Top art galleries in Ontario
From classic masterpieces to Indigenous expressions and contemporary works, admire the textures, colours and unique forms created by talented artists.
Here are some of the top Ontario art galleries.
Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
One of the largest art museums in North America, the Art Gallery of Ontario is a cultural hub known for its diverse collection of over 120,000 artworks.
The AGO has a variety of historical and contemporary art in the styles of Canadian, Indigenous, African and European artists. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by the Group of Seven, Indigenous artists and famous photographers. A regular schedule of temporary exhibitions features impressive works of art by established and emerging artists from around the world.
Tickets to the AGO cost $30 for adults and are free for anyone 25 and under. Buy an AGO Annual Pass for $35 and visit exhibitions for free for one year. You can also get free pre-booked tickets on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Location: 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
As its name suggests, the Museum of Contemporary Art specializes in curating and promoting art created in the 21st century. Ironically, the museum is located inside a historic 10-floor industrial building in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighbourhood.
Rotating exhibitions showcase the work of local and international artists, in diverse mediums including paintings, sculptures, installations, video, photography, performance art and more.
Admission is $14 for adults, $10 for seniors 65+ and students 19+.
Stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or on Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Visit for free on Fridays between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. Parking is limited, so consider taking public transit.
Location: 158 Sterling Road #100, Toronto
York, Durham and Headwaters
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is known for its extensive collection of artworks by the Group of Seven, a group of artists from the 19th century who became famous for their unique style of landscape and urban paintings. In addition, you’ll find Canadian art made by many Indigenous artists, Inuit artists and contemporary Canadian artists.
The gallery is named after Robert and Signe McMichael, who bought four hectares of picturesque land in Kleinburg and collected Canadian art, particularly works by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. In 1965, the McMichaels donated their collection to the Province of Ontario, and the “McMichael Conservation Collection of Art” opened eight months later.
Visits to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection cost $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65+ and $7 for youth 25 and under. Admission is free on “Family Sundays”, the third Sunday of each month.
The gallery operates on Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On-site parking is open daily and costs $7 for the day.
Location: 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg
Popular in the vibrant arts community in the Oshawa and Durham region, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery is situated inside a beautiful, airy building designed by well-known Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. The museum is named after Robert McLaughlin, a Canadian industrialist and philanthropist who supported the arts.
Enjoy contemporary Canadian paintings, drawings, photographs and mixed media art works in various artistic styles and genres. The gallery has a special focus on the works of the Painters Eleven, a collective of Ontario abstract painters that were active in the 1950s.
Visits to the gallery are free, though suggested donations of five dollars can be made at the reception desk to support their programs and services.
Visit the Robert McLaughlin Gallery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: 72 Queen Street, Oshawa
The Niagara Falls Art Gallery was established in 1979 as a non-for-profit art gallery.
Its collection includes the works of William Kurelek, a renowned Canadian artist, as well as historical and contemporary art of the Niagara region. The gallery aims to inspire people of all ages to participate in the arts, with various community events and exhibitions throughout the year.
Admission is $5 per person. Find visitor parking behind the building, which can be accessed along the gallery’s right side.
This gallery is open on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from September to June, and on Mondays to Fridays from noon to 4:00 p.m. from July to August.
Location: 8058 Oakwood Drive, Niagara Falls
Hamilton, Halton and Brant
One of the oldest and largest art galleries in Ontario, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting and promoting Canadian and international art.
It’s a cultural landmark in the city, where locals and tourists alike can learn about artistic expression and appreciate the visual arts. The gallery building was designed by world-renowned architect Bruce Kuwabara and features spacious exhibition galleries, an art gift shop and a cozy café.
Explore over 10,000 works of art from different art periods, ranging from paintings and drawings to printmaking and installation art. The gallery offers a permanent art collection and rotating exhibitions of works that feature specially curated shows and art by contemporary artists.
Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65+ and free for students and children. You can also visit for free on Thursdays.
Stop by on Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 123 King Street West, Hamilton
Discover a diverse range of artwork across multiple mediums like photography, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and more at the Art Gallery of Burlington.
Housed in a spacious building in downtown Burlington, the gallery also serves as the city’s community centre. It specializes in contemporary Canadian ceramics, with over 4,000 works that have been collected over the past 40 years. These incredible works range from highly functional to aesthetic sculptural installations.
All exhibitions are free for public viewing. Paid parking is available in the gallery’s lot on Elgin Street. If the lot is full, look for metered street parking on Nelson Avenue.
The Art Gallery of Burlington operates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington
Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
Experience nationally acclaimed exhibitions and programs at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Local and international artists regularly showcase individual and group exhibitions of their works, which include paintings, sculptures, video art, photography and more.
