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Hands-On Centre on hiatus: April 26 to May 13

April 14th, 2016

AGO Hands-On Centre

Good news! Your friendly, neighbourhood Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre is undergoing a bit of a makeover to make room for new improvements, including a new sliding glass door to allow us to open up the space, new non-slip flooring, and new finishes and play materials — all to make learning even more exciting for our littlest visitors. While we complete our renovations, the Centre will be closed from April 26 to May 13. But don’t worry: we’ll have an assortment of facilitated Hands-On activities and play materials on offer throughout the gallery for children and families. Check in at the ticket kiosks or Membership desk to find out what family-friendly activities we’re offering on any given day.

This summer, it’s all in the #AGOdetails

July 15th, 2015

By Raechel Bonomo, AGO communications assistant

The AGO collection contains artworks that can fill entire gallery walls, and this summer they’re joined by works on loan for our current exhibition Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic, featuring dozens of panoramic landscapes. At first glance, details in these vast paintings are overshadowed by gargantuan falls and mountains. These hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered, and so we’ve been exploring works from our collection and the landscapes in Picturing the Americas, in search of some gems. We got up close and personal by zooming in on some works, and below you’ll find cropped images of their small-but-mighty details. In this post, it’s the little things that count. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate moms with us this May

April 24th, 2014

This year the AGO celebrates moms with special programming all over the Gallery. Here’s what’s on:

Maternité au lit jaune, or Madame Fontaine et le petit Noël, 1896. Denis, Maurice. Oil and graphite on canvas. 44.6 x 50.9 cm. Framed: 64.8 x 70 cm. Gift of Mrs. Judy Simmonds, 2008. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Maternité au lit jaune, or Madame Fontaine et le petit Noël, 1896. Denis, Maurice. Oil and graphite on canvas. 44.6 x 50.9 cm. Framed: 64.8 x 70 cm. Gift of Mrs. Judy Simmonds, 2008. © 2014 Art Gallery of Ontario.

Mother’s Day brunch
Edit, May 9, 4 p.m. SOLD OUT
On Sunday, May 11, FRANK restaurant celebrates moms with a special Mother’s Day brunch buffet. The menu features an enormous selection of offerings including traditional breakfast fare, a seafood station, a carving station featuring roasted AAA tenderloin, a la carte [check accents] menus, kid-friendly options and more. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at a cost of $75 per adult. Children ages 6-10 can dine for $20 and children under 5 eat for $12. Reservations are encouraged as space is limited. Please call 416-979-6688 or visit FRANK online for more information.

Mother’s Day tea at The Grange (members only)
Enjoy Mother’s Day with a deliciously modern version of a Victorian tea on May 11 (seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 and 3:15 p.m.). Members are invited to enjoy a wide variety of tea along with delicious scones, croissants, sandwiches, assorted desserts and a few surprises. Book tickets for this exclusive Mother’s Day event and spend the rest of the day exploring the Collection at the Gallery.

Mother’s Day card-making at AGO Family Sundays
Part of our Family Sunday programming on Sunday, May 4, includes card-making! Get ready to cut, paste and draw something special for Mom.

Mother’s Day gift ideas

Our shopAGO team has selected a range of items perfect for Mom. See some of them below and visit the shop’s special Mother’s Day display for more options.

Kids take over for Family Day 2014!

February 11th, 2014

This Family Day, let your kids be part of something BIG! On Feb. 17, the AGO will transform into the KGO – the Kids’ Gallery of Ontario. Kids will take over the Gallery and let their creativity soar in this all-day art extravaganza.

Family Day at the AGO in 2013

Family Day at the AGO in 2013

Why choose KGO?

Discounted admission on a Family Day Pass includes all of the fun spread throughout the Gallery – from giant board games to an all-day dance party, to art-making in our studio!

Active fun includes dancing, a Gallery-wide game of Clue, virtual reality art-hunt challenges (via the Time Tremors AGO app), guided tours for kids and families, a Build-It-Take-It-Apart Room, and a giant build-it-yourself playground.

Kids and their adults can make their own original artworks in the Dr. Anne Tanenbaum Gallery School – an all-day art party designed to inspire creative minds to make amazing things. The Dr. Mariano Hands-On Centre hosts our youngest visitors (ages 5 and under), and includes games, play, art-making and stories.

