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“I'm not a scholar of art, but I like this site!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario

The AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W., Toronto, Ontario M5T 1G4, Canada (China Town)
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Top Rated
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Toronto City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #4 of 251 Attractions in Toronto
Type: Art Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The eighth-largest art museum in North America presents an awe-inspiring collection: more than 36,000 works representing 1,000 years of extraordinary art.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Welland, Canada
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“I'm not a scholar of art, but I like this site!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011

I admit that I have never taken a lot of time to learn the finer points of art appreciation. I am a person of basic tastes and I appreciate a painting (or sculpture) that looks like what it represents. Within this limited frame of reference, I was greatly impressed with the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In additions to galleries hung with the works of masters that even I have heard of, there are many areas displaying Canadian art. Some of this art displays incredible story-telling characteristics. I recall one entitled (words the the effect of) "Morning after Merrymaking in Lower Canada" - It looks like morning in a college dorm, plus horses and "upsot" sleighs (a recurring theme in early Canadian art seems to be a turned over sleighs - "upsot" in Jingle Bells terms).

The gallery also is home to a stunning collection of Christian religious items - including cups, small sculptures, crucifixes, etc. While not a religious person myself, I can't help but be impressed by unbelievable skill and craftsmanship that went into these pieces.

There are also exhibits of contemporary art on the 4th and 5th floors. These are not my cup of tea - one room the size of a school gymnasium contained four items which look to me like splatters made while cleaning one's brush. But, I am not skilled at evaluating art.

The building is a work of art in itself, with truly impressive architecture. Walk up from the 4th to the 5th floor - I dare you! The floors are far greater than normal height and the spiral stair goes around and around - the equivalent of about 5 normal floors!

I spent about 4 hours at the AGO, and could have spent more had time permitted. Like any similar facility, the main negative is loud school groups, but there is not escaping these. To a true art scholar, days could likely be invested in this facility.

Visited May 2011
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1,352 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
104 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Huge collection of Canadian art. Surprisingly knowledgeable security guards.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2011

Walked past the AGO on the way to Chinatown and were lured in by the "25 and under free" sign. We had to check out of our hotel, but were able to check our luggage at coat check for free AND see the Maharaja exhibition along with the entire museum for free. There was a huge collection of Canadian art, mostly comprised of landscapes, but also some African-Canadian pieces, some contemporary art, a collection of impressionist pieces, and model ships. When I asked a security guard if photography was allowed in the museum, he opened up my map, showed me the Galleria Italia, which was the only place it is allowed, and gave me a quick rundown of other galleries in the museum. I also overheard him talking to a couple of other women about the current exhibition, and was surprised at how knowledgeable he was about the paintings, etc. We were in a time crunch to get to the airport and only got to spend about 2 hours here, but it was enough time to see everything.

Visited February 2011
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New York
1 review
“Not only the exhibits are great you have to see the architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

Even if you are only casually interested in art, this is worth a visit. The architecture of the front addition is stunning. There ar so many different exhibits it is hard to absorb it all in one visit. I have been to Toronto many times but this was the first time I went to the AGO. It won't be the last

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Central Florida
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Nice Collection of the Group of Seven.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2010

I was looking forward to seeing the contemporary art in Toronto at this museum. Unfortunately, the top two floors were empty! They were installing a new exhibit. I was quite disappointed that we only saw one floor of art for the entry fee we paid.

Then we went to the 2nd floor, where the Canadian artists were exhibited. I had no idea what to expect, but it was great! I'd never heard of the Group of Seven, but I have instantly become a fan and look forward to seeing more of their work.

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Toronto, Ontario
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
“Wonderful Transformation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2010

I took a friend here recently from Europe who was interested in Canadian works of art; I thought the building itself warranted a visit, and she concurred, that it was quite a masterpiece. The Galleria was my favourite part, overlooking Dundas Street, with the curved cedar producing a gentle and open atmosphere. I found the collection of David Milne's paintings to be quite stunning and did like that it was showcased in the most prominent rooms by the Galleria. The most recent exhibition, Drama and Desire, was well curated and presented and my companion enjoyed it thoroughly.

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