There’s no better way to spend a chilly winter day in Toronto than by dipping into one of the city’s stunning museums for a little arts and culture. Fall and winter exhibits have now opened across the city, dedicated to variety of different themes and mediums. Plus, one of the biggest contemporary pop artist makes his debut in Toronto. Read on for the latest art happenings and exhibits in Toronto this winter.
1. Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The Royal Ontario Museum’s annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit will open on November 25. Back for its ninth year, the exhibit features 100 images selected from thousands of submissions by photographers of all ages and skill levels from around the world. Visitors can view remarkable photographs of categories ranging from animal portraits to underwater. General admission tickets to this winter exhibit are $26 if you purchase online in advance.
Where: The Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park, Toronto)
2. Jurassic World The Exhibition
Come face-to-face with the towering Brachiosaurus, challenge the terrifying Indominus Rex, pet little dinosaurs, and excavate fossils at the Hammonds Creation Lab… Jurassic World: The Exhibition this winter. This immersive experience is the perfect chance to channel your inner paleontologist and has been extended in Mississagua through January 3rd at the Square One Shopping Centre. Grab your tickets today.
Where: 100 City Centre Dr, Mississauga
3. Keith Haring: Art Is For Everybody
Featuring over 120 artworks and archival materials from the late artist’s expansive collection, head to the Art Gallery of Ontario to admire Haring’s signature use of vibrant colours, linework, and iconic characters. Running from November 8 through March 17, 2024, you’ll find the exhibit’s only Canadian stop on Level 4 of the AGO. General admission prices are $30 per person, or you can visit for free on Wednesdays between 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas St W, Toronto)
4. Winter Wonderland Spectacular
Immerse yourself in a magical 360-degree interactive holiday-themed experience at Illuminarium’s Winter Wonderland Spectacular. Brilliant video projections transport you through a changing winter wonderland, including a whirling snowstorm, Santa’s palace, and the glowing Northern Lights. You won’t have to worry about the cold, as the entire exhibit is set indoors right in The Distillery District, running during their annual Winter Village. Winter Wonderland Spectacular kicks off on November 24, with tickets priced at $35.
Where: 28 Gristmill Lane, Toronto
5. Holiday Night of Lights
Returning to the city for its fourth year on December 1, you’ll once again get to marvel at the over 1.5 million animated twinkling LED lights at the Holiday Night of Lights. Synchronized to quintessential festive tunes, walk through giant Christmas ornaments and dazzling tunnels before exploring the Market, where you’ll find artisan vendors and delicious food trucks. Tickets are priced at $19.99 for adults.
Where: 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan
The old Nordstrom at the Eaton Centre has been transformed into a magical and interactive exhibit that pays homage to the wonderful seasons of Canada. See, hear, and experience a multi-sensory art installation that details the history and nature of Canada. One exhibit displays a stunning light rendition of the Aurora Borealis while another showcases a myriad of art by seven different Indigenous artists. Best of all, the exhibit is free to attend. Since it’s winter, you’ll also get a chance to check out the city’s largest Christmas Tree starting November 15th.
Where: 220 Yonge St, Toronto
While the subject of death may not be a buzzing topic for the wintertime, on the opposite spectrum of death is life, both of which are examined at this exhibit that recently opened at the Royal Ontario Museum. On display until April 7th, 2024, this thought-provoking exhibit examines the larger questions surrounding life’s one absolute through artifacts, specimen, and immersive media experiences. Tickets cost $26.00 for non-members and is free for members of the ROM.
Where: 100 Queens Park, Toronto
Inspired by the colors and funky tunes of the 80s? This recently opened winter exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum examines the iconic decade through the lens of footwear. The exhibit is on until March 16th 2024. Some exhibit highlights include some of the most popular shoes from around the world at the time, like the Italian Gucci Loafers, the American PONY sneakers, and the Canadian John Fleuvog winklepickers worn by goths. Throughout the month they’re also hosting 80s-themed events like a Vinly Paint night, screening of Die Hard considered a cult Christmas classic, and 80s Trivia.
Where: 327 Bloor St W, Toronto
8. KAWS: Family
An artist that’s skyrocketing in popularity, Brooklyn-based Brian Donnelly is one of the most popular contemporary artists today. From now until March 31, 2024, you can check out KAWS at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) with over 70+ works, one of which is a augmented reality installation. And of course, his most popular pieces, pop culture character look-a-likes with ‘X’s marked for the eyes, will be on full display.
Where: 317 Dundas St W, Toronto
9. Apanaki Temitayo
Nia Centre for the Arts is a new centre dedicated to showcasing Black artists. Their mission is to “provide opportunities for Afro-diasporic to gain new skills, hone their creative practice, and push their creative limits” through programs, residencies, and workshops. They’re now showcasing their fall Artist in Residency, Apanaki Temitayo, a talented textile artist until December 31st. Head to Little Jamaica to see this amazing new cultural space.
Where: 524 Oakwood Ave, Toronto, ON M6E 2X1
10. Winter Stations
This exhibit doesn’t take place until farther into the winter season, but Winter Stations on display at Woodbine Beach is a must-see. The project was launched in 2014 in which the art and design community would re-design the lifeguard stations along the beach for the winter season. For more of what to expect, check out the past archive.
Where: 1675 Lake Shore Blvd E, Toronto