Originally opened in 1975 and formerly called the Macdonald Block Gallery in the heart of Queen’s Park, the seat of the Government of Ontario in Toronto, Canada. Due to fiscal restraints, the gallery was directed to close, but due to the efforts of Canada’s legacy art societies – Ontario Society of Artists (OSA), Sculptors Society of Canada (SSC), the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSPWC), the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA), and the Ontario Crafts Council, the gallery re-opened as an independent not for profit organization in 1985. The gallery was named the John B. Aird Gallery in honour of the 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (1980-1985) and his support for arts and culture.
The John B. Aird Gallery is one of the few remaining public art galleries in Toronto. For over 30 years we have been connecting people and ideas – offering a space for contemporary art to be displayed, discussed and enjoyed.
The Aird is a non profit, registered charity supporting artistic expression, public dialogue and lifelong learning. We believe visual culture inspires, engages and amplifies communities. Toronto’s arts and culture industry contributes over $11B to the city’s economy. We do our part to stimulate and support artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines. We provide the canvas for visual culture to be realized, explored and appreciated amongst those that love it most. We leave no one behind.
As a point of destination and home to Canada’s legacy art societies, we have featured thousands of artists from across Canada. We have provided exhibition space for the Ontario Society of Artist (OSA), Sculptors Society of Canada (SSC), and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSPWC). We look forward to continuing this journey and doing our part to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of our country’s art community.
The gallery relocated to Artscape 906 Queen West in 2019 and will remain at this swing-space until renovations are completed at its original location in the Macdonald Block (at Bay Wellesley) in 2024-25.