Culture - Toronto - Travel | Monocle

Paradise on Bloor, Bloorcourt Village

Toronto’s cinematic pedigree, thanks to the annual Toronto International Film Festival and the large number of major productions filmed in the city, is well-chronicled. But the city’s year-round appetite for films is catered to by the fine roster of independent neighbourhood cinemas dotted right across the city – from the charming Fox Theatre in the east to the community-run Revue Cinema in the west. The newest addition is Paradise on Bloor, a 1937 art deco theatre that reopened in 2019 after a thoughtful, years-long restoration. Independent films share the schedule with classics and international titles. Pre- or post-film dinner and drinks are available at its in-house dining room, Rialto, or at its lobby bar.


Art Gallery of Ontario, Chinatown

The Art Gallery of Ontario (originally the Art Museum of Toronto) boasts one of the largest collections in North America, although only a fraction of its 90,000 pieces are on show at a time. The extensive displays range from painting and photography to sculpture, not to mention Canada’s largest archive of African art. As well as an excellent schedule of visiting shows, the great appeal is the Canadian collection. The biggest in the country, it includes fine paintings by the celebrated Group of Seven.

In 2008 the gallery underwent an extensive renovation by US-Canadian architect Frank Gehry, whose curved wood-and-glass façade spans an entire city block. His swirling wooden central staircase inside the museum has become a landmark in its own right. The gallery reopened to members and pass holders in July.

317 Dundas Street West, M5T 1G4
+1 416 979 6648

Aga Khan Museum, Flemingdon Park

When the Aga Khan wrote to Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki asking him to design a museum around the concept of light, Maki responded in striking style. Built 45-degrees to true north so that daylight can stream into the galleries, the museum’s walls are of luminous white Brazilian granite, set around a traditional four-part garden with reflective pools to mirror the sky. The museum is dedicated to the arts of the Islamic world with a permanent collection of 1,000 objects spanning more than 10 centuries.

77 Wynford Drive, M3C 1K1
+1 416 646 4677

Images: Alamy, Janet Kimber, 

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