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Culture Comes Alive in the Arts, Ontario, Canada

Ontario has no shortage of cultural centers to visit. Here are a few to check out when you're in the area.

Harbourfront Centre is non-profit cultural center located on a 10-acre site along Toronto's waterfront. Take a class like an intro jewelry-making course, enjoy a visual arts exhibition, or even take their paddle boats for a ride on beautiful Natrel Pond.

If you're a sports fan, visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto or The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Mary's. Learn the history of the games and check out fascinating memorabilia like The Stanley Cup.

The National Arts Centre is a performing arts center and an educational outlet for Canadian artists. Get tickets for a dance performance, orchestra or a dramatic play. No matter what performance you decide to check out, you’re in for a cultural treat at this historic landmark which is a star in itself in Toronto.

Another famous Toronto concert hall with a distinctive building is Roy Thompson Hall. Visit this space to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or an indie film if that's more your thing.

Catch a concert at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts hosting impressive soundtrack concerts from top movies like Jurassic Park and Harry Potter. Join a standing ovation at a live performance by The Motion Picture Symphony Orchestra.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest galleries in North America. They feature modern exhibits and also house works dating back to the first century.

Another one worth visiting is the National Gallery of Canada. Even if you just go for the view alone, you’ll feel like it’s already an attraction and that’s because the glass building faces Parliament Hill. Inside you’ll find a collection including everything from indigenous art to breathtaking modern photography.

If you came to Toronto to laugh, check out their upcoming shows at Sudbury Theatre Centre with a hilarious lineup of comedy series.  

A unique artsy spot to visit in Toronto is the Bata Shoe Museum. Their collection includes Chinese foot binding shoes and the high heels of modern day celebs. With more than 13,000 pairs it's a must-see for shoe lovers and those who enjoy the unusual.

Gardiner Museum has a ton of exhibitions, classes, and events all centered around one medium; clay.  Go to see artifacts, modern sculptures or to get your hands dirty while learning something new.

If you have a train loving kid (or adult!) in your family, visit the Halton County Radial Railway –a railway museum in Milton, Ontario or Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum. Both of these places give you the opportunity to get up close to historic trains.

Explore the city of Kenora and visit the award-winning Lake of the Woods Museum while you’re there. This small museum documents the history of the surrounding area.

Mineral enthusiasts will get a kick out of the Miller Museum of Geology in Kingston. Here you can see fossils, minerals, and their fascinating dinosaur exhibit.

The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto covers natural history, art and, culture. This large museum is housed in a stunning landmark on Bloor Street called The Crystal. You'll know it when you see it.

Harbourfront Centre

Located on the Inner Harbour in downtown Toronto, Harbourfront Centre is an exhibition centre, performing arts venue, art gallery and overall host of a wide array of Toronto events.

Set on the Toronto waterfront, the Harbourfront Centre was established in 1991, and currently works with nearly 500 local organizations. Seating up to 2,000 people, the centre hosts annual events like the International Festival of Authors and Annual Vegetarian Food Festival, plus summer camps, dance workshops, and more.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Hosting more than 300,000 visitors each year, the Hockey Hall of Fame is located in the Bank of Montreal building in downtown Toronto, Ontario. Originally established by James T. Sutherland, the hall now honors National Hockey League and other North American and international league players, including Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzke.

Visitors to the Hockey Hall of Fame enjoy interactive exhibits like the NHLPA Be A Player Zone and Source For Sports Shoot Out, while the MCI Great Hall holds the Hall of Fame's centerpiece, The Stanley Cup.

National Arts Centre

A national Historic Site of Canada, the National Arts Centre is located between Elgin Street and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario. Designed by Fred Lebensold, the building has four stages: The Theatre, Studio, The Fourth Stage and Southam Hall.

Southern Hall, the largest stage with over 2,300 seats, is the home of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, one of the world's leading orchestras, as well as the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and Opera Lyra Ottawa. The venue also hosts ballet and other visiting productions, making it a must-see attraction for Ottawa visitors seeking fine arts and culture.

Roy Thomson Hall

The home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall is a landmark of downtown Toronto, Ontario. Completed in 1982 and renovated in 2002 to improve acoustics, the hall takes its name as thanks for the donations the family of Roy Thomson – the founder of the publishing giant, Thomson Corporation.

Roy Thomson Hall now hosts many gala screenings each year and is one of the main venues used by the Toronto International Film Festival. Shots of the concert hall can be seen in the first of the X-Men films and it is also featured in the documentary, Toronto Architecture.

With its unique, circular architecture and its impressive, built-in pipe organ, Roy Thomson Hall is a must-see for Toronto visitors seeking arts and culture.

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Toronto is home to a rich landscape of premier attractions. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Toronto, hosts a wonderful variety of year-round entertaining performances. Plan a special evening out with a group of family or friends by attending your favourite performance at the centre. Cap off a wonderful evening, by enjoying a delicious meal made by the centre's Executive Chef.

Let this exceptional Toronto-area performing arts centre host your next special event and let the staff take care of the details.The centre is easily accessible to the GO train station, as well as to the TTC subway line. Those driving to the centre will find plenty of parking on Scott Street and on the Esplanade.