Day 91 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: New Year’s day / A Visit to the AGO

The first time we visited the AGO, we were met at the door with instructions that we could not take any pictures in the museum if they were going to be used commercial purposes. When we explained our project to the employees, they said that as long as there were no people in our pictures, then that would be ok. At this time, the museum was teeming with patrons, so Tim and I left (realizing that it would be near-to impossible to take pictures in the spaces without people in them). We came back another day, and the museum was still busy, but we decided this time not to discuss the photographic policies with anyone at the door. We checked our camera bags and headed into the museum, planning on taking pictures wherever we could. Of course, we have only good intentions for the use of these pictures – to share a snapshot of this beautiful museum with those who visit our blog. The tranformation of the AGO was promoted as an innovative architectural expansion by Frank Gehry which includes visible walkways, an extensive use of glass and views of the city and Grange Park. The expansion enlarged the AGO by 97,000 square feet and increased the art-viewing space by 47 per cent. The total project cost to transform the AGO was $276 million. I never saw the AGO before its transformation, but it is a beautiful museum and worth the $18 entry fee. My only complaint is that we would have liked to have had more time to peruse the artwork and enjoy the space.

The Art Gallery Of Ontario



We got busted for taking this picture as the AGO does not allow photography of its art collection, unknowingly we thought this was just a striped painted wall. Security was friendly and rather lax as I shot several photos from the hip without notice.


Copyright of AGO, we must do this in order to show this photo, which we weren’t really allowed to take. The AGO photography policy has been changed from what it was.  The revised policy enables visitors to take personal, non-commercial photos in and around the iconic architectural elements of the new AGO.

Galleries in the Centre for Contemporary Art



The space inside the gallery was well-lit and relaxing. Artwork was varied and there was a lot of diversity and many interesting pieces.


Construction workers put the finishing touches on the impressive glass face (The North Facade) of the Art Gallery of Ontario


Galleria Italia


A young couple finds a quite corner of the gallery to enjoy some alone together.



The centerpiece of the newly renovated gallery is the very impressive spiral wooden staircase which is exposed throughout the building inside and out.


Wood Detail of the Baroque Stair Looking Up




Exterior of the Art Gallery of Ontario Looking South Up the Fifth Floor Tower


Looking North at the City


The View Southeast from the AGO 


Discarded New Year’s Party Hat


Homeless on New Year’s Day – A city-wide census in Toronto in 2006 counted 5,052 homeless people living on the streets and in shelters across the city. These statistics were criticized by some, who claim that there are many more “hidden homeless” in Toronto that were not included in this count. 


Queen Street West – This photograph looks as though it could have been taken not in 2009, but in 1909. Toronto, much like Montreal, has many old and somewhat run- down parts of the city which make for great photo ops.


Faces Of The Day



1 Response to “Day 91 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: New Year’s day / A Visit to the AGO”

  1. 1 Marisha
    January 5, 2009 at 6:34 pm


    Great to meet you two. Thanks for making me and Carmen part of your faces of the day (Canada hat and guy in sunglasses). You make my town look great too.

    Good luck with your tour of Canada. While you are here in Toronto, if you have time, check out Ward’s Island – the ferry runs year-round from the bottom of Bay Street. It’s an oasis in the city any time of year.

    Take care.

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