8 Famous Art Gallery In Ontario

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An art gallery is one of those numerous places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Visiting an art gallery will build a sensation of curiosity and enhance your imagination skills.

This place is not only enjoyed by passionate art lovers but also by every other visitor as there is always a certain piece of art that will catch your eye, no matter how much you dislike paintings.

Visiting an art gallery has always proven to be a stress-relieving and enjoyable activity.

People who are keen to know and learn more about art often visit art galleries to fulfill this objective.

If you wish to learn more about the arts and artists, the ecphrasis is sometimes not enough you need to hire a good guide who can explain the painting and give you insights about how and why the painting was made.

If you try to look around, you can also find university students or other people who wear some kind of identification batch or carry a sign. These students offer to tour the gallery, and believe me! They are far better than your average museum guides.

These volunteers probably must be art enthusiasts, so try striking up an animated and engaging conversation with them and ask questions as they would love to talk about art if they are willing to volunteer to give a tour.

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Sometimes, the management of the gallery conducts art workshops, demonstrations, and lectures. Try looking up the schedule of the gallery before visiting so that you can visit on the day when these programs are held.

Get the best out of this opportunity. If not for the art then at least for the sake of your time and money.

There is always a good and inspiring story behind a work of art. It sets off from the moment the artist decides to take the brush in their hand and make the first stroke, after that how it goes from the studio of the artist under the approval of the gallery owner to the wall from where it gets auctioned or gets displayed to the prying eyes.

Art Galleries not only make a person happier but also helps in expanding the artistic knowledge of the person along with adding experiences of looking at new works of art.

In other words, visiting an art gallery improves your cognitive and emotional intelligence. The moment you start wandering around the gallery, your mind drifts further away from negative emotions.

You think with a new approach to paintings and come up with conclusions. Each painting acts as a window to the past. You will want to know the story behind each piece.

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Now, let’s move to the main topic of our article.

If we talk about classical destinations in Ontario, Art Galleries will ace the list.

Art is something that you can find anywhere in Ontario. From the lavish art collection of an art gallery to graffiti on your local street.

Read the article further to discover the most prominent and eye-catching works of art in Ontario City. You will get a good idea about various Canadian collections, artists, styles, and movements.

But, firstly, we will have a deep chat about the most famous “Art Gallery in Ontario.

This art museum is also known as AGO, located on Dundas Street between McCaul Street and Beverley Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Due to its large physical space, the Art Gallery of Ontario is considered the largest art museum in North America and the second largest in Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum is the first.

Along with the exhibitions area, AGO is home to an artist-in-residence studio and office, dining facilities, events space, gift shops, a library, an archive, and many more.

AGO was first established under the name of the Art Museum of Toronto in 1900 by the members of the Toronto Society of Arts but it was incorporated only in 1903, later in 1919 the name was changed to the Art Gallery of Toronto which further evolved into the Art Gallery Of Ontario in 1966.

The gallery went under a series of renovations and expansions. The museum has two major buildings, the Grange and the main building.

4.1.1 The Grange

This part of the museum is like an ancient manor and is the oldest division. Before the involvement of the building with the museum, the building was used as a private residence with its neoclassical style of construction.

In 1970, the Grange was designated as a National Heritage Site of Canada, and later on, the City of Toronto government under the Ontario Heritage Act made it “The Grange and the Grange Park” in 1991.

4.1.2 The Main Building

In 1918, the main building was made accessible to the common people. This building is situated north and west of the Grange Manor. The main building also underwent quite a few phases of expansion.

AGO is the largest public collection of artworks by Henry Moore and most of his works are kept in a special section dedicated to him called the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre, which he himself helped to design and decorate.

Transformation AGO, a redevelopment plan by Canadian architect Frank Gehry in 2004. Gehry was put in, to only redesign the monument.

Galleria Italia is a part of the transformation plan. It’s a 200-meter-long glass, steel, and wood projecting canopy at the front portion of Dundas Street. If you are on the second floor of the building, this portion acts as a viewing hall.

4.1.3 Collection Areas

The collection areas of AGO have seen some major changes since the 20th century. The rapid growth in the number of works has streaked and now the AGO collection has around 120,000 pieces of painting and many more.

To make it easy for visitors the museum has organized its collection into a handful of collection areas, let us look at some of it.

4.1.4. Indigenous and Canadian Artists

This vast collection of Canadian art includes works from pre-confederation to the 1990s. If you wish to gaze at these works you will need to head to the second floor of the museum as most of the Canadian artworks are kept there.

There is a total of 39 viewing halls on the second floor to showcase 1,447 pieces of Canadian Art. Among these 39 halls, 23 halls showcase the Thomas Collection of Canadian Art- which has the world’s largest valuables of Gothic boxwood miniatures- and the rest 17 halls are J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art. A few Canadian pieces are also exhibited at David Milne Centre.

4.1.5. Modern Art Collection

This section of the museum contains collections from American art and European art dating from the 1900s to the 1960s.

The works of Canadian artists of this period are kept in the Canadian Collection. Throughout the museum, various works of modern art collection are scattered for the public to look at.

Painting and sculpture have acquired a remarkable portion in the modern art collection of AGO.

4.1.6. Photography Collection

The photography collection of AGO has reached over 70,000 photographs from the 1840s till the present day. Among these, around 450 photo albums are from World War I which has proved to be a great inciting item for history lovers.

Items from the photography collections are displayed on the ground floor in two viewing halls. The key illustrations are by renowned artists such as Diane Arbus, Arnold Newman, and many more.

