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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Every Zoo goer who passes through the turnstile at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium embarks on an adventure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Here at the Zoo, we are passionate about creating lasting and unforgettable experiences for each and every one of our guests. We welcome you to share with us and the world your magical guest moment to inspire others to visit the Columbus Zoo.

https://www.columbuszoo.org/home

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Highbanks Metro Park
Highbanks is named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,200-acre park. Ohio and Olentangy shales, often containing outstanding large concretions, are exposed on the bluff face and sides of the ravines. http://www.metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/highbanks/
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Wexner Center for the Arts
The Wexner Center for the Arts is one of the nation’s premiere cultural gems--an internationally known contemporary arts center at The Ohio State University. The Center offers exhibitions, performances, films, artistic residencies and educational programs. The building, a landmark of postmodern architecture, houses galleries, performance spaces, a film video theater, a store and a cafe. From the intimate, cabaret-style concerts in our black box theater to large-scale events in or 2,500 seat Mershon Auditorium, the Wexner Center offers a wide variety of performances – dance, theater, jazz, world music, electronica and more. In the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, you can watch rarely screened movies from near and far, the latest independent features and classics from Hollywood and abroad. https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/listing/wexner-center-for-the-arts-the/5555/
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COSI Columbus
COSI, Columbus’ dynamic Center of Science and Industry, has combined science learning and fun since 1964 with 300-plus hands-on exhibits, Ohio’s largest Planetarium, Giant Screen Theater, live shows and more. And now, through a unique and unprecedented partnership with the renowned American Museum of Natural History, COSI’s offerings are only growing! Located on Columbus’ Scioto Peninsula, COSI is near the downtown core and the Ohio Statehouse. A brand new 6.5-acre park sits directly west of the museum featuring a splash pad, playground, picnic tables, swings and much more. COSI introduced the new Dinosaur Gallery – a permanent exhibit that allows guests to get up close to a full-sized cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, 100 million-year-old fossilized amber, an 8 foot titanosaur femur cast and much more. https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/listing/cosi/5658/
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Scioto Greenway
Located in the heart of downtown Columbus, the Scioto Mile is an urban oasis comprised of more than 175 acres of lush parkland. Stretching along the riverfront from the vibrant Arena District to the natural beauty of the Whittier Peninsula, the Scioto Mile reconnects downtown to the Scioto River through an integrated system of parks, boulevards, bikeways and pedestrian paths. http://www.sciotomile.com/
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Franklin Park Conservatory
The Conservatory’s extensive gardens and art collections pulse with life and bring the truly exotic wonders of nature right to you. Explore over 400 species of plants from around the world in the Conservatory’s biomes, take in the beauty of James Turrell’s Light Raiment II, or simply marvel at the intricate glasswork of Dale Chihuly. Experience the planet’s natural diversity in the Conservatory’s biomes. From the arid deserts of the American Southwest to the hot and humid Amazon Rainforest, the biomes allow you to explore these ecosystems right in the heart of central Ohio. Or simply stroll abundant outdoor gardens full of seasonal color and interest, set within the 88-acres of Franklin Park! https://www.fpconservatory.org/explore/gardens-collections/
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German Village
And for family, friends, and visitors, it’s also a home away from home. That’s because you don’t have to live in German Village to live here. In German Village, its mission is simple: preserve, protect and promote life among the bricks. German Village Business Community is a collection of independent businesses, sharing resources and working together to promote the historic business community of German Village. Whether you’re planning a night out on our bricks or visiting for the weekend, you’ll find what you’re looking for when you click Shop. Dine. Stroll. above. https://germanvillage.com/
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Cedar Point Amusement Park
Since the 1870s, Cedar Point amusement park has been a summertime tradition for families across the Midwest. The rich history and modern world wonders have created one of the most successful entertainment attractions in the world. Every year Cedar Point hosts more than three million people from around the world. Its popularity continues to grow due to world-recording-breaking roller coasters and amazing attractions. With 68 rides, including 16 roller coasters, Cedar Point has more rides and more roller coasters than any park in the world. Two of its newest coasters are legends. Built in 2003, Top Thrill Dragster is 420 feet tall and reaches speeds of 120 mph! On the other side of the peninsula, the Millennium Force stands 310 feet in the air and reaches speeds of 93 mph along more than 6,500 feet of track. The Magnum XL-200 steel roller coaster features a huge hill of more than 200 feet while the maXair ride, Cedar Point's newest ride, swings guests 140 feet in the air. Riders sit in outward-facing suspended seats that form a giant circle of 50 passengers as their legs dangle freely in the air. Both attractions reach speeds of 70 mph. https://www.toledo.com/attractions/cedarpointamusementpark/
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Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Opened in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo is the second-oldest zoo in the nation and a National Historic Landmark that is consistently ranked as one of the top zoos in the country. http://cincinnatiusa.com/things-to-do/attractions/cincinnati-zoo-botanical-garden
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Toledo Zoo
