Centered in downtown Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of Canada’s most visited museums. From European paintings to Canadian drawings, this cultural venue owns more than 95,000 pieces of art. The building’s modern facade was designed by Frank Gehry, one of Canada’s most successful architects.
The Main Level of the Art Gallery of Ontario (or AGO) houses an extensive collection of European artwork. As you browse the concourse section of the first floor, you’ll see masterpieces in the Baroque, Renaissance, Impressionist and other genres. A large section of the Main Level features galleries that present contemporary art, ranging from Cubism and Art Deco to Abstract Expressionism and Postmodernism. Additionally, prints and drawings are shown in several galleries on the first level. European etchings from the Middle Ages are some of the highlights of these exhibits.
The second level of the Art Gallery of Ontario is dominated by Canadian and indigenous art. More than a dozen galleries on this floor are dedicated to some of the nation’s most prolific artists. There’s a strong focus on paintings and drawings that were completed in Toronto and Ontario.
The indigenous galleries display traditional clothing, textiles, artifacts and other crafts that were made by Canada’s diverse native populations. A few halls on the second level are reserved for special exhibits that typically run on seasonal schedules.
At the Weston Family Learning Centre, visitors are encouraged to enrich their knowledge on art and culture. From hands-on seminars to music concerts, AGO also hosts exciting events each week.
Prints, jewelry, books and toys are some items that sit on the shelves of Shop AGO, the museum’s official retailer. Visitors can grab sandwiches, burgers and drinks at the contemporary AGO Bistro. Members have exclusive access to the Norma Ridley Lounge, a quiet setting for social gatherings.
Location and How To Get The AGO
As one of the most recognizable attractions on Dundas Street, the Art Gallery of Ontario is easily accessible by rapid transit. Located just three blocks away from the museum, St. Patrick Station receives frequent service from the Yonge-University Line. This TTC subway route connects all major points in downtown Toronto.
Heading eastbound and westbound on Dundas Street, the 505 bus line also provides convenient service near this cultural attraction. On-site parking isn’t available, but multiple municipal and private garages are accessible just around the corner.
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