Gallery wall with a poem and abstract image

Road Trips and Ontario Art Exhibits to See Along the Way

March 24, 2022

Spring brings new life – greenery, warmth, and neighbourhoods buzzing with activities. Leave hibernation in favour of a weekend road trip, and plan your trip with our ON Culture Guides while taking advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit.

We’ve selected nine local exhibit openings to spark your planning. So no matter where you are in the province, you can spring into action.

Niagara on the Lake

Niagara is the largest tourism region in Canada – and with good reason. With so much to discover, our Niagara ON Culture Guide takes care of the planning with a three-day itinerary at the ready. What’s the latest? After a stroll through the statue-speckled Queenston Heights Park, take in this meaningful exhibit a short walk away.

Joanne Morandin sitting at a table with dozens of folded paper cranes. Many pieces of art are hanging on the wall in the background
Photo by Joanne Morandin, courtesy of The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre

Origami crane community project
Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, March 24 to April 7, 2022.

A beautiful installation of 1,000 paper origami cranes is on display the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, each delicate crane constructed by Pumphouse staff and members of the community.

The piece honours essential workers and marks the two-year anniversary of COVID-19 lockdowns. When the exhibition is dismantled, the Pumphouse will donate strands of the cranes to essential workers nominated by the public.


Every two years, a special and free contemporary art festival comes to Toronto: the Toronto Biennial of Art. In between shows, take the artful paths around Toronto with these public art routes.

A person posing in front of a body of water at sunset
Camille Turner, Nave, three-channel video installation. Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art.

Toronto Biennial of Art
Various locations in Toronto and Mississauga, March 26-June 5, 2022

The Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. For 10 weeks every two years, local, national, and international Biennial artists transform Toronto and its partner regions with free exhibitions, performances, and learning opportunities. Grounded in diverse local contexts, the Biennial’s city-wide programming aims to inspire individuals, engage communities, and contribute to global conversations.


Spring in Ottawa means the return of farmers markets and cherry blossom trees. To find your way around for the weekend, use our Ottawa ON Culture Guide and detour for these two latest art exhibits:

Artwork depicting a high up view of land with trees and mountains
Emily Carr. “Autumn in France”, 1911. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Photo: NGC

Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons
National Gallery of Canada, February 26 to July 3, 2022

After renowned success travelling to museums throughout Europe, this exhibit now returns home to Canada. Featuring more than 100 works by 36 artists, Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons speaks to the influence of Impressionism in Canadian art.

A dress buried in dirt
Jobena Petonoquot. Resilient Repugnance: Buried dress. 2018. Photograph (part of a triptych). 76.2 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy of the Artist.

Jobena Petonoquot: Rebellion of my Ancestors | Nid Nike-Mishòmisibaneg Od-Àbimìtàgewiniwà
Ottawa Art Gallery, March 26 to August 14, 2022

Jobena Petonoquot’s latest exhibit invokes her holistic, family and relational knowledge from her Anishinābe and Naskapi relations. Her artistic practice blends traditional and contemporary media, including fibre art, installation, printmaking, photography and beadwork, a “form of cultural resilience”.

Cobalt and Temiskaming Shores

Our most recent ON Culture Guide was a hit with locals – and we think you’ll love it there too! Temiskaming Shores is full of fabulous eats, turn-of-the-century Canadian history, and a lot of family-friendly fun along the way.

New Acquisitions Exhibit
Temiskaming Art Gallery, March 21 to April 1, 2022

The Temiskaming Art Gallery is welcoming back in-person visitors and showing their Recent Acquisitions exhibition, featuring the work of Andrea Burton, James Faubert, Bette Campbell, and more.


With a strong community and local heritage, stunning scenic trails, and an abundance of arts and culture, Peterborough and the Kawarthas are a visitor’s paradise. During a weekend stay this spring, discover three compelling exhibits premiering this month.

Gallery wall with a poem and abstract image
Image courtesy of Artspace

José Andrés Mora: The Mornings in Reverse
Artspace Peterborough, March 12 to May 14, 2022

José Andrés Mora (Toronto, Ontario) is a Venezuelan-Canadian artist who creates work in interdisciplinary media that reflects the intimate politics of language with a particular focus on experiences around displacement, cultural hybridity, and assimilation. The Mornings in Reverse invites us to consider the relationship between memory and anxiety through the lens of reflection.

Watercolor artwork of flowers
Laura Madera, Like honey over your heart (Evening halflight), 2022, watercolour on paper, courtesy of the artist

Nocturnal Garden
Art Gallery of Peterborough, March 12 to May 29

Laura Madera’s Nocturnal Garden is a “luminous symphony” of botanical silhouettes. The Canadian painter’s work is incremental – like gardening. The gallery says, “On any given day, she may make only two moves on each surface. She treats each piece as a bed of rich soil, tending the budding emergence of glowing fields that might bring forth memories of moonlit walks, eyes open to wonderment.”

Thunder Bay

Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior in Northwestern Ontario, there’s plenty to explore in this community. Vibrant arts and cultural activities compliment this city rich in history.

A sculpted wooden board with a pillow on it
Nowegijick Family Tikinagaan, Paul Shonias, Kiaashke Zaaging (Gull Bay First Nation). Image courtesy of Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

Dakobinaawaswaan (Baby in a Cradleboard)
Lake of the Woods Museum in partnership with the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, March 15 to June 4, 2022

Dakobinaawaswaan (Baby in a Cradleboard) gathers more than 50 cradleboards from Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (North America), showcasing the traditional carrier’s legacy of love, discipline, protection and tradition. The exhibit is on display at the Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora (a day’s trip north east of Thunder Bay) until June 4.

“The cradles vary in function and form – some fully beaded, partially beaded, made from cloth, cedar bark, river cane, willow and even a bit of duct tape,” says Shirley Stevens, who brought the collection together. “Some are broken and others pristine. Some are worth a lot of money, according to the Western worldview, and others not. No matter what, they all carry the love of family and community.”

“And in 1948, I came to Canada”: The Holocaust in Six Dates
Thunder Bay Museum, April 6 – July 24, 2022

This travelling exhibition from the Montreal Holocaust Museum, “And in 1948, I came to Canada”: The Holocaust in Six Dates raises awareness about the genocide of the Jews by presenting its history and reflecting on the impacts of racism and discrimination in our society. It commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and honours the survivors who made Canada their new home.