Being a tourist in my own city is something I admit I don’t do enough of.
Since the pandemic, my husband and I made a vow to check out more places in the city (or province, and even country!) that we’ve unintentionally taken for granted.
One of those touristy places that we’ve never been to and wanted to check out this season was the Art Gallery of Ontario. My husband suggested we go there as a daytime activity for his mid-February birthday.
With sunshine, espresso and a curious mind, we headed to the gallery.
Notable collections and exhibits were happening on that day, like the The McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art, an exhibit on Leonard Cohen and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, to name a few.
But we didn’t have a plan to see a specific exhibit.
Our intention was to step into this new-to-us building, wander without looking at the map, and see where our curious eye takes us.
I love wandering.
J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Not all those who wander are lost“, and I proudly embody that whenever I am outdoors. Wandering in nature or in a new destination is where I feel the most like myself.
And as I discovered last Sunday, art galleries are also a way to be myself.
Spending hours at the gallery was a familiar escape. A place where my appreciation for beauty, history, mystery and even life’s misery are framed ornately on walls, inviting our own interpretation.
Life was on pause that Sunday while we wandered from one painting to another, one century to another, one story to another.
Below are some of my favourite pieces that I captured. We barely made a dent in seeing everything, so we’re eager to come back and explore more the next time.
When closing hours came and we stepped back outside into the streets of a bustling city, it felt like I had woken up from an escape, and drawn back into reality.
A reality that, from what I learned that afternoon, is continuously being written, created, imagined and pleading us to be better.
A reality that evokes us to think and reflect about ourselves and the environment we live in, and the impact we can choose to leave behind.
Back in our cozy apartment, a candle was lit, decadent cake was had, and another trip around the sun was celebrated.
This is my reality that I’m happy to be around for. A reality that I am ornately framing in my heart.
Wishing you an imaginative and inspiring day ✨