Toronto Museums, Canada
Art Gallery of Ontario
With more than 5000 works in 110 galleries, the AGO's recent transformation includes a physical expansion of the Gallery by 97,000 sq. ft., the addition of more than 10,000 new works of art to the already vast collection, and a 47% increase in art-viewing space. Designed by renowned Toronto native Frank Gehry (the architectural genius behind the Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao), the layout is open, airy and easy to navigate, with sweeping staircases that link the floors together. The extensive use of glass allows for magnificent views of the city from every direction, including Grange Park. The entrance on Dundas Street leads visitors directly into Walkers Court, the hub of the AGO, and the Grange, the Gallery's first home.
Featured highlights include:
- Galleria Italia, shaped like a ship's hull, is a sculpture gallery that extends the length of the building along Dundas Street, allowing visitors to see out and passersby to see in.
- Glass storage areas allow more pieces to be on public display without being stuffed away in the basement.
- Frank, the gallery's signature restaurant, is located at the front of the AGO on Dundas Street.
- Café AGO for a light meal in between viewings on the concourse level.
- The gift shop, located on two levels, sells everything from books to original jewelry.
Exhibition Place is best known as the site of Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). This only makes sense since this lakefront area has hosted major exhibitions since the construction of the Crystal Palace exhibition hall in 1858. That landmark burned down soon after, but new buildings were built in 1878 to host the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, forerunner of the CNE.
The "Ex" is still the world's largest annual exhibition, but it is only one of the many shows and exhibitions held during the course of the year at Exhibition Place. Covering 192 acres of land with landmark buildings such as the Automotive Building, the Horticultural Building, the Better Living Centre and Ricoh Coliseum, Exhibition Place hosts more than 100 events each year.
Major events include the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the National Home Show and the Honda Indy. The opening of the mammoth, state-of-the-art National Trade Centre ensures that Exhibition Place will be one of Canada's premiere trade show venues into the next century.
Hockey Hall of Fame
The world's one and only! Hockey is the game that defines Canada and a sport that has been adopted by over 80 countries. Much more than a sports museum, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a vibrant, innovative and interactive destination for guests of all ages and levels of interest. Spread across 65,000 square feet, the Hall of Fame offers something for everyone: the finest collection of hockey artifacts at all levels of play from around the world; state-of-the-art games that challenge shooting and goalkeeping skills; themed exhibits dedicated to the game's greatest players, teams and achievements; an extensive array of multimedia stations; theatres; larger-than-life statues; a replica NHL dressing room; and an unrivaled selection of hockey-related merchandise and memorabilia within our new and expanded store.
Not to be forgotten, the Hockey Hall of Fame is the proud home of the NHL's merit trophies, most significantly, the Stanley Cup - on display for guests to explore and touch. All trophies, along with portraits and biographies of each of the 370 Honored Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, are displayed in the Great Hall, an awe-inspiring heritage bank building (c. 1885) complete with ornate architecture and a spectacular stained glass dome, the largest of its kind in the Toronto area.
Ontario Science Centre
With hundreds of engaging interactive exhibits, including the AstraZeneca Human Edge, and daily science demonstrations, the Ontario Science Centre will delight, inform and challenge visitors of all ages: KidSpark is a unique discovery playground for children eight and under, the Weston Family Innovation Centre has open-ended experiences that allow youth to create and innovate, the Space Hall is home to Toronto's only public planetarium as well as an exhibit about Chris Hadfield. The Shoppers Drug Mart® OMNIMAX® Theatre features a great lineup of IMAX® films that run hourly throughout the day.
Royal Ontario Museum
No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum - Canada's largest museum of world cultures and natural history located in the heart of downtown. The Royal Ontario Museum offers a whole world to explore; special exhibitions, permanent galleries of dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, Canada's First Peoples, gems & minerals, and more, alongside world-class dining, shopping and breathtaking architecture. It also offers special programs and events, educational activities and inspiring facilities for private functions.
The Distillery Historic District
The Distillery District is a historic and entertainment area located east of Downtown Toronto. It contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery, who founded the distillery in 1832. The 13 acres (53,000 m2) district comprises more than 40 heritage buildings and 10 streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America. Aside from tours, the area boasts about 15 art galleries, and several performing arts theatres.
Spadina Historic House and Gardens
Spadina Museum chronicles four generations of the wealthy Austin family. The interior holds a collection of local and imported furniture and art. The décor is completely original and reflects the Toronto art scene of the late-19th and early-20th centuries and the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau styles that were popular in the day. The six-acre historic garden is home to more than 300 varieties of flowers and vegetables and make a lovely location for photo and film shoots, weddings, corporate events and other special events.