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The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto | © Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto | © Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
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5 Must-See Toronto Exhibitions this Spring

Picture of Emily Paskevics
Updated: 9 March 2017
As the first hints of the promise of spring after a long winter appear, the parks, patios, and Harbourfront of Toronto come to life again. As you start to make your outdoor warm-weather plans, make sure you don’t miss on the city’s most anticipated spring exhibitions. From natural history to Indigenous art, photography to the world of comic book heroes, here are five of Toronto‘s must-see exhibitions for Spring 2017.
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Toronto ComiCon (March 17–19, 2017)

With over 400 exhibitors spread across 150,000 square feet, Toronto ComiCon is a massive three-day celebration of comic book culture and entertainment. On one of Toronto’s biggest events of the spring, over 25,000 cosplayers, writers, fans, and sci-fi enthusiasts will rock the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in a super-sized celebration full of dynamic characters and creatures. ComiCon’s sibling event is Fan Expo Canada, also held at the Convention Centre (August 31–September 3, 2017).

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 222 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 585 8000

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Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story (March 14, 2017)

A beautiful and unusual exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) finally reveals the results of two years’ worth of painstaking preservation by ROM scientists. In 2014, nine rare blue whales perished from being trapped in ice off the Newfoundland coast, a loss that represented about three percent of the Northwest Atlantic’s entire blue whale population. Two of these whales washed ashore, offering a unique opportunity for research and conservation. After the intensive two-year process of preserving and preparing the whales’ eighty-foot skeletons, one of these awe-inspiring animals is ready to be displayed in ROM’s Out of the Depths exhibit.

Learn about blue whales’ incredible biology, massive hearts, communication, unusual feeding patterns, and evolution from land to sea. Find out how the ROM is studying the DNA of blue whales to discover more about these creatures, and gain insight into what is being done to protect declining populations of the world’s largest animal.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 586 8000

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Georgia O’Keeffe (April 22–July 30, 2017)

The Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition comes to the Art Gallery of Ontario in April, and it’s a rare opportunity to be immersed in this trailblazing artist’s iconic work. More than 80 of her artworks will be featured, shedding light on Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal connections to the landscapes and architecture that deeply influenced her style. In addition to her paintings, the exhibit will offer insight into O’Keeffe’s relationships with renowned photographers of the time – including Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, and Alfred Stieglitz. Adams’ beautiful views of the landscape of New Mexico – the place that so deeply inspired O’Keeffe – in addition to portraits and nudes of O’Keeffe by Stieglitz are further highlights. The AGO will be the exhibit’s only stop in North America, so don’t miss out on this enriching experience.

Art Gallery of Toronto, 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada,+1 416 979 6648

Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival (May 1–31, 2017)

Scotiabank CONTACT is a month-long photography festival across the Greater Toronto Area throughout May. Founded in 1997, CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating photography as an art and as a profession. With over 1,500 artists in 200 exhibitions and events in Greater Toronto, it’s the largest photography festival in the world. CONTACT showcases a diverse range of photo-based works by Canadian and international artists in a variety of venues, from the city’s major museums to private galleries, as well as in alternative spaces: billboards, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and the façades of significant buildings around the city. The complete programming information will be released on April 1 – make sure to stay up to date!

Sneak peak of Nat Brunt's exhibition #shaheed. Join us Thursday eve for the opening!

A post shared by CONTACT Photography Festival (@contactphoto) on

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Anishinaabeg: Art & Power (June 17, 2017)

Opening in June, Anishinaabeg: Art & Power at the ROM will trace the artistic evolution of one of North America’s most populous and diverse Indigenous communities. From their homeland in Ontario, Anishinaabeg communities extend from Quebec to Alberta, Michigan to Montana. Following their forms of artistic expression through the past two centuries, this exhibit reveals Anishinaabeg traditions and sacred stories, offering insight into the relationships between humans, their ancestors, nature, ceremony, and spirits. Explore the beauty and power of the Anishinaabeg artistic tradition from early intricate beaded regalia to drawings and paintings from the Woodlands School art movement.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 586 8000