A leading Canadian museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario is home of more than 79,000 works of art in its collection, including First Nations and Inuit carvings, noted Canadian works, and European art from Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry designed the gallery’s latest renovation.
The AGO spans five levels, with galleries dedicated to African art, contemporary art, European art, indigenous and Canadian art, modern art, photography, prints and drawings, and special exhibitions. The museum underwent a large-scale renovation in 2008 by Frank Gehry, the famed American architect who was born in Toronto, and the building itself is a work of art. The Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre features creative activities for children and families.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tickets for special exhibitions typically cost extra, but they include regular museum entrance.
- There are two on-site restaurants, caféAGO and AGO Bistro, plus a coffee shop.
- Visitors can purchase souvenirs at the on-site gift shop, shopAGO.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible. A limited supply of wheelchairs and walkers are available to rent and can be reserved in advance.
How to Get There
The AGO is located on Dundas Street between Beverley and McCaul streets, adjacent to Grange Park. To get there by car, take the Gardiner Expressway and exit on Spadina Avenue. Turn right on Dundas Street West. The museum is at the corner of Dundas and Beverley streets. By subway, take the Yonge-University-Spadina line to the St. Patrick stop, a three-block walk from the museum. Or take the Dundas streetcar to McCaul or Beverley streets.
When to Get There
The museum is open every day except Monday. On Wednesday nights from 6 to 9pm, admission to the museum is free, but you should expect longer lines and larger crowds.
Go Down With the Ships
The Thomson Collection of Ship Models, located in the basement of the museum, is a real gem. The models in the collection span 350 years of craftsmanship, including rare examples of 17th and 18th century British dockyard ships. Some, constructed by prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars are made from wood and bone with rigging of silk and human hair.