Exploring Canada's Art Galleries, Museums, and Theatre

Canada, a land of diverse cultures and rich heritage, boasts an array of art galleries, museums, and theaters that showcase the country's vibrant arts scene. From coast to coast, visitors can immerse themselves in exhibitions, discover fascinating artifacts, and experience world-class performances. Whether you're a history buff, art enthusiast, or theater lover, Canada offers a lot of cultural treasures waiting to be explored. Here's a glimpse into some of Canada’s most captivating venues for art, history, and live entertainment. 


Art Galleries


The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto: Renowned for its extensive collection of Canadian and international art, the AGO is a must-visit destination for art lovers. From the iconic works of the Group of Seven to contemporary masterpieces, the gallery shows a diverse range of artistic styles and movements. Be sure to explore the AGO's architecture, including the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Galleria Italia, and take advantage of guided tours and special exhibitions that offer deeper insights into the world of art. 


Where to stay: 

The Sutton Place Hotel Toronto, a sister brand of the Sandman Hotel Group, is located less than a 5-minute drive from The Art Gallery of Ontario. It features 118 stunning, premium guest rooms and suites.  


Inside the Art Gallery of Ontario with Paintings on the Wall

Photo Cred: To Do Canada


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), Montreal: Situated in the heart of Montreal, the MMFA is one of Canada's largest and most prestigious art museums. Boasting a vast collection of over 44,000 works spanning centuries and continents, the museum offers visitors a journey through the history of art. Explore ancient civilizations, admire European masterpieces, and discover contemporary Canadian artists in the museum's galleries. Don't miss the opportunity to attend one of the MMFA's many cultural events, including lectures, workshops, and live performances. 


Where to stay: 

Sandman Hotel Montreal-Longueuil is located less than a 15-minute drive from The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and has 214 comfortable guest rooms making it the perfect place to lay your head after a busy day of exploring. 


Night Exterior Image of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Photo Cred: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver: Located in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery is home to an extensive collection of contemporary and historical art from British Columbia and beyond. With over 12,000 works in its permanent collection, the gallery showcases a diverse range of artistic expressions, from Indigenous art to modern sculpture. Check out the gallery's rotating exhibitions, which feature works by both local and international artists, and take advantage of guided tours and educational programs for all ages. 


Where to stay: 

Sandman Hotel Vancouver Downtown is centrally located just a short 10-minute walk from The Vancouver Art Gallery and has 303 comfortable guest rooms as well as on-site dining for Moxies and Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill. 


Day Time Exterior of Vancouver Art gallery with Poster on Front of Building

Photo Cred: Vancouver Planning




The Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa: Situated on the banks of the Ottawa River, the Canadian Museum of History offers a glimpse into Canada’s past. Explore the museum's diverse exhibits, which cover topics ranging from Indigenous history and culture to Canadian identity and innovation. Don't miss the chance to visit the museum's iconic Grand Hall, which houses the world's largest indoor collection of totem poles, or to take a stroll through the museum's outdoor Indigenous village, where you can learn about traditional First Nations lifestyles.


Where to stay: 

Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel is located just a 20-minute drive from The Canadian Museum of History and has 201 comfortable guest rooms as well as on-site dining for Chop Steakhouse & Bar to enjoy. 


Artefacts on Table Inside Canadian Musuem of History

Photo Cred: Canadian Musuem of History


The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto: As one of Canada's largest museums, the ROM offers a great collection of art, culture, and natural history. From ancient artifacts to modern marvels, the museum's exhibits span the globe and encompass a wide range of subjects. Explore the ROM's world-renowned collections of dinosaur fossils, Egyptian mummies, and Indigenous artifacts, and don't miss the opportunity to visit the museum's many galleries, including the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, a stunning architectural marvel designed by Daniel Libeskind. 


The Royal Ontario Musuem Exterior with Cars in Traffic at the Front

Photo Cred: The Bridge Canada


The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax: Located in the historic waterfront district of Halifax, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers a look at the region's seafaring history. Discover the stories of Nova Scotia's maritime heritage through exhibits on shipwrecks, immigration, and naval warfare. Explore the museum's collection of historic vessels, including the CSS Acadia, a former hydrographic survey ship, and the HMCS Sackville, Canada's last surviving Flower-class corvette from World War II. 


Where to stay: 

The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax, a sister brand of the Sandman Hotel Group, is steps away from The Art Gallery of Ontario. It features 262 stunning, premium guest rooms and suites.  


Outside Patio on a Sunny Day at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Photo Cred: Nova Scotia




Stratford Festival, Stratford: Founded in 1953, the Stratford Festival is one of North America's premier theater festivals, attracting top talent from around the world. Located in the picturesque town of Stratford, Ontario, the festival offers a diverse lineup of productions, including classic Shakespearean plays, contemporary dramas, and musicals. Experience the magic of live theater in the festival's iconic theaters, including the Festival Theatre, the Avon Theatre, and the Studio Theatre. 


Outside of Stratford Festival with Flowers on a Sunny Day

Photo Cred: We Explore Canada


The Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake: Situated in the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, the Shaw Festival celebrates the works of playwright George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. With a focus on classic and contemporary theater, the festival presents a wide range of productions, from thought-provoking dramas to lighthearted comedies. Explore the festival's beautiful venues, including the historic Royal George Theatre, the iconic Festival Theatre, and the intimate Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. 


Shaw Festival Theatre with Empty Seats

Photo Cred: Shaw Festival


The Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto: This theatre stands as a historic gem in the heart of Toronto's entertainment district. Since opening its doors in 1907, the theatre has been a cornerstone of the city's vibrant arts scene, hosting an array of theatrical productions. From Broadway hits to innovative Canadian works, the Royal Alexandra Theatre continues to serve as a stage for world-class performances, showcasing the talents of both local and international artists. 


Rows of Empty Red Seats in the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto

Photo Cred: Show One Productions


Stanley Park Theatre, Vancouver: This historic venue offers a unique setting for a diverse range of performances, from captivating theatrical productions to stirring musical concerts.  Audiences are treated to unforgettable experiences that blend the magic of live entertainment with the natural beauty of the park. As one of Vancouver's cherished cultural landmarks, Stanley Park Theatre continues to delight both locals and visitors alike. 


Where to stay: 

Sandman Suites Vancouver - Davie St. is centrally located just a short 10-minute drive from The Stanley Park Theatre and has on-site dining for Moxies. 


Stanley Park Theatre with Stage at Dusk

Photo Cred: Curiocity


Canada's art galleries, museums, and theaters offer a wealth of cultural experiences for visitors of all ages. Whether you're exploring ancient artifacts, admiring contemporary art, or experiencing the magic of live theater, there's something for everyone to enjoy.