The National Gallery of Canada Reveals the Past, Celebrates the Present, and Probes the Future

The strength of the National Gallery of Canada lies in its collection of art, especially Canadian art, and its accessibility to the public across the country. The collection opens the way for appreciation of the finest in artistic expression: The works of art reveal the past, celebrate the present, and probe the future. The collection must be expanded, preserved, interpreted, and used extensively by the public for pleasure and understanding, for research and the advancement of knowledge.

The story of the National Gallery of Canada began in the late 19th-century with a simple dream: that Canadians should have a national gallery to call their own.

It would be a place to showcase Canadian art; to preserve, study and teach about this vast nation’s cultural heritage; and to acquire magnificent works from around the world. It would expose us to great art from all periods and in all its manifestations: paintings, photographs, sculptures and more.

Today, the National Gallery of Canada is one of the world’s most respected art institutions, revered for its scholarship, applauded for its ability to engage audiences of all ages and all levels of artistic knowledge, and renowned for its exceptional collection of approximately 65,000 works of art. It makes its home in a grand, light-filled structure of glass and granite, in which visitors can find a cloistered garden courtyard, a glass-bottomed pool, and a reconstructed 19th-century chapel.

But the Gallery’s evolution was not without bumps: from fires to politics to media controversies. By touring through our Gallery chronicles—on the collection, the building, and its people—you can discover how we got from there to here, from one simple idea to the impressive institution the Gallery is today.








Prints & Drawings




You may obtain tickets or register for programs either in person or by phone (613-998-8888 or 1-888-541-8888). Service charges apply. All prices include tax.

Get Ready for Something Big!*

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Gallery is embarking on a major transformation. The Canadian Galleries will close as of 2 August 2016 and will reopen 17 May 2017 as the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries.

There’s still plenty to see and do during this time at the Gallery. Discover our European and Contemporary collections on view. Or take in a special exhibition. Then mark your calendars for the big reveal 17 May 2017!

Visit for more details about the Gallery’s exhibitions and activities in 2017.


Closing of gallery spaces begins 15 minutes before times stated.

1 May – 20 May 2016 Daily: 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm

21 May – 11 September 2016 Daily: 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm

12 September – 30 September 2016 Daily: 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm

1 October 2016 – 30 April 2017 Monday: Closed (see exceptions below); Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm; Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm


The Gallery is open on the following days:

27 March 2016 (Easter)

28 March 2016 (Easter Monday)

1 July 2016 (Canada Day – Free general admission to the National Collection)

10 October 2016 (Thanksgiving Day)

11 November 2016 (Remembrance Day: Open from noon to 5 pm)

26–31 December 2016 (Special holiday opening hours)

2 January 2017 (Day after New Year)

20 February 2017 (Ontario Family Day)

27 February 2017 (Quebec March Break)

13 March 2017 (Ontario March Break)

17 April 2017 (Easter Monday)

The Gallery is closed on the following days:

25 March 2016 (Good Friday)

11 November 2016 (Remembrance Day: Closed from 10 am to noon)

25 December 2016 (Christmas Day)

1 January 2017 (New Year’s Day)