Gardiner Museum

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Not to be confused with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Gardiner Museum
Established 1984
Location 111 Queen’s Park,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Type Museum of Ceramic Art
Director Alexandra Montgomery
Curator Charles Mason
Public transit access Museum subway station
Bay subway station

The Gardiner Museum is the only museum in Canada devoted exclusively to ceramic art. It is located on Queen’s Park just south of Bloor Street in Toronto, opposite the Royal Ontario Museum. The nearest subway station is Museum.


The museum was founded in 1984 by George R. Gardiner and his wife Helen Gardiner after negotions fell through with the Royal Ontario Museum to house their extensive ceramics collection.[1] Despite initial low attendance the Gardiner was eventually able to establish its presence. Funding in the early 2000nd's by a joint federal-provincial revitalization program assisted the Gardiner to become part of Toronto's 'cultural renaissance'.[1][2] The museum building was designed by Keith Wagland and has been described as a "jewel box of ceramic treasures".[3] The Gardiner Museum underwent a $20 million renovation, reopening in August 2006, with KPMB Architects (Kuwabara, Payne, McKenna and Blumberg) and was awarded the Pug Award in 2006 for Best Commercial Architecture.[4]

The purpose of the renovation and expansion in 2006 was to improve circulation, and increase space to showcase the permanent collections.

The structure is composed of a limestone clad façade with glazing and black granite columns and extends towards the street thereby making it more visible to pedestrians and making its presence obvious among the institutions along the street.


Its permanent collection of over 2,900 pieces, includes works from the Ancient Americas, Italian Renaissance, English Delftware, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, European porcelain, and a contemporary gallery. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum mounts three temporary exhibitions per year.


The museum offers programs and lectures. It has a clay studio in which clay classes for adults and children are provided.


The Museum is affiliated with the Canadian Museums Association, Canadian Heritage Information Network and the Virtual Museum of Canada.

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Coordinates: 43°40′05″N 79°23′35″W / 43.668163°N 79.393151°W / 43.668163; -79.393151