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Gardiner Goes Outside

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
Food Security
Ceramics has long been central to the preparation, presentation, and
preservation of food. From casseroles to fermentation pots, water jugs to coffee mugs, ceramic forms and technologies have developed in large part to accommodate our eating habits. Discover historical and contemporary objects from the collection that comment on our relationship to food, including works by Victor Cicansky, Roger Aksadjuak, Peter Gboko, David Gilhooly, and Janet Macpherson.

Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney Window Gallery
Dream Together
This mini exhibition features three works by Hamilton-based ceramic artist Marissa Y Alexander. Alexander’s large-scale vessels embody a full and generous spirit, with rounded curves and undulating profiles. Her surfaces are equally exuberant, with figures approaching each other in joyful, dream-like encounters.

Dine at Clay Restaurant

Make a reservation

Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Saturday & 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 cancelled 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.

Virtual Artist Demo: Habiba El-Sayed
Thursday August 12 at 1 pm
Free registration

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

We're open from Wednesday - Sunday with free admission, hands-on activities, dining, shopping, and more!Learn more