex Janvier, the artist was one of 10 of the family’s children to grow up on the Le Goff Reserve of the Cold Lake First Nations in northern Alberta. Janvier’s works are characterized by his cultural and spiritual heritage as well as the history of modernist abstract painting. [+] read more



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