A variety of educational programs are offered for people of all ages. Whether you’re interested in a guided tour of the gallery, attending an artist talk or a hands-on art workshop, there are plenty of ways for you to learn more about art and bring out your creative side.
Admission to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is free for everyone. Find paid street parking on Otto Street or at the underground Civic District parking garage.
Visit on Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 101 Queen Street North, Kitchener
With the goal of strengthening its artistic community, the Art Gallery of Guelph promotes historical and contemporary visual arts by hosting various all-ages programs for the community and exhibiting the creative works of diverse people in the art world.
Formerly known as the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, it’s located in a stately two-storey house beside a beautiful sculpture park.
A permanent collection of over 9,000 artworks such as art prints, photographs, paintings and sculptures showcase the cultural heritage of the Guelph region. Temporary exhibits showcase pieces by established and emerging artists from Canada and around the world.
Visit the gallery for free, although donations are appreciated. A limited number of free parking spots are available in the parking lot beside and behind the gallery.
The Art Gallery of Guelph is open on Tuesdays to Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 358 Gordon Street, Guelph
Bruce Peninsula, South Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe
Located in the heart of downtown Barrie, the MacLaren Art Centre is a cultural hub that promotes and supports contemporary arts.
Explore a diverse range of exhibitions in numerous mediums, such as video, installation art, paintings and sculptures. Family-friendly events and workshops are hosted regularly.
The on-site Lazy Tulip Café offers a variety of healthy food options like golden milk latte, whole wheat focaccia bread or vegan carrot coconut ginger soup. Everything on the menu is made in-house.
Admission is a pay-what-you-can donation. You can find public parking areas within walking distance of the gallery.
The MacLaren Art Centre is open Mondays to Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 37 Mulcaster Street, Barrie
The Tom Thomson Art Gallery honours the life and legacy of Canadian artist Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.
Tom Thomson was a Canadian landscape artist in the early 20th century who developed a distinct style of Canadian art through his trips to Algonquin Park, creating some of this country’s most recognizable artworks before his untimely death. The Group of Seven artists were heavily influenced by Tom Thomson.
The gallery focuses on his and the Group of Seven’s paintings, plus other works of Canadian art that represent the natural beauty and landscapes of Canada. You’ll also find drawings, art prints and sculptures created by other influential Canadian artists in travelling exhibitions.
Admission is by donation. Look for limited free parking for two hours in front of the gallery.
The Tom Thomson Art Gallery is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 840 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound
Affiliated with Queen’s University, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is committed to the study and exhibition of visual arts. Half of the gallery’s building is a sleek, modern design constructed with pale grey brick, while the other half is covered in colourful graffiti that stands out in its urban surroundings.
The gallery houses permanent collection pieces and temporary exhibitions that explore various themes, art movements and artistic expressions. Indigenous, Canadian, European and African art are all on display for you to view. Inside the gallery, you’ll also find a research library, conservation lab and study rooms for curatorial research and art historical knowledge.
Visit the gallery for free, although donations to support art research are welcome.
In the summer, the Agnes Etherington Centre is open Fridays to Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. During the fall season, it’s open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: 36 University Avenue, Kingston
Founded in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has been an iconic landmark in Canadian culture for over a century. You can’t miss the stunning glass building with two tall octagonal towers, overlooking the Ottawa River.
The gallery’s vast collections include works from antiquity to the present day, ranging from Indigenous and Canadian art to masterpieces from all over the world. Discover the art of renowned artists like the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Jean-Paul Riopelle in the gallery’s permanent collection. You’ll also find American, European and Asian art in a wide range of mediums like art prints and photographs.
Tickets cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, $10 for students or youth 24 and under and free for children 11 and under. The family pass for $40 covers two adults and three youths 17 and under. Find parking near the National Gallery of Canada in the underground parking area, which costs $2.75 per 30 minutes.
The gallery is open on Fridays to Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Ottawa Art Gallery is a contemporary art museum that showcases local, national and international art. At nighttime, you may glimpse the building lit up in beautiful colours from the ground.
The gallery’s extensive arts collection, features paintings, sculptures, photography, new media and more, created by established and emerging artists. Participate in fun educational programs like artist talks, guided tours and hands-on art activities to round out your educational art trip.
Stop by the café for a treat and eat on the gallery’s rooftop terrace or outdoor plaza.
Visit the Ottawa Art Gallery for free. Look for street-metered parking with varied hourly limits in the Sandy Hill residential area, Novotel Parkade or Rideau Centre Parkade.
