Visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario on School Tours

As the largest city in Canada, Toronto is a must-visit location on any school tours that head to Quebec or even to New York. Situated on the north-western shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto is a vibrant and bustling modern city. It can trace its history back to the late 18th century when the land was purchased by the British Monarchy. Currently, Toronto is the fifth most populous city in North America and is well known for its art, education, music, business, economics, media, sports, medicine and general quality of life. The city is intersected by three rivers and sits on the Toronto Harbour. Toronto is often broken into several districts for ease of navigation and on school tours to the city most groups tend to stay within the centre to explore the many museums and collections. While in this wonderful city, be sure to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The museum was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens as the Art Gallery of Toronto and was renamed the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966. Today, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the biggest museums in all of North America. With almost 600,000 square feet of space, the museum boasts a collection of over 80,000 works and is a must see on any art or history based school tours to the city.

The museum's first exhibitions were opened in 1913; the new gallery building was begun in the Beaux-Arts style in 1916, opening two years later. Over the years the museum has grown, with the latest design expanding it even more. School tours to focus on the arts of Toronto will certainly not miss taking students to this visually impressive museum, whose exterior complements its extensive and important collections within.

Be sure to plan to spend plenty of time in the museum as there are several collections that are each, in themselves, expansive. The Canadian collection guides visitors through the history and development of Canadian art and showcases works by artists such as Emily Carr, Paul-Emile Borduas and Joyce Wieland. School tours will introduce students to the Canadian Collection and the Masterpieces of European Art Collection, which boast works from some of the most famous names in the world of art such as Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Paul C├ęzanne.

From the European Collection, students can move to the Thomas Collection that houses a variety of works from Canada and Europe, including antiquities and even ship models. Be sure to save some time to explore the Contemporary Art Collection with its span of works from 1960s to the present day. Don't skip out on the impressive 40,000 strong photography collection either. Finally, be sure to wander through the galleries and observe the many sculptures; take particular note of the ones by Henry Moore, since the Art Gallery of Ontario houses the largest public collection of his sculptures.

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