he Government of Ontario Art Collection

The Government of Ontario Art Collection


The Government of Ontario Art Collection was the first publicly funded art collection in Canada. Dating from 1853, it currently numbers over 2,700 original works of art. Many of these works can be found in Ontario’s Legislative Buildings in Toronto and in ministries and government offices throughout the city. A significant number are also located in over 30 towns and cities across the province. Broad in scope and eclectic in nature, the collection is made up of historical and contemporary paintings, works on paper, indoor and outdoor sculpture, official portraits and antique furnishings and decorative objects.

Opening Doors to the Government of Ontario Art Collection


The Archives of Ontario is launching a three-part video series introducing the public to the Government of Ontario Art Collection. We are proud to maintain and administer this incredible collection.

Kicking things off is Inside the Art Vault, with series host and curator Lani Wilson giving an overview of our collection, highlighting specific pieces, and offering a look into one of the Archives’ cutting-edge storage vaults.

This series is designed to enlighten online audiences about how pieces from this incredible collection are acquired, showcased, and protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

Click on the images below to view the videos.

Inside the Premier's Office


Click Here to Read the Video Transcripts

Art of the Lieutenant Governor's Suite


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Learn More About the Government of Ontario Art Collection


In 2005, members of the Ontario Society of Artists donated works to the Government of Ontario Art Collection. All the diverse works represent some aspect of Ontario as reflected through the eyes of its talented artists.
Explore a wide range of images of fine art collected over the last 150 years.