Led by world-renowned (and Toronto-born) ‘starchitect’ Frank Gehry and completed in 2008, an ambitious expansion of the Art Gallery of Ontario has seen it blossom into one of the most illustrious art museums in North America. With more than 4,000 artworks on view spanning ancient civilisations to the latest in contemporary art (from the gallery’s overall collection of more than 90,000 items), it’s a great place to spend a culture-filled day in Toronto.
The Art Gallery of Ontario takes you on a journey through the art and history of both Canada and nations across the globe. You won’t want to miss Canada’s First Nations and Inuit carvings and works of art or pieces by the European masters, such as Monet, Picasso, Rodin and Van Gogh. There’s an impressive collection of sculptures and figures from West and Central Africa as well as some 50,000 photographs meticulously documenting the art and history of photography since its inception in the 1800s.
Australians – and those who appreciate Australiana – will enjoy the more than 1,000 Aboriginal artworks from all over the country. It’s the largest collection of Australian Aboriginal art in Canada. In addition to its superb permanent collections, the Art Gallery of Ontario consistently draws crowds with its exceptional temporary exhibitions. Round out your day here at one of the on-site eateries, which include the chic, award-winning restaurant Frank, a modern cafe and an espresso bar.
The art gallery is closed Mondays and is open from 10:30am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30am to 9pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10:30am to 5:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. To get here by train, take the subway to St Patrick Station; then it’s a five-minute walk. Craving more museum time? The Royal Ontario Museum, a must-see for lovers of natural history, archaeology and world culture, is less than 2 kilometres away.