From world-famous museums like the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and National Gallery of Canada to local hidden spots like Benz Gallery and Artisan’s Alley in London, Ontario – Canada promises an exciting art adventure. This coast-to-coast journey presents architectural icons, acclaimed exhibitions, and local talents.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1380 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal, QC H3G 2T9
1.3 million annual visitors
- Tuesday–Friday 10AM–5PM
- Saturday–Sunday 10AM–5PM
- Discounted Wednesday evenings
- Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion – Safdie’s glass masterpiece
- Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion – elegant limestone facade
- 43,000+ artwork collection spanning eras and mediums
- Popular retrospectives: Marisol Escobar, Françoise Sullivan
- Public programming: Creative workshops, yoga sessions
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is situated in downtown Montreal across multiple pavilions and receives over 1.3 million visitors annually to explore its Tuesday-Sunday exhibitions showcasing a vast 43,000+ collection spanning eras, cultures and mediums within architecturally stunning spaces like the Safdie-designed Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion and limestone Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion. Upcoming retrospective shows and engaging public programming through creative workshops and podcasts alongside the natural world-themed exhibition cement MMFA’s identity as Montreal’s premier creative hub.
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4
Over 120,000 works of art
- Tuesday-Sunday 10AM-5PM
- Thursdays 10AM-8PM
- Moshe Safdie’s fused glass hexagons
- Breathtaking Great Hall entrance
- 120,000+ Indigenous, contemporary, and international works
- Solo spotlight shows e.g. Nick Sikkuark
- Themed displays e.g. Canadian Impressionism
As Canada’s national art museum located in Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) stewards over 120,000 works within Moshe Safdie’s architectural marvel fusing soaring glass towers, welcoming Great Hall and cathedral-like galleries to represent the country’s vibrant cultural heritage through seminal pieces like Tom Thomson’s dreamy vistas alongside special exhibitions around Canadian creativity, spotlighting talents like Nick Sikkuark and bridging art with preservation through initiatives like community commissioned showcases.
Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7
15,000+ regional artworks in collection
- Tuesday–Sunday 10AM–5PM
- Thursday-Friday until 8PM
Converted courthouse with modern gallery finishes
- Emily Carr, Stan Douglas anchor west coast talent
- Eye-opening exhibitions like Refuge Canada
- Engaging public programming
Vancouver Art Gallery, located downtown, is Canada’s largest civic art museum, stewards 15000+ historical and contemporary regional works spanning mediums as a vital cultural community venue set to undertake an expanded campus supporting reconciliation through dedicating special Indigenous spaces – the current adapted heritage courthouse space houses powerful shows like Refuge Canada while public programs facilitating deeper insights into Vancouver’s art fabric through engaging talks and hands-on sessions.
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4
1+ million annual visitors
- Tuesday–Sunday 10:30AM-5:30PM
- Fridays until 9PM
- Frank Gehry’s signature deconstructionist design
- Sprawling glass-linked galleries
- 95,000 global artworks spanning eras and cultures
- Blockbusters like Kaws solo exhibition
- Public programming like Friday DJ nights
The Art Gallery of Ontario, located in Toronto, welcomes over a million visitors annually to admire its 95,000+ collection spanning eras and cultures showcased through Frank Gehry’s architectural triangles linking expansive galleries and historical collections with provocative contemporary displays like the evocative Kaws exhibition within community-building public programming options from Friday DJ nights to accessible services for an inclusive arts destination.
Best Galleries in London, Ontario
1038 Adelaide St N London, ON N5Y 2M9
1500+ annual visitors
- Passion project of artist Greg Benz
- Showcases 35+ handpicked Canadian talents
- Painterly landscapes
- Ceramic studies
- Large-scale commissions
- Artist talks
- Open exhibition launches
Benz Gallery, nurtured by artist Greg Benz, provides London with a contemporary art oasis through rotating exhibitions highlighting 35+ Canadian talents’ inspiring landscape experiments, ceramic studies and large-scale commissions among personalized services like in-home art consultations and worldwide delivery for acquiring pieces tailored to client visions and spaces from this community-building hub also offering insider events like artists talks and open exhibition launches.
157 Carling St, London, ON N6A 1S4
30+ years championing London’s art ecology
- Group of Seven
- Emerging area artists discoveries
Visitor experience includes:
- Open house events
- Personalized art purchasing advice
Led by expert Megan Smith Clark, Artisan’s Alley has spent over thirty years as London’s go-to hub showcasing Group of Seven treasures alongside emerging artistic talents through an eclectic exhibition program ranging from open house events to personalized art purchasing consultations cementing its reputation as both a legacy gallery and creative community centre embodying the thrill of uncovering talent and building art exposure.
London’s Art and Heritage
London has an abundance of art in various forms to discover. Museum London houses over 18,000 regional and global paintings, installations and historical items spanning different eras and styles. Budding local artists display works across galleries focused on contemporary experiments with abstract sculptures or realist portraits.
Performance art thrives at landmarks like the Grand Theatre, presenting plays and musicals, or the modern Budweiser Gardens hosting concerts. As Canada’s first UNESCO Music City, London also shares its rich musical legacy through live shows at the London Music Hall of Fame or the fascinating musician stories told at the museum.
London’s architecture reveals its history, too. Strolling down cobblestone roads, you can spot Victorian brick mansions neighbouring 1930s Art Deco towers blended with modern glass high-rises. Throughout the year, vibrant festivals from Winterlite to Sunfest celebrate the city’s cultures.
Whether admiring museum collections, gallery exhibitions from promising talents, performers entertaining crowds, or architectural remnants of the past now repurposed into heritage sites or public art murals – London promises ample opportunities to experience local creativity.