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Transformation AGO Project Fact Sheet

The Transformation AGO project builds on Ken Thomson’sunprecedented gift of art and funding, the commitment of other donors, thevital support of the provincial and federal governments and an innovative architecturalexpansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. 

The transformed AGO will integrate groundbreaking ideas about the many waysthat art and people can connect for powerful experiences. As one of the mostdistinguished art museums in North America, the transformed AGO will set thehighest standards for accessibility to all facets of the artistic experienceby providing unparalleled access to art display, programming, conservation,storage, creation and research. Visible walkways, extensive use of glass, andviews of the city and Grange Park will connect the city to the activity ofthe Gallery. The expansion will enlarge the AGO by 97,000 square feet and willincrease art-viewing space by 47 per cent. 

Total Project Cost:

  • $276 million

New Art: Thousands of Works Added to the AGO's Collection

  1. The Thomson Collection of signature works by Canadian artists such as Paul Kane, Tom Thomson, Cornelius Krieghoff and Lawren Harris
  2. Murray Frum’s spectacular gift of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s magnificent sculpture, Corpus
  3. The establishment of the David Milne Study Centre
  4. The Thomson Collection of European art featuring medieval, Renaissance and Baroque sacred and secular works, as well as an extraordinary collection of 18th and 19th century European portrait sculpture. Other highlights include Peter Paul Rubens’s recently rediscovered early 17th-century masterpiece, The Massacre of the Innocents
  5. The creation of a Gehry-designed centre for contemporary art
  6. Donations of landmark collections of photography
  7. Recent acquisitions of outstanding collections of historical African and Australian Aboriginal art
  8. The Fick-Eggert Archive of more than 300 works on paper and documents from the circle of early 20th century artists who comprised the avant-garde Cologne Dada group

New Building: Highlights of Frank Gehry’s Design for theAGO

  1. A new Dundas Street entrance aligned with Walker Court, the historic heart of the AGO, and The Grange, the Gallery’s first home
  2. An elegantly designed glass-and-wood façade that spans 600 feet along Dundas Street – from McCaul Street to Beverley Street – and rises 70 feet above street level. This façade is scaled to respect the neighbouring houses on Beverley and Dundas streets, and reconfigures the AGO’s streetscape
  3. A sculpture gallery that extends 450 feet along the north side of the building, enabling visitors to see out onto Dundas Street and passers by to see into the Gallery
  4. A new social gathering place situated at the corner of McCaul and Dundas streets, offering direct access from the street and operating at independent hours from the Gallery. This space will include a two-level gift and book shop, a fine dining restaurant, a casual café, the Jackman Hall lecture theatre, the members’ lounge and a free contemporary art space for new projects by emerging artists
  5. A new tinted titanium-and-glass  four-storey south wing overlooking Grange Park, which will house a centre for contemporary art and will offer one of the most beautiful event spaces in the city, featuring the inventive cuisine for which the AGO is already acclaimed
  6. A south façade that complements the new Ontario College of Art and Design building to the southeast, with both buildings framing Grange Park in a new and exciting way
  7. Extensive glazing on both the north and south façades, which will allow visitors to experience the surrounding cityscape from the Gallery interior
  8. A sculptural staircase that soars from the second floor, linking Walker Court to the new centre for contemporary art and the new event space
  9. The integration of natural light throughout the building, including a new glass roof over Walker Court and a light-filled walkway around its upper perimeter, bringing light into the core of the building

New Ideas: Bringing Vision to Life

  1. New transparency to art museum practices and operations that are traditionally behind the scenes, including visible art storage displays and conservation activities, as well as other forms of insight into the educational and research roles of the museum
  2. Newly designed educational programming for all ages featured throughout the galleries
  3. New media- and distance-learning labs that will provide content related to collections, programs, research and exhibitions delivered through gallery Web stations, study modules linked to school curriculum, online teacher training materials, and simulcast lectures and symposia
  4. Innovative displays of works of art with dynamic links to the Gallery’s extensive collection of artists’ archives

Building Facts

Overall Scale and Dimensions

  1. Overall building size increases by 20 per cent
  2. 190,000 net square feet of total renovated space
  3. 97,000 square feet newly built space
  4. Dundas Street façade spans 600 feet (the length of two football fields) and rises 70 feet above street level
  5. South elevation rises 140 feet from Grange Park and frames the AGO’s historic house, The Grange

Gallery Spaces

  1. Art viewing space increases by 47 per cent; total gallery space 129,000 net square feet
  2. Canadian galleries increase by 164 per cent
  3. Contemporary galleries increase by 40 per cent
  4. European galleries increase by 76 per cent
  5. Photography galleries increase by 242 per cent
  6. Prints and Drawings galleries increase by 241 per cent
  7. Free Contemporary Art Space, 700 square feet

Other Spaces

  1. Hosting Centre: 7,000 square feet
  2. AGO Restaurant: 3,091 square feet
  3. Gallery Shop: 7,525 square feet on 2 levels
  4. Norma Ridley Members’ Lounge: 1,006 square feet

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