The AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario

Location: 317 Dundas St W Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada

Phone: +1 416 – 979 – 6648

Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Neighborhood: Chinatown


Initially founded as the Art Museum of Toronto by a group of private citizens in the 1900’s, this world-famous museum has evolved to become the Art Gallery of Ontario (commonly known as The AGO). This enormous 583,000 sq. ft. architectural piece of art is considered one of North America’s largest museums.

Continuously evolving while maintaining its grand beauty, the museum today holds an enormous art collection that spans time as one walks from room to room.

If you have passed by Dundas Street before, then surely you have seen this massive piece of architecture already: one just can’t miss it. The AGO, with a signature design that mimics the structure of a ship’s hull, allows onlookers from the street who pass by to see the inside of the Galleria Italia (hint: grab a coffee and a great view at the Galleria Italia’s picteresque espresso bar).

Over the years, the gallery has undergone several transformations, making it a more spacious and ideal location for showcasing both Canada and the world’s most amazing art pieces. Walking through the gallery, it’s impossible not to appreciate the building’s exquisite architectural design: the AGO’s architecture just adds to the artistic value that the place already offers.

The AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario

The quality of building materials and the architectural details used in building the gallery, in addition to its vast open spaces filled with jaw-dropping art, are the reasons why The AGO has been a popular venue for events.

The gallery holds more than 5,000 contemporary, eclectic, modern and diverse pieces and it has a total of ten collections. These collections are African and Oceanic, Canadian,  David Milne Collection, European, Google Art Project, Modern and Contemporary, Photography, Paints and Drawings and the Thomson Collection.

Each area holds a diverse and complex pieces catering to a variety of audience: within the vastness of these collections, every age group and type of art enthusiast can easily find something to appreciate here. Mini-tours of the collections embark daily at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.

The AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario

Below is a brief overview of each collection area:

  • African And Oceanic: the largest collection of both African and Oceanic art in all of Canada is housed at The Ago.
  • Canadian: Here you can explore the history of Canada through art. The collection highlights the historical art of both Ontario and Toronto.
  • David Milne Collection: Canadian painter and woodsman had a very exciting life and, in this collection, you can explore it through videos and art.
  • European: The AGO features an impressive collection of works from the old masters. Here, you can view Dutch painting from the 1600s, Italian paintings and sculpture from the 1600s and then fast forward to the French Salon and Impressionist paintings from the 1800s.
  • Modern and Contemporary: Offering a thorough overview of post 1900’s art in America and Europe, the modern and contemporary collection is not to be missed for fans of modern and postmodern masterpieces.
  • Photography: The AGO’s photography collection dates back to works from the 1840s and continues to today: the collection currently is home to over 40,000 works of photographic art.
  • Prints and Drawings: The Prints and Drawings Collection is comprehensive as it attempts to cover the history of paper in the arts as it began in the West in the 1400s all the way to today.
  • The Thomson Collection: The Thomson Collection showcase traditional European art ranging from the Italian Renaissance masters to modern works from the 1900’s to 1950’s.

The excellent pieces of art showcased in this awe-inspiring museum gives visitors more than a glimpse of art history: no matter how much you manage to take in, the AGO leaves you yearning for more. Wandering around a building as large as The AGO may leave you hungry: if so, be sure to check out the modern FRANK Restaurant and the more family friendly café AGO!

If, while in Toronto, you are craving creativity and culture, the AGO is the perfect spot to spend a day (or a week). Whether a quiet afternoon at the café or an art adventure is what you like, the AGO has something for you….So, go on an artistic retreat in Toronto and come back to share with us what you liked about your visit to the AGO!

Regular Admission Fees:

Adults: $20

Youth: $11

Senior: $16


Photos by Michael Francis McCarthyflossyflotsamgtall1

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