Visit Canada’s largest and most popular art gallery to admire an extensive global collection which ranges from Canadian collectives to European Masters.
The wonderfully eclectic Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has been welcoming visitors since 1900. Originally set in a historic 19th-century Georgian manor, the gallery has expanded down through the years to form one of the most impressive buildings in Toronto. With an extensive collection of over 40,000 photographic prints and 80,000 artworks, it is little wonder that this inspiring repository draws over half a million people every year. More than just an art gallery, the fantastic space is home to an expansive body of work that crosses continents, representing all corners of the art world, from local Canadian artists to the doyens of the Renaissance.
Spanning an impressive floor space of 45,000 square metres, the collections are thematically spread across five levels and incorporate the most important movements in global art history. The innovative museum also offers a range of dynamic temporary exhibitions so there is always something new going on.
The gallery houses an extensive private collection amassed from donations and art acquisitions over a 100-year period. The highlight for many visitors is Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents which was donated by philanthropic billionaire Ken Thompson.
On the Renaissance Trail, discover the treasures of the excellent European Painting and Sculpture Collection which showcases artistic luminaries such as Cézanne, Degas and Monet.
Fittingly, the gallery has a fantastic Canadian Collection where First Nations art sits comfortably alongside modern works from artists like Tom Thompson and the Canadian landscape collective The Group of Seven.
No less impressive, the gallery’s photographic collection includes thought-provoking images that date right back to the 1840s. Check out the 19th-century calotypes from eminent British photographer Linnaeus Tripe and admire over 1,000 prints from renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek.
Finally, do not leave this gallery without visiting the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre. This space contains the largest public collection of Moore’s work and is all the more relevant given that it was personally donated by the man himself.
The Art Gallery of Ontario has an on-site café and restaurant, is free every Wednesday night and is only a short stroll from the city centre. This is Canada’s most popular art gallery so why not schedule in a visit and see what all the fuss is about?