Never before; never again – the AGO extends holiday hours to offer last chance to see Early Rubens

shopAGO open Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 for last-minute gifting; AGO open daily from Boxing Day to January 5, 2020

TORONTO –  It’s Toronto’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the exhibition that brings together 30 masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens for the first – and possibly last – time in history. Just in time for the holidays, the AGO is extending its hours to offer visitors even more chances to experience the critically acclaimed Early Rubens. Featuring larger-than-life scenes from mythology, history and the Bible, many masterpieces are on loan from some of the world’s biggest museums – like Triptych of Christ on the Straw from Antwerp, which has never come to North America and likely will never again, due to its fragility. The exhibition must close on Jan. 5, 2020, with the works returning to their home museums.

Timed-entry tickets can be reserved online now at The exhibition is free for AGO Members, Annual Passholders and visitors 25 and under.

The AGO will be open on the following holidays in addition to a special Monday opening:

December 24 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
December 25 (closed)
December 26 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
December 30 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
December 31 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
January 1       10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Looking for that artful surprise that would make the perfect gift? shopAGO is open Monday, Dec. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. and Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop re-opens on Dec. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to a range of gifts for friends and family members of all ages, the AGO offers gift Memberships and gift Annual Passes.

Feeling inspired? Or simply need to get out of the house? This holiday season the AGO offers the perfect escape with Rubens-inspired life drawing in Walker Court. Materials are provided at this daily free event, and a live model will be present from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 26 and 28, 2019.

The Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre, located in the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre, welcomes the festive season with extended hours. Free for children ages five and under, the Hands-On Centre is open on Dec. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m, but will be closed on Dec. 25. Beginning on Dec. 26 and into the New Year, the Centre will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

AGO Family Sundays are full of topsy-turvy fun this holiday season. On Sunday, Dec. 23 and Sunday. Dec. 29, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visitors of all ages are invited to create “twisty” paper art and catch a screening of the 1969 short film TOPS by Charles Eames. Family Sunday programs are free for Members, Annual Passholders and everyone 25 and under.

AGO Bistro jumps into the season on Dec. 24 with lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m. Closed on Dec. 25, the Bistro re-opens on Dec. 26 for lunch from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and resumes regular hours on Dec. 27. Ring in the New Year in style with AGO Bistro’s New Year’s Day Brunch. For reservations, please call 416-979-6688 or book a table online at OpenTable.

For a full listing of AGO hours and events, visit

For more information about programs in December, visit

Early Rubens is organized in partnership with the Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco (FAMSF).


Lead Support
Hans & Susan Brenninkmeyer

Generous Support
Robert Harding & Angel Yang

With Assistance
The General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA

Government Partner
Government of Canada

Media Partner
The Globe and Mail


Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 5.9 million, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the largest art museums in North America. The AGO Collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, taking special care to showcase diverse and underrepresented artists. Its 585,000 square foot building was most recently expanded in 2008 by Frank Gehry, and attracts approximately one million visits per year. A new pricing model launched in May 2019 offers all visitors 25 and under free, unlimited admission; a $35 Annual Pass includes entry for an entire year. Visit to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.


For hi-res images and other press inquiries, please contact:

Michael Watkins; Public Relations Officer
[email protected]

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