Want to just hang out? Families can chill out in a yoga class, grab a tasty treat from our café and even take a memento home from our fantastic kids’ shop.

See art in new ways in our newest exhibition, Just Like Me: Explore, Imagine, Create. This exhibition is housed in the newly created Kids’ Gallery, and includes exciting works all about children from the AGO’s collections, a unique drawing and activity area, and a photo booth where you can become a work of art! On Instagram, use the hashtag #agokidsgallery and watch your portrait become part of the exhibition (and this popular Facebook album).

Did you know that kids 5 and under eat free at cafeAGO? Accompanied by an adult who’s spending $12 or more, get two free kids’ meals for free. Here are more details.

And getting here is easy! Access the KGO in the heart of downtown Toronto by transit or by car, or make a day of it and explore our neighbourhood — including nearby Chinatown, Kensington Market and Queen Street West — on foot!

The AGO's Gallery School during Family Day 2013.

The AGO’s Gallery School during Family Day 2013.

Family Day Hours

Monday, Feb. 17
Gallery hours: 10 am – 4 pm
Hands-On Centre: 10 am – 4 pm
FRANK Restaurant: 11 am – 3 pm
caféAGO: 10 am – 3:30 pm
Espresso Bar: 10 am – 3:30 pm
Members’ Lounge: 11 am – 3:30 pm
shopAGO & shopAGOkids: 10 am – 4 pm

On the agenda…


  • Giant floor games and all-day dance party (11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
  • Starting point for a Gallery-wide game of Clue


  • Visit the brand new Kids’ Gallery Just Like Me exhibition
  • Family-friendly films in Jackman Hall


  • Art-making activites
  • Meeting point for KGO Gallery tours
  • Built It and Take It Apart Room
  • Family yoga (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
  • Drop-in playtime for little ones in the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre

Don’t forget: Save $10 on the AGO Family Pass. For $39 a Family Pass admits two adults and up to five youths (ages 6 to 17). Children 5 and under are FREE.

March Break at the AGO: Itty bitty fun!

February 28th, 2013

The AGO is offering Toronto families nine days of fun this March Break, beginning Saturday, March 9. Inspired by the imaginative miniature sculptures of Kim Adams, the AGO offers children and families tons of ways to play, shop, eat and create. And all drop-in programs and activities are FREE with the price of admission.

March Break drop-in programs will run daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 9 to March 17. And because March Break only comes once a year, the AGO will remain open on Monday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering one extra day of fun for kids and parents in the Gallery. For updates on daily programming, follow the AGO on Facebook and Twitter.

This year’s theme is Itty Bitty Cities, and children and families can explore all things small from small ships to mini marvels throughout the Gallery including:

  • A Kim Adams kids activity guide and the miniature worlds and unbridled imagination of this acclaimed Canadian sculptor;
  • All-day play at the Imagination Playground in Walker Court, where kids can bend, stack and build giant blue blocks to create their own sprawling kingdoms;
  • All the art making supplies kids need to construct tiny additions to the AGO’s own itty bitty city, available in Walker Court;
  • Free family yoga classes at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. in the Weston Family Learning Centre on Monday, March 11, Wednesday, March 13, and Friday, March 15;
  • Kid-friendly tours of the Gallery, giving families a “kid’s eye view” of the AGO collection, leave hourly from Walker Court;
  • Extended hours at the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre (ages 5 and under), where the Gallery’s youngest visitors can make art, listen to stories and play dress up daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and
  • Screenings of art-inspired short films from the National Film Board all day long in Jackman Hall.

shopAGOkids is celebrating March Break with a variety of daily in-store events and promotions. Highlights include a book reading and signing on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. with the Governor General’s Award–winning children’s author Cybele Young. On Thursday, March 14, visitors can participate in a hands-on demonstration with neon graffiti pens, and on March 19 families can experience hands-on fashion demonstrations with stylists from Cool and Hot Duct Tape.

What’s happening in shopAGOkids during March Break? Click to expand.

Building miniature cities and shopping is hard work, so kids five and under always eat for free at caféAGO with the purchase of an adult meal. During March Break, FRANK Restaurant is offering families a special three-course prix-fix lunch for just $25. Members will get an extra 20 per cent off. FRANK will open for brunch on Monday, March 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with plenty of kids items on the menu. For reservations call 416.979.6680.