National Gallery of Canada

Top choice museum in Ottawa
Image by Aimin Tang / Getty Images

The National Gallery is a work of art in itself: its striking ensemble of pink granite and glass spires echoes the ornate copper-topped towers of the nearby parliament buildings. Inside, vaulted galleries exhibit predominantly Canadian art, classic and contemporary, including an impressive collection of work by Inuit and other indigenous artists. It's the world's largest Canadian collection, although additional galleries of European and American treasures include several recognizable names and masterpieces. Interpretive panels guide visitors through the nation's history and cultural development.

Deep within the gallery's interior you'll find two smooth courtyards and the remarkable Rideau Street Convent Chapel. Built in 1888, the stunning wooden chapel was saved from demolition and rebuilt here 100 years later – quite extraordinary.