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Facing Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, the National Gallery of Canada is a must for all art aficionados. This magnificent glass structure – easily recognized by the gargantuan spider sculpture at its entrance – houses works from heavyweights like da Vinci, Michelangelo and Picasso, along with indigenous and contemporary pieces. You'll also find some works by famous Canadian artists like Joseph Légaré and Antoine Plamondon, among many others. There are also a host of renowned temporary exhibits each year.
Recent visitors said they were as impressed with the building as they were the art, with many describing the facility as an "architectural wonder." Others were pleased without the variety of mediums on display, calling the gallery's permanent collection encyclopedic.
The National Gallery of Canada sits across from Gatineau at the Alexandra Bridge, within walking distance of ByWard Market and Parliament Hill. OC Transpo route Nos. 1 and 9 will also get you there. The art museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. every day in the summer and Tuesdays through Sundays in the winter (October to April). On Thursdays, the museum is open until 8 p.m., offering free entry after 5 p.m. Admission to the permanent collection costs CA$12 for adults (roughly $9). If you want to tour the visiting exhibit as well, a CA$16 (about $12) ticket allows access to the special exhibit as well as the entire permanent collection. You'll also find a cafe and boutique on-site. For more information, including times for docent-led tours, check out the National Gallery's website.
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