The 10 must-see art shows in Toronto this fall

Fall is one of the best times of year to be an art lover in Toronto. Not only was there the city’s largest gala in the form of Art Toronto, there’s also a host of spectacular work on display in galleries both big and small across the city. It’s time to embrace sweater weather and embark on some serious gallery-hopping. 

Here are the top 10 must-see art shows in Toronto this fall. 

Hito Steyerl: This is the Future

Oct. 24, 2019 – Feb. 23, 2020 at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Through a unique blend of pop cultural images, documentary footage and computer-animated sequences, this exhibit provides a humorous and frightening glimpse into what our future might look like. 

Age of You 

Sept. 5, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art

This exhibit is about you. Or all of us, really. Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans-Ulrich Obrist explore the ways that social media impacts our psyches and shapes our lives. Based on their forthcoming book, The Extreme Self, and interspersed with film, photography, fashion, sculpture and installations by 70 international artists, this exhibit asks us to question our digital lives. 

“A Like Vision:” The Group of Seven at 100

Jan. 25, 2020 – December 2020 at the McMichael Canadian Collection 

This is an homage to the Group of Seven’s very first formal exhibit at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now the AGO) in 1920. With over 280 artworks, the collection includes many major works and some lesser-known pieces. 

Toronto Biennial of Art

Sept. 21, 2019 – Dec. 1, 2019 along Toronto’s waterfront.

The first of its kind in Canada, this new international contemporary visual arts festival provides 72 days of free exhibits, talks, and performances. This cross-disciplinary festival explores the theme: shoreline dilemmas with over 100 installations and artworks across the city.



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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Nov. 23, 2019 – March 29, 2020 at the Royal Ontario Museum

Returning to the ROM for the seventh year is the most popular exhibit and prestigious nature photography competition in the world. It features new photographs from across the globe, capturing breathtaking images of wildlife and remote landscapes. The member preview is on Nov. 22nd and 23rd. 

Over the Blue 

Nov. 7 – 21, 2019 at the Bau-Xi Gallery 

Prominent Canadian photographer Joshua Jensen-Nagle is known for his large scale photographs, old European landmarks, and beach series. His photographs give you a sense of being far away. 

The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in Africa

Sept. 11 – Dec. 8, 2019 at the Ryerson Image Centre

Revisiting a history of African photographic portraiture through the female gaze, this exhibit features works by contemporary artists, as well as 1950s portraits, and nineteenth century prints, postcards and albums. 



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Weather Amnesia 

Sept. 18 – June 26, 2020 at Art Museum (University of Toronto)

As climate change becomes more and more prevalent, this exhibit explores the ways weather patterns have impacted societies historically and asks us to reflect on how these changes will affect our future. Included in the collection is a Live Bird Migration Map and a hygrothermograph.

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa

Sept. 21 – February 2020 at the Aga Khan Museum

Drawing on recent archeological discoveries, this collection offers a look at historical fragments that have been discovered in African trading centres. It tells a story of the kinds of trading that was going on during the time. Some of the pieces featured are being shown for the first time in North America. 


Nov. 2 – 21, 2019 at the Ingram Gallery. Artist’s Opening Reception on Nov. 2 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Canadian painter, Jane Everette, explores the interface of natural and urban landscapes. This collection of new works are almost abstract and inspired by the idea of searching for what is always out of reach but also propels us forward. 

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