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Visual Power : Top Five Art and Architectural Spaces in Toronto

We see with our eyes: they capture the beauty around us instantaneously. Sight is one of the most powerful senses because it immediately enthrals the viewer. We experience the world through sight. Nothing speaks to sight like art and architecture, visual showcases of power. Toronto, the largest city in Canada, houses a rich and diverse art scene. It spans through history: there are historic and contemporary masterpieces. Toronto is an impressive cultural centre. Let’s navigate some of the most beckoning spaces.


Photo by Darren Shaw, March 2008 https://www.flickr.com/photos/shawdm/2314929797/in/photolist-4wyBYH-4wzA6s

Royal Ontario Museum

The largest museum in Canada showcases national history and world cultures. It is a significant attraction because it is not limited to art. ROM is a diverse space, which holds six million objects and more than thirty galleries. ROM features art, archaeology, and natural science. Among its many artifacts are fossils, plants, jewellery, gems, stones, and paintings. ROM has world-culture galleries, national galleries, and hands-on interactive galleries. ROM’s current exhibitions include The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors; The Entire City Project (which explores every architectural layer of ROM); and James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. There is definitely something for everyone!


Photo by Tomatoes From Canada, February 2012 http://tomatoesfromcanada.blogspot.ca/2012_02_01_archive.html


Art Gallery of Ontario

The tenth largest art museum in North America, AGO showcases more than 40,000 works from all around the world. It is a historical tour, featuring masterpieces from 100 AD to the present. AGO recently expanded by 97,000 square feet, contributing to a 47 percent increase in art-viewing space. Its sheer magnitude invites curiosity. Among AGO’s collections are African and Oceanic, Canadian and European exhibits; Photography exhibit; Prints and Drawings exhibit; and Modern and Contemporary exhibit. AGO’s collections in focus feature Malcomson Collection (which spans the history of photography from the 1840s and includes photographs from significant time periods); David Milne Collection (which follows the career of this prominent Canadian painter and woodsman); and Google Art Project (which explores selected works). All in all, AGO is a great place to be.


Photo by Josh Fee for BizBash, June 2011 http://www.bizbash.com/party-took-power-plant-contemporary-art-gallery-power-plants/gallery/68763

Power Plant

This particular space features contemporary art; it’s innovative and diverse. Power Plant has a distinguished reputation for its phenomenal artistic culture and on-going efforts to advance public’s knowledge. Power Plant not only showcases paintings, but it features sculptures, photography and film. Founded in 1987, Power Plant has successfully strived to attract diverse audiences through exhibitions, publications and public programs. It is devoted to creating an artistic environment, which welcomes heterogeneous viewers. Among Power Plant’s recent exhibitions are Aakram Zaatari’s End of Time (which examines the relationship between individual experience, culture and political history); Pedro Reyes’s Sanatorium (performative project, which allows therapy sessions to cure ills inflicted by the life in the city); and Julia Dault’s Color Me Badd (a solo exhibition by the New York-based artist, which explores the tension between free expression and rules). Power Plant is an intriguing visual space.


Photo by Tourism Toronto, http://www.destination360.com/north-america/canada/toronto/yorkville


Located in the heart of Toronto, Yorkville now represents an upscale neighbourhood with numerous architectural gems: it is a place where the wealthy gather to shop and dine. Yorkville has an interesting history. It began as a residential suburb with bohemian culture of nightclubs and music, giving rise to now well-known stars like Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young. In the 1960s, it became home to contemporary art galleries (like Gallery Moos at the corner of Davenport and Avenue roads). In the 1980s, Yorkville rose as a prominent retail precinct, embodying international style and sophistication. It marked Toronto as a city of affluence. Now, Yorkville continues to invite international appeal with its arts and architecture. Among its famous gems are Yorkville Plaza, Cumberland Tower (Yorkville Plaza II), Four Seasons Hotel, and iconic apartment buildings.



Photo by Rediscover Ontario, June 2011 http://rediscovertorontofavouriteplaces.blogspot.ca/2011/06/philosophers-walk-at-university-of.html

University of Toronto

Green grass and long trees. University of Toronto Campus features old historic buildings, encapsulated by the vast green landscape. Many students and visitors like to walk around this immense, ornate campus. There is a particular spot dedicated to walking and contemplation: The Philosopher’s Walk has been a popular site for students and professors alike. It is a meandering green space, with recently installed Bennett gates at the walk’s southern entrance. It is lined with paving stones and two interpretive plaques, which explain the landscape’s origins. Other notable architectural gems are Hart House and University College. Hart House is an outstanding attraction and a wedding vendor: it is a beautiful structure with adjacent courtyard. The building features an expansive grand hall, ideal for reception. The Soldier’s Tower is a part of the building and it is an important historical remnant. Also, University College, established in 1853, is home to the oldest student government in Canada. It is a significant heritage building; its architectural style was heavily influenced by the elegance of art in Paris and France. University College was designated as national Historic Site of Canada. University of Toronto campus entices both students and the public.


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