I paid a visit to AGO (As it's known locally) in November 2006. The art gallery at the time was being renovated and expanded so I only had restricted access to a small number of exhibitions. I used my City Pass for my admittance fee and check out the AGO website for further information and updates.
As well as having permanent collections (Canadian, Comtemporary, Works on Paper, African and European)over five floors there are also temporary exhibitions (some charge extra).
Unfortunately, the Art Gallery of Ontario is shrouded in scaffolding and construction-related items right now as the city braces itself for what could be another crystal-style monstrousity. In truth, the new design for the Art Gallery (by Frank Gehry) will be a sort of scaffolding wave that should make Dundas west of University classier than its current state. For now, however, you will just have to put up with the unsightliness of construction and enjoy what is inside the gallery. Those of us from Toronto will simply pray we don't become the first city to have a Gehry-designed gallery and no municipally funded social services. The Gallery has a wide range of art types and forms and a good roster of visiting exhibits which make multiple trips to this institution worthwhile. Of course there is a focus on Canadian art, but patron can also enjoy one of the many exhibits on loan from other world-class galleries, including Warhol pieces, loans from the Victoria and Albert Museum and displays of Italian renaissance, Indian or First Nations art. It's always a good idea to check the museum website before you come to find out what is on show.
Tuesday: 11 am-6 pm
Wednesday: 11 am-8:30 pm
Thursday-Friday: 11 am-6 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 10 am-5:30 pm
Wednesday evenings are free for everyone, from 6 to 8:30 pm. Surcharged exhibitions and ticketed events excepted.
Visitors with special needs: wheelchairs and strollers are available from the cloakroom in George Weston Hall.
Seniors (65 years of age and over): $9
Students (full-time student with ID): $9
Youth (6 to 15 years of age): $6
Children (less than 6 years of age): Free
Family (2 adults and up to 5 youths): $25
If you are interested in modern and traditional arts, this is a destination for you,
if Architects of global fame fascinate you, here is your destination,
It is my favoured modern Architectural upgrading,
compared to ROM,
Gehry, in the AGO transformation, combines old and new,
the Italia Hall is my favourite,
entrance lobby and wooden staircase a contrast of wood and mortar.
Must get back in coming Spring to revisit the Thompson collection and
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the three best art galleries in Canada. It has a strong collection of Golden Era Dutch/Flemish paintings that include works by Hals, Van Dyck, Rubens, and Rembrant. Other collections include works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and many more prominent artist. The gallery has the largest collection of the works of Henry Moore, over 800 pieces, in the world. If you go, check ahead to see what special exhibits are showing. The AGO frequently hosts important traveling exhibitions such as the Barnes Exhibition.
If you choose to visit you should also look in on the exhibit of decorative arts on loan by Kenneth Thomson. They are superb.
Finally the AGO is a great place to be introduced to Canadian artist such as the acclaimed Group of Seven, David Milne, and Tom Thomson.
The AGO has just reopened after a lengthly renovation. The result is quite good with and increase of exhibition space and many new works to view. Particularly notable is the addition of Ruben's "Massacre of the Innocents" and a large quantity of Canadian works that are rarely available for viewing.
Visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario, or: A.G.O to those in the know. :o)
Apart from being the 8th largest art museum in North America, it also houses the most comprehensive public collection of Henry Moore sculpture.(note the bronze in the photo's foreground) My friend Jelena from Germany, who has personaly visited just about every major art gallery in the world, has placed the AGO high on her top ten list of favorites. That's saying quite alot, because Lordy is she ever snooty. Damn Germanic artsy's. ;o)
The A.G.O is to undergo a major 195 million dollar re-design which is to be completed by the Fall of 2007 and the new titanium & glass look will be created by non other than the internationaly renown, Toronto born architect Frank Gehry. A new look and 40% more gallery space all designed by Gehry? It'll be incredible.
Make sure you take at least half a day to check out the magnificent collections of more than 25,000 works of art at one of the largest galleries in North America, the ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO! I was fortunate to be able to witness the huge collections of RUBENS works which was a special exhibit from HERMITAGE, Russia. Please check out my travelogue for some of the collection.
I recently visited the AGO to see the Treasure from the Hermitage Museum Russia: Reubens and His Age exhibit, and it was very impressive. However, I went on the closing day (big mistake!) and ended up waiting over an hour in line to see it. After I finished the Reubens exhibit, it was near closing time so I didn't have a lot of time to check out the rest of the gallery. But I did get to see the contemporary works by artists like Warhol, LeWitt, Judd, and Oldenburg (all of whom I studied in class!). There was also a really neat exhibition by Janet Cardiff called the Whispering Room, running until August 31. When you enter the room of 16 speakers, it sounds like whispers, but when you go up to a speaker, you hear a woman telling a part of a story. The entire story is composed in your mind by the order of the speakers you listen to. Every so often a 30 second film projection turns on, so it is both a visual and audio piece. Everyone should take a look at this exhibit.
Art Gallery of Ontario is strong in Canadian and European art. Among our favorites are works of Rembrandt, Monet, Gaugin, Degas, Renoir and Picasso to name a few. The evolution of Canadian art can be followed here. There is a splendid selection of works by the Group of Seven and their associates. Is collection of Henry Moore sculpture is unrivaled. You can visit www.ago.on.ca/ Art Gallery of Ontario online.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of North America's largest art museum, with over 25,000 pieces of artwork.
Plan to spend a few hours in here, as there is a lot to see!