Toronto Museums and Galleries
Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills
Light served as the main inspiration for Pritzker Prize–winning architect Fumihiko Maki when tackling this commission. Situated on seventeen acres, the building is saturated with light, and, depending on the time of day, it animates the walls with color. The museum, a passion project of Aga Khan (a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad), is meant to foster a mutual understanding and respect between cultures, and to highlight the creative contributions of Islam. The collection comprises over 1,000 pieces of art, pottery, manuscripts, and drawings.
Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W., Grange Park
Reimagined in 2008 by Frank Gehry (who incidentally grew up just down the street), the AGO's exterior resembles a giant wood-framed glass ship gliding through the city. The permanent collection is equally impressive, with over 5,000 Inuit works, Postimpressionist and Dutch Master paintings, plus the biggest collection of Henry Moore sculptures anywhere in the world (reason alone to visit). If you haven’t caught it in Copenhagen or LA, the traveling Yayoi Kusama exhibit arrived at the AGO in March 2018.
Daniel Faria Gallery
188 St. Helens Ave., Brockton Village
After several years honing his craft, Daniel Faria, a veteran of the Toronto gallery scene, was ready to go it alone. His namesake gallery—housed in a rapidly gentrifying part of town in what was once a body shop—now plays host to Canadian and international artists, like Douglas Coupland. The high-ceilinged, open space is a perfect match for the large-scale installations and performance pieces that come through. If you miss out on a visit while in you're in town, the gallery has a presence at almost all the international art fairs.
The Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queens Park, Yorkville
A serious cultural destination, the Royal Ontario Museum consistently has an enviable roster of exhibits, plus a notable permanent collection under its belt. With no specific focus, the permanent galleries span African and Middle Eastern art, Chinese architecture, ancient dinosaurs and mammals, Bronze Age artifacts, and textiles to name a few. Recent exhibits have included a retrospective of Christian Dior haute couture, an exploration of the Vikings (perfect for kiddos), and a unique examination of the role played by architecture in Auschwitz titled The Evidence Room.
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