The Best of Art and Culture in Toronto
Collected by Natalie Taylor , AFAR Local Expert
Culture lovers won’t have time to sleep once they hit the Toronto pavement. Not only are institutes like the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) filled with major works of art, street art is everywhere—take a guided tour of Toronto’s colorful back alleys. Toronto is known, too, for its arts, music, dance, and film festivals. For an authentic taste of a city so rich in culture, check the calendar and catch whatever's playing in town.
234 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5K 1B2, Canada
This three-legged dining chair designed in 1958 by Stefan Siwinski Designs and Korina Designs is one of 950 items in the collection of the Design Exchange. This innovative museum devoted to Canadian industrial ingenuity is housed in the old ...
77 Wynford Dr, North York, ON M3C 1K1, Canada
The Aga Khan himself suggested to award-winning architect Fumihiko Maki that an appropriate inspiration for the design of his museum would be the element of light. The result is a building in which light, both direct and diffuse, pours in all day...
327 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada
The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to the history of footwear through the ages. And what a spectacular history! After one visit, you'll be able to distinguish Rajasthani mojaris from chopines, the platform shoes worn by...
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada
Frank Gehry was born in Toronto, but his dramatic 2008 renovation and expansion of this Beaux-Arts museum was his first Canadian commission. He first discovered art on childhood visits to its vast collection, which...
80 Spadina Ave #207, Toronto, ON M5V 2J4, Canada
Every May, Toronto’s museums, galleries and cafes are transformed into photography exhibitions centred around a unifying theme. Best of all, the exhibitions are free, making this a fun way to explore Toronto’s neighborhoods, whether by bike or via...
145 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 4G1, Canada
Opened in 2006, the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts right in the crux of downtown at Queen and University is a gorgeous forum for performances from the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company (COC). For those looking for a...
60 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, Canada
Home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, this curved glass building is also a premiere venue for the Toronto International Film Festival. During the year, this iconic building in Toronto serves as concert showcase and special event venue. National...
506 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y3, Canada
Hot Docs is a Canadian International Documentary Festival as well as the largest documentary festival and conference in North America. More than 180 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and globally are selected by the committee. Through its...
688 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1C5, Canada
The “fringe movement” is a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals. As the name suggests, the movement is about celebrating under-represented voices and those on the margins of the performing arts world. As a result, the shows are a result of...
100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, Canada
The Cavalcade of Lights, held at Toronto's City Hall near the end of every November is the inauguration of the holiday season. The Christmas Tree (or Holiday Tree, as some in our politically correct city call it) is lit and the skating rink opens....
229 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1R4, Canada
The Tour Guys take you on a guided tour of Toronto's Graffiti Alley. As you wind through the alley as well as other points of graffiti in back areas of downtown, you'll get an overview of the history and language of graffiti. It's a great insight...
115 Danforth Ave #302, Toronto, ON M4K 1N2, Canada
June is one of the best months to be in Toronto and for more incentive to visit, check out one of the best music festivals in North America. Toronto's version of SXSW, NXNE or North by Northeast, is an interactive festival of music, film, and...
243 X Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8, Canada
List this under "very cool installations." The best part about the "wavedeck" is that you can slide on it (because you know you want to). It's a great, interactive gathering place at water's edge, and it plays on that theme in a whimsical way.
550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8, Canada
The Evergreen Brick Works, a reclaimed quarry in the lush Don Valley, is a showcase for sustainable and green living, as well as for urban design. A community has been established in thisonce-derelict industrial site and former landfill. Toronto’s...
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5, Canada
Home of the Toronto Film Festival, as well as other visual arts celebrations, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is a building dedicated to Toronto's film world. Theaters, libraries, galleries, offices, lecture halls, as well as a swank members' lounge and...
260 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1H9, Canada
The Royal Alexandra Theatre—or the Royal Alex, as it’s known—is a pretty spiffy affair. The newly restored 1907 Beaux-Arts triumph is, in fact, North America’s first properly royal theater. It gained its title thanks...
178 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1T7, Canada
Massey Hall is one of Canada’s most important concert halls. Averitable encyclopedia of musicaltalent has played here, including Enrico Caruso, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Igor Stravinsky, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, George Gershwin,...
189 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1M4, Canada
It’s not often that one comes across a double-decker theater. In fact, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre is the only still-active stacked theater, and has been designated a National Historic Site. Built in 1913 by American...
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