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“Eclectic and stimulating” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9N4 , Canada (Byward Market Area)
613-990-1985
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Visit National Gallery of Canada like an insider
Top Rated
$33*
and up
Ottawa City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #6 of 235 things to do in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Dating back to 1880, this visual arts museum holds in trust a collection of European and Canadian paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photos.
Staffordshire
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Eclectic and stimulating”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Spent a very pleasant and interesting three hours at the National gallery whilst in Ottowa. In that time managed to see most of the galleries, all be it briefly in most cases. One floor was mainly Canadian art, and gave a good insight into the history of both the national art influences and the development of the country, with specific exhibits from indigenous people's. By contrast the top floor was international art, with a collection of notable artists with a wide range of styles, all be it mainly lesser known works. These include a Picasso, a Munch, and several Monets, as well as a temporary special exhibition of Rubens and Van Dyck. There is also a wide selection of contemporary art although have to admit most of this left me rather cold, but I guess it's all a matter of personal choice. At 12 dollars for admission it's good value, although couldn't help compare with the UK where the National Gallery was still free the last time I visited. The audio guide was 6 dollars, easy to use and helped illuminate some of the background to the various pieces. Suprisingly both the cafe and the bookshop appeared cheap in comparison with other museums which was a nice surprise, and overall the museum building was light, airy and had some delightful internal courtyards. Not being an art buff I may well have missed some of the finer points of the museums exhibits, but it was still an enjoyable, interesting and stimulating visit and I'm sure everyone would find something to inspire them.

Visited September 2013
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

This building and it's collections gives me yet another reason to be proud to be Canadian! If you are in Ottawa and have time to be awed, don't miss this!

Visited September 2013
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Launceston, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A somewhat irritating experience.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

We recently had an excellent visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The art exhibits were as to be expected, excellent and well worth seeing but why couldn't the staff be a bit more welcoming? OK we paid for this visit (Montreal free!) and we're met by a smiling guide who directed us to the cafe. After that we were watched like hawks by unsmiling or welcoming guards who did not speak but just followed us around. A bit unnerving to say the least. Perhaps they should be sent to Montreal for training! In short, wonderful art and unhelpful staff!

Visited September 2013
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Canada
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“This is a MUST VISIT for art enthusiasts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Spent over 3 hours here and only visited the Inuit and Canadian Art sections. This is the best collection of Canadian art available and it is well presented by different periods. Their section on Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven is spectacular especially their collection of Thomson miniatures. We were fortunate to have a volunteer guide available to give us additional insight into this period. The Inuit art was a fascinating insight into their culture and talents. This building is an architectural masterpiece in itself and efficiently set up. Parking is underground and reasonable. There is an entry fee which is also good value. I will put this on my agenda whenever I have visitors to Canada.

Visited September 2013
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Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Could be a lot better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

The price of $12 to view the collections is a bit steep. Absolutely no photography inside the building at all and even backpacks had to be locked away. There was an average display of the masters such as Ruebens, Constable, Turner and Monet and these few paintings were the best part of the whole exhibition. The modern Canadian art was not my cup of tea at all and could really have been done with going in a Modert Art gallery, like the Tate Modern has done in London so well.
The best part of all was this... If you're a visitor to Ottawa, register at the Public Library for $5.00 and you can your hands on an Express Musuem Pass. This gets you into all of the museums in Ottawa free of charge. It was the best $5 I've spent.

Visited September 2013
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