4.1.7 Prints and Drawings Collection

AGO has a remarkable collection of 20,000 prints, drawings, and other works on paper. The display of these works is managed by the revolving exhibitions. However, if someone wishes to see the prints and drawings collection apart from the exhibitions, they can arrange for an appointment at the museum’s Drawing Study Centre and Marvin Gelber Print.

Some of the most exceptional works are by Betty Goodwin and other artists such as David Blackwood, James Gillray, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, and the list goes on.

If you wish to visit more art museums in Ontario, read below to learn more about such places.

4.2. McMichael Canadian Art Collection

This art gallery offers a fully distinctive Canadian experience. The surrounding area and the inside of the gallery ooze off Canadian Art and history.

Eminent for its vast collection of nearly six thousand artworks by Tom Thomson, Henry Moore, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Inuit, and other artists who have contributed to Canada’s artistic heritage.

On average, 100,000 inspiring annually are welcomed by the gallery annually. The woodland theme of the gallery helps in presenting the gallery as a heritage site of Canadian landscape paintings.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection has emerged as a major public art and culture gallery in Ontario solely dedicated to the collection of Canadian Art.

Occasionally, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection hosts exhibitions that attract tourists from abroad as well as home. These exhibitions are attended by a large crowd which reflects the interest of the present-day generation in art and culture.

Located in the capital city of Ottawa is considered the National Museum of Canada. This museum of art is overflowed with the contemporary collection as well as the historical cluster of photographs, sculptures, and multimedia artworks.

The present-day building of the museum is designed by Moshie Safdie. The building which houses the National Gallery of Canada is alongside the Byward Market on Sussex Drive.

The total collection of the museum is over 93,625. The varied hoards of paintings, sculptures, and other artwork represent the numerous movements and eras of art history. The primary focus of the museum is on Canadian art. There are artworks of various artists from all across the globe.

If you are living outside of Ottawa or Canada itself, and want to have a look at the collections of this museum, then you can keep tabs on the traveling exhibitions conducted by the National Gallery of Canada at home and abroad.

The National Gallery of Canada acts as the largest lender of artworks, giving off almost 800 pieces every year.

This museum also has collections from Asian, European, and American artists.

This gallery is located at the core of Toronto, Ontario at the Harbourfront Center. The Power Plant is home to a large number of paintings by living Canadian artists as well as international artists.

The gallery conducts a variety of exhibitions, free public events, and workshops to promote artwork, all these expenses are met by donors, sponsors, and other funding bodies.

And the best thing that attracts visitors to this gallery is the free entry, as they have mentioned on their site “ALL YEAR, ALL FREE”.

New and recent works of Canadian Artists and their contemporary international artists are put up together in thematic exhibitions for the purpose of cultural exchange. Solo exhibitions of major Canadian artists are also conducted.

The Orange Art Gallery is located in the City Centre of Ottawa, Ontario. It was inaugurated in 2010 and is owned by a family making it a private family business. The works inhabited in this gallery represent the talent of 25 contemporary artists from Ottawa and the surrounding area.

The current building of the art gallery holds historic importance as some 100 years ago it used to be the bank of CN rail. After the renovation, the building still has a touch of local contemporary art, and the lower level of the gallery has art studios and catering facilities.

The compound of the gallery is also rented for weddings and other events. The countryside look of the house adds a natural and raw look to the outdoor events.

The Art Gallery of Hamilton is one of the oldest public galleries in Canada. Located in Hamilton, Ontario.

The permanent collection of the gallery hoards over 10,000 works of art. This is divided into three collection areas, namely- the Indigenous and Canadian Collections, the Contemporary Art Collection and the International Art Collection.

The Canadian Art collection includes works from Canadian artists including indigenous artists minus the works of contemporary Canadian artists, whose works are kept in the contemporary work portion of the collection areas.

Speaking of the contemporary collection area, it has the work of contemporary artists from all over the globe regardless of their nationality. The international collection area has works of various artists. Most notable among the artworks is European Art, among which a major emphasis is put on French, British, and Italian schools of art.

The permanent collection includes works by William Blair Bruce. Try visiting this museum on the evening of the first Friday of the month to get a free entry.

Niagara Falls Art Gallery was founded in 1979 and is an art education facility and art gallery. Several major artworks reside in this museum.

It has three exhibition galleries- the focus, the open storage, and Kurelek Galleries. The aim of this gallery is very pure and simple that is to educate and provide activities to expand the experience of students, residents, and visitors.

This art gallery is famous for the collection of Kurelek’s works and youth’s learning via art.

The Focus Gallery is used for various exhibitions and display purposes and other major and special occasions or events, the time of work display varies from day to day.

The W.K. gallery showcases the launching works of the artists, including the works of W. Kurelek.

Lastly, the Open Storage gallery serves as a viewing gallery from where you can look at the rotating pieces of work from the permanent collection.

Incorporated nearly 38 years ago, this gallery is one of the most honored art galleries in Ontario. The magnificent gardens and grounds showcase some beautiful works by notable artists.

The park-like setting alongside Lake Kakawong is the key attraction for visitors. The gallery has sculptures, paintings, and many more by contemporary Canadian artists, sculpturists, and artisans.

5. Afterword

Visiting an art museum will be fun if you have your itinerary ready before setting off. To get an even better experience, you can purchase travel guides. If you live in Ontario or are able to visit Ontario during summer with your family, you can enroll your children in Youth/Children Summer Art Camp.

Hope you have a fun time on your visit!

Ayesha Yusuf, a content writer from Aligarh, specializes in writing travel and lifestyle articles. Her articles will immerse your interests in travelling so well, that you would want to pack your bags and leave immediately to experience your own adventure. She is a student at Aligarh Muslim University and is pursuing English Literature.