After undergoing an extensive renovation by Toronto-born Frank Gehry, the Art Gallery of Ontario has reopened in a dramatic new building that strikes a dazzling balance between art and architecture, and makes great use of natural light. And it is well deserved and needed, for AGO’s art collections are excellent and extensive; plan on more than one visit to take it all in.
The Art Gallery of Ontario holds a staggering 79,000-plus works, as well as a huge photograph collection. Highlights include rare Québécois religious statuary, First Nations and Inuit carvings, and major Canadian works by Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. European art is also well represented with works by Thomas Gainsborough, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte.
The AGO also displays a comprehensive collection of contemporary art in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, projection art, painting, and instillation art. A wide spectrum of exhibitions round out the AGO’s art-filled experience.
The Art Gallery of Toronto is located between McCaul and Beverley Streets, on the north end of Grange Park, a few blocks north of the waterfront. You can easily get here via subway, bus, and streetcar. Food options are plenty including a fine dining restaurant, an espresso bar and café. The gift shop sells art books and unique gifts.