Ottawa Art Gallery opens its doors to the public

Ottawa’s long-awaited art gallery is finally opening its doors this weekend.

New gallery welcomes first visitors this weekend

The Ottawa Art Gallery's new expansion opens this weekend. (Andrew Foote/CBC )

Ottawa's long-awaited art gallery is finally opening its doors this weekend.

The Ottawa Art Gallery is offering free admission as it opens to the public after almost three years of construction. There will also be hourly tours and other events to mark the grand opening. 

The gallery's staff told CBC that finally being able to walk into the building is amazing.

"It's been a project long time coming, over 10 years of planning," said senior curator Catherine Sinclair. "It's pretty surreal we are taking a breath and trying to absorb it all."

The gallery, located on 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, is part of the larger Arts Court development and was originally set to open last summer, but construction delays pushed that back.

New space

Sinclair said it's a great space for the city.

"It feels like it's a game changer," she said. "It has beautiful exhibition spaces. It has incredible social spaces."

The first show in the new gallery is a collection of art from around the Ottawa area spread over centuries called "We'll All Become Stories."

Sinclair said the gallery creates opportunities to do a lot of different shows. 

"The possibilities are pretty endless with this space and we already have a lot coming down the pipeline in the next three years."