We’ll have a more in-depth look later this week at the new and improved Art Gallery of Ontario, which reopens Friday, with three days of free admission, after architect Frank Gehry’s $254-million facelift. But a quick peek during an AGO members’ preview reveals a lot of last-minute construction work going on, and a couple of art installations still in the process of being installed. Visitors today weren’t able to cross the soaring Walker Court or explore its serpentine walkway, or stroll along the Galleria Italia—the stunning glass-walled promenade that runs the full length of the AGO’s Dundas-Street side and was having some teething troubles last week with cracking panes.
There’s a less-extravagant serpentine ramp from the lobby up to the ticket counter. And, everywhere you look, the inviting glow of Douglas fir. No doubt about it, Gehry—a native of Toronto, as we’re forever being reminded—has given us a gallery to be proud of; world-class in every way but also, somehow, unmistakably Canadian. That’s if the work crews can only get the final few nails hammered in and the last lick of paint slapped on before the doors open to a curious public.
Photos by Bill Taylor/Torontoist