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Gardiner Goes Outside

Until September 6, 2021

Free all summer!

We believe that a museum is more than a building—it’s a community.

This summer, the Gardiner is breaking down barriers and moving beyond traditional museum spaces to increase access. We’ve reimagined the Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski Plaza and the Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney Community Clay Studio to create outdoor space for creativity and connection. Join us for pop-up window exhibitions, public art projects, family clay activities, outdoor dining, wellness workshops, performances, and more.

It’s time to rebuild and reconnect. And it starts with art. All summer. All free.

Discover art on the plaza

Audio Tour
Discover pop-up window exhibitions, works of public art, special commissions by local artists, and more on the Linda Frum and Howard Sokolowski Plaza. Look for the labels with the audio guide symbol to access the tour right from your smart phone, or click here to listen now.

Portico Gallery
Sponsored by Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC
Civic Engagement
Ceramics has long been a platform for expressing civic identity. The historical and contemporary works on view in this mini exhibition complement the Museum’s public art project with No.9, an arts organization that uses art and design to bring awareness to environmental concerns. Each of the objects represents a form of civic engagement through the medium of clay, including works by Jeannot Blackburn,  Jack Earl, and Walter Ostrom, as well as examples of 17th-century English and Chinese pottery.

Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney Window Gallery
Habiba El-Sayed: Fragile Plane
This mini exhibition by Toronto-based artist Habiba El-Sayed features works of layered acrylic and clay that symbolize how computer and mobile phone screens, which have served as the only medium of contact for many over the last year, both unite and separate us. The shapes draw from traditional Egyptian water jars, flattened as if appearing on a screen, while also holding the material of raw clay, or earth.

Dine at Clay Restaurant

Make a reservation

Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 10 am – 4 pm

Enjoy lunch among the art. Snack on confit chicken baos, smash burgers, fresh pasta, house-made donuts, and more at Clay Restaurant, including our outdoor terraces overlooking Queen’s Park. Check out our new summer menu

You can also order takeout right to the plaza! Look for more details on site or visit clay.restaurant.

Create with clay

Join us on the plaza for free outdoor family clay workshops, Wednesday – Sunday. Outdoor activities are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and will be moved indoors in the event of rain or inclement weather. Click here to see the full schedule of events.

Clay Bird Making
Sponsored by David Staines & Noreen Taylor
Wednesday – Friday from 1 – 3:30 pm
Take part in a drop-in clay bird making activity on the Gardiner Plaza, part of artist David Constantino Salazar’s project Forever (Bird-Botanicals). Open to adults and children.

Family Days
Sponsored by Mary Janigan & Tom Kierans
Sundays from 11 am – 3 pm
Get the family together for outdoor art-making on the Gardiner Plaza, with new activities and themes each week.

Play Date
Sponsored by Weston Family Foundation
Wednesday – Saturday from 10 am – 12 pm
Join us on the Gardiner Plaza for a kid-friendly colouring activity inspired by our collaboration with No.9 Contemporary Art + Environment.

Engage online

In addition to our onsite events, we’ll continue to offer free digital programs.

Our sponsors

Thank you to our visionary sponsors for helping us build community with clay.

Presenting Partners
David Staines & Noreen Taylor
Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC
Mary Janigan & Tom Kierans

Supporting Partners
Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney
Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski
Weston Family Foundation

Thanks To
The Citrine Foundation
HUB International
Margaret McCain
Andre Morriseau
Rosemary Phelan
Diana Reitberger