Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love the Place You Live - McMichael Gallery in Toronto

I live on the outskirts of Toronto and love playing tourist in my own city - there are so many interesting things to do and places to visit. I've actually already written about a few of the fun things there are to do in these posts:

 Just in case you are planning a visit to our fair city I thought I would show you another of the places I really enjoy here in Toronto.  

Today I went with some friends to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg Ontario, just north of Toronto.  

It is a unique art gallery because it specializes in art by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, and their contemporaries.  The Group of Seven were a group of landscape painters (1920 to 1933) who formed Canada's first major art movement. I think one of the reasons the Group of Seven is truly beloved here in Canada is that they capture the wild look of Canada so well.  The pictures below are some examples of the art on display.

Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson
Arthur Lismer
J.E.H. MacDonald
A.Y. Jackson
Franklin Carmichael
Tom Thomson
Lawren Harris
The McMichael art gallery's building is a magnificent structure made of timber and stone and located in a hundred acres of conservation land.  Nothing could look more Canadian than this building set on the side of a wooded ravine.

The foyer is an enormous gathering space constructed of huge timbers with a beautiful wood paneled ceiling supported by large stone and timbered walls.

There are windows throughout the gallery looking out into the woods or across the ravine.

Unfortunately there are no photos allowed in the gallery itself, which always makes me sad.  I have a terrible memory and although I bought postcards and cards of all the pictures I could, there were many others I wanted to remember, but no cards were available.

Do you love going to the gift shop as much as I do?  I always have to have a look after visiting a museum or art gallery.

There is a sculpture garden amongst the trees near the McMichael - this carved piece of granite is my favourite.

And perched on the edge of the ravine is Tom Thomson's shack (you can see some of Tom Thomson's art above).  The shack was reconstructed from the one he used in Toronto during the coldest part of the winter - he really preferred to be up north living in the bush and out in his canoe which was where he spent most of the year.

Inside the shack is a studio at one end and a living/kitchen room with a loft bed at the other.  It looked pretty cozy to me.

I loved the McMichael art gallery's motto that they have on their entrance sign.   

This is one place I love to explore - it definitely is intriguing, inviting, and inspiring.

(the pictures of the paintings are courtesy of the McMichael's website)

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Linked to Love the Place You Live at Design Mom


  1. It's great that you're getting out there and enjoying what your city has to offer. I find that the only time I visit interesting places in Ottawa is when we have visitors who want to check them out.

    The building really is fantastic and very much Canadian :-) And the artwork is beautiful too. Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. I love the work of the Group of Seven. You are so lucky to have this gallery so close by.

  3. My husband is gonna love this! He is a plain air artist and we are always inspired by other artists. I can't wait to tell him about this and make it a stop when we visit his family in Toronto.

  4. I always get the sads when there's no photography allowed as well! Loving those last shots - how great would it be to have a 'cabin of one's own'?

  5. What an amazing setting for a museum!

  6. What a great tour! I sure hope I can visit your area someday.

  7. You realise that you are making me miss Toronto even more!!! I love all of the galleries and museums in and around Toronto. The outdoors are fab here in Vancouver but there's nothing like the arts and culture in TO....Thanks for the good memories...

  8. So glad to know about The Group of Seven! Also, I really connected with the piece you posted by Arthur Lismer.

  9. thanks so much for showing your the divine area you live- and all the art love it.