On a previous post, I told you about my little corner of University and Queen where I work. All around me are some of Toronto’s tourist spots – to the east are City Hall, Eaton Centre and Dundas Square, and to the west is Queen Street West (where MuchMusic is located at 299 Queen Street West) and one of my favourite buildings – the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). The AGO is only about 3 blocks from the office – lucky me! I often spend my lunch hours there. There was a great deal on a membership fee last year that I took advantage of. Hoping there will be a similar deal come September when my membership expires.
In 2004, the AGO went through a transformation. (You know, I can’t even remember what the old building looked like.) It was fitting that Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry designed the transformed AGO. A pretty big deal as some of his creations happen to be some of my favourite buildings in the world which include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Wikipedia compiled some of the praises for the transformed AGO, but I think the architecture critic of the New York Times summed it best: “Rather than a tumultuous creation, this may be one of Mr. Gehry’s most gentle and self-possessed designs. It is not a perfect building, yet its billowing glass facade, which evokes a crystal ship drifting through the city, is a masterly example of how to breathe life into a staid old structure. And its interiors underscore one of the most underrated dimensions of Mr. Gehry’s immense talent: a supple feel for context and an ability to balance exuberance with delicious moments of restraint. Instead of tearing apart the old museum, Mr. Gehry carefully threaded new ramps, walkways and stairs through the original.” Great article, by the way.
The Titanium and Glass South Wing
The Galleria Italia spans the entire front of the building along Dundas Street West.
Walk east along the Galleria Italia and you will arrive at one of my favourite rooms in the gallery – the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre! I don’t know what it is about Henry Moore sculptures, but I love their simplicity and elegance.
Oh yeah, there’s also a sculpture sitting outside on the northeast corner.
Some of AGO’s permanent collection include this masterpiece…
… and of course, works by the Group of Seven which also happen to decorate our walls at home 🙂
To view some pieces from the collection, check out the following links:
- AGO’s “Art of the Day” on Tumblr: http://artgalleryofontario.tumblr.com/
- Collection Areas on the AGO site: http://www.ago.net/collections
- AGO on Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/art-gallery-of-ontario/museumview/
Around the AGO
If you would like to visit the AGO, here’s the link: http://www.ago.net/visit. It is located on Dundas Street West between Beverly Street and McCaul Street (walk two blocks west of University Avenue on Dundas). The address is 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON. If you’re taking transit, the subway station to get off at is St. Patrick. Gallery hours are: Mondays – closed; Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday – 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. General Admission is $19.50 for adults; $16 for seniors (65+); $11 for for students (with ID) and youths; children under 5 are free.