The gallery is open Sundays to Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Thursdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa
Surrounded by greenery and unique sculptures, Art Windsor-Essex opened in 1943 as the Willistead Art Gallery of Windsor. Today, it exhibits works of art by local and national artists, specializing in historical Canadian art and contemporary art.
Explore over 4,000 pieces of art that have been collected by the gallery since its opening. From works by the Group of Seven to woodblock prints by Asian artists, there’s a diverse range of mediums and artistic styles available for viewing. A rotating schedule of exhibitions includes solo and group shows, plus collaborations with other institutions to produce creative and innovative displays of art.
Join art workshops for families, adults and children, or take a free guided art tour.
Tickets cost $10 for most people and are free for children under six years old. Find free, three-hour parking spots in the gallery’s parking lot on the north side of the facility. The gallery is located close to a transit hub, so consider arriving by public transit.
Art Windsor-Essex operates on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 401 Riverside Drive West, Windsor
Situated beside the pristine Little Lake, the Art Gallery of Peterborough fosters creativity and a love for the arts through art classes, workshops, artist talks and guided tours of the gallery.
View historical art as well as contemporary works of local artists, in a variety of mediums like drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.
Check out the exhibitions for free, but cash donations to support the gallery’s programming are appreciated. You can park for free in the lot in front of the gallery, to the left of the building. Alternatively, look for free, three-hour street parking on Crescent and Lake Streets.
The Art Gallery of Peterborough operates on Wednesdays to Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 250 Crescent Street, Peterborough
Haliburton Highlands and Ottawa Valley
The quaint Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre is located inside a historic railway station, set against the scenic landscapes of Haliburton County.
Discover a mix of traditional and contemporary art, from watercolour paintings to mixed-media installations. Learn about the artistic expressions of regional artists, attend art workshops led by skilled artists and enjoy the trails around the gallery.
Admission is free, though donations are appreciated.
The Rails End Gallery is open on Wednesdays to Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 23 York Street, Dysart
Muskoka, Parry Sound and Algonquin Park
Take a self-guided tour through Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Provincial Park, to view iconic murals celebrating the art of Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven.
View over 90 unique murals hand-painted by artists from across the country on the walls of businesses and buildings
The tour starts in front of the Algonquin Theatre, where the Tom Thomson bronze statue is located. Many of the murals are in downtown Huntsville and can be explored on foot. However, if you want to see all the murals on the tour, you’ll need to drive to the rest of the surrounding communities.
Location: Various locations around Huntsville
Located inside a former mansion in Bell Park, the Art Gallery of Sudbury. It contains multiple exhibition spaces, a gift shop and a community gallery.
The gallery specializes in promoting visual art within the Sudbury region by showcasing a diverse collection of historical and modern art by regional and national artists. Paintings, sculptures, photographs and art prints are all examples of art that you’ll find in its collection of over 200 pieces.
Admission to the gallery is by donation.
The Art Gallery of Sudbury is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 251 John Street, Greater Sudbury
The Art Gallery of Algoma was founded in 1975 on the shoreline of St. Mary’s River with the goal of becoming a nationally recognized visual arts institution in Northern Ontario.
From original Inuit art prints in Gallery One to towering sculptures in the Elsie Savoie Sculpture Park, you’ll find many types of art in this area. The works of local and national artists are on display in the gallery’s exhibition spaces, with a special focus on Indigenous artists.
Check out the “Staff Picks” for unique artworks that are memorable to the gallery’s staff. You can also participate in an art-making class or book a tour with the gallery’s Indigenous Programming Coordinator, Lucia Laford.
The cost of admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 55+ and students and free for children 12 and under.
Visit the gallery on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 10 East Street, Sault Ste. Marie
Thunder Bay Art Gallery is the largest art gallery in Northern Ontario that focuses on contemporary Indigenous artists, featuring over 370 square metres of exhibition space that showcase the works of Indigenous and Northwestern Ontario artists.
The gallery opened in 1976 on the campus of Confederation College and has three spacious showrooms, plus a collection storage area for their many works of art. Today, over 1,600 works of paintings, sculptures and traditional Indigenous items can be found in its permanent collection. It includes the works of artists like Blake Debassige, Carl Beam, Maime Migwans and Joane Cardinal-Schubert.
Tickets to the gallery are $5 for adults and free for children under 12. On Wednesdays, all visitors can enter for free. You’ll find free parking in the lot across the main entrance.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is open on Tuesdays to Thursdays from noon to 8:00 p.m. and Fridays to Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 1080 Keewatin Street, Thunder Bay
Last updated: August 22, 2023