Canadian art and stories – through a distinctly Canadian art experience.
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection offers its visitors a unique experience. From the art on its walls to the surrounding landscape, the McMichael provides an introduction to Canada’s art, art making and artists.
Renowned for collecting only Canadian art, the McMichael permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art.
The gallery welcomes on average 100,000 visitors annually. On average, 30,000 students and educators from more than 40 school boards and private schools visit the McMichael during the school year. In addition, the McMichael welcomes adults, families, and youth to programs and activities from lecture and film series to studio classes and summer art camps.
Designed in a modernist idiom, and built of fieldstone and hand-hewn logs, the McMichael houses thirteen exhibition galleries where floor-to-ceiling windows enable visitors to enjoy views of the densely wooded Humber River Valley. Beyond the galleries the McMichael provides 100 acres of forested land, from a ridgetop ‘wilderness garden,’ planted by the McMichaels to echo the northern forest beloved of the Group of Seven, to the heritage waterway important to Aboriginal peoples.
Through a network of outdoor paths and hiking trails, visitors can explore the newly installed Sculpture Garden as well as the unique McMichael Cemetery where six Group of Seven members and gallery founders Robert and Signe McMichael have been laid to rest.
The McMichael displays a wide range of exhibitions each year, curated from the collections or borrowed from other major institutions. The McMichael is a Category A gallery, and adheres to the highest standards of environmental and security norms for the protection of the works of art on display.
The McMichael is engaged in the creation of a Master Plan to guide its development in the long term. The principles on which that plan is based are:
The Master Plan can enhance the cultural landscape of the McMichael, by reshaping and balancing the relationship between the rich physical resources of the site, and the rituals of awareness, appreciation and creativity. The intent of this rebalancing is to strengthen the place of the McMichael in the cultural imagination of people in Canada and around the world.
The McMichael is committed to ensuring environmental sustainability and reducing its impact on the environment, as evidenced by its installation of interior and exterior LED lighting, solar panels, high efficiency/low flow washroom fixtures, and its use of energy efficient equipment and green cleaning products throughout the facility.
The McMichael believes strongly in design for all and is working towards creating inclusive grounds and interiors.
While not on Aboriginal lands, the McMichael experience is understood in relation to the Humber River and is informed by an Aboriginal perspective of place.