With over 5,300 animals representing over 750 species, The Toledo Zoo is one of the world’s most complete zoos—it’s also the region’s top family destination! Let The Toledo Zoo whisk you away, from the Arctic tundra to the wilds of Africa to the tropical rainforest and all points between—all in one great day. During the 1980s The Toledo Zoo introduced many exciting and significant improvements. Foremost among them, the African Savanna provided a stunning recreation of the plains and jungles of Africa. The now world-famous Hippoquarium - the first of its kind in the zoo world - was developed as part of the Savanna. More recently, the Kingdom of the Apes, exhibits for Siberian tigers, Asian sloth bears and African wild dogs have been added, as well as a renovated Aviary and the Primate Forest. Zoo Visitors are also welcomed by a new parking lot, entry complex, gift shop and a ramped pedestrian bridge over the Anthony Wayne Trail. The popularity of the Zoo has increased dramatically over the last decade. Restored facilities, new exhibits and a concerted effort to address the needs of the visitor have resulted in an average attendance of 875,000 people each year, with over 1,000,000 visitors in 1988, 1994, and 1999. Special promotions such as the Lights Before Christmas capture the charm and character of the Zoo and have become traditions for Toledo families. https://www.toledo.com/area-directory/microsite/microsite-toledo-zoo/
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The Akron Zoo
The Akron Zoo offers 35 acres of exhibits & guest amenities. Create lasting memories and ride the train or carousel, and view 8 animal exhibits. How did the jaguar get its spots? How does the Andean condor carry the sun into the sky? Learn the answers to the legends of these animals and more in Legends of the Wild. Travel through South America with the jaguar and capybara, Madagascar with the lemurs and the Himalayan Mountains with the snow leopards and Himalayan tahr. Come on down to the farm! You can pet, feed and get nose-to-nose with domestic farm animals like Boer goats, Oberhasli goats, Nubian goats, and pygmy goats. Make sure to see our sheep, pig and barn owl too. Buy food for these animals at our granary and then hop aboard a solar powered train, the A&K Wilber Express (April-October). If you are not too tired get lost in Ohio Farmland maze. Navigate the seven seas on the pirate playground, have a picnic in the Wild Prairie Pavilion and enjoy a snack from our Grasslands Café. Make sure you stop by the butterfly waystation and learn about the amazing migration of butterflies. http://www.akronzoo.org/about-the-zoo
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Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park Family Campground invites you to spend your next camping vacation on our quiet, scenic grounds in Portage County, near Akron in Northeast Ohio. The Park campground features gorgeous surroundings, quality facilities, excellent campsite amenities and friendly service. Set on 50 acres, just a short drive east of Akron, Ohio, Cherokee Park offers a peaceful setting with wooded and open space surrounding two small tree-lined lakes and an activities area. Enjoy the beauty of nature and the calming effect of a campfire. You might even spot an occasional deer during your stay. Cherokee Park offers 120 campsites with 30 amp electric and water hookups. Choose a sunny, open RV site or one that is shaded by trees. Pull-thru sites are available for today's larger RVs. Pets are welcome so long as they are leashed and attended. Cherokee Park offers a few family tent sites during the summer for a limited stay. http://cherokeeparkcampground.com/
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Sauder Village
But it’s not the buildings that make history come alive at this attraction; rather, it’s the knowledgeable staff, who explain and demonstrate the significance of each building and show what little slices of life were like around the turn of the last century. Sauder Village is, frankly, the most honest historical collection in our area. History there is not boringly preserved in a jar, locked away never to be seen; but neither is it pandering to the silliness or gags that some historical institutions have introduced to boost ticket sales. It’s not quite a journey back in time, but neither is Sauder Village quite of our time. It is, in some respects, a place where time just doesn’t apply. The institution was founded by Erie Sauder, who was also the entrepreneur behind Sauder Furniture, the nation’s largest manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture ? in fact, chances are probably decent that many will read this on a computer sitting on a Sauder desk. It was a way for Sauder to preserve some of the historic structures of the area, such as his first workshop, an old Lutheran church, a train station, and a working farm. Over the years, the village has grown exponentially. Now, beautiful, larger buildings house some of the most popular crafts, such as blacksmithing, pottery, and glassblowing. A lodge and conference center abuts the village and the popular Barn Restaurant. A hands-on children’s area is new this year. https://www.toledo.com/attractions/sauder-village-attraction-toledo-ohio/
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A Christmas Story House
A Christmas Story House, now restored to its movie splendor, is open year round to the public for tours and overnight stays. Directly across the street from the house is A Christmas Story Museum, which features original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film, as well as hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes photos. Among the props and costumes are the toys from the Higbee’s window, Randy’s snowsuit, the chalkboard from Miss Shields’ classroom and the family car. After reliving A Christmas Story at Ralphie’s house don’t forget to visit the museum gift shop for your own Major Award Leg Lamp and other great movie memorabilia. http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/
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Belle Isle State Park
Accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard, this 982-acre island park features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, Great Lakes museum and plenty of room to hike, barbecue, watch boats, bicycle and more. Original landscaping by the Dean of American landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmstead. https://visitdetroit.com/profile/belle-isle-park/
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Sahm Park
The central focal point in the park is the remodeled aquatic center. It boasts a 400,000-gallon pool with a zero depth area, numerous spray features, 3 slides and lap lanes. The park is also adjacent to Sahm Golf Course. Amenities: playground, pavilion, shelters, picnic knoll, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball, soccer, fitness trail, disc golf course. http://funfinder.indy.gov/#/details/52
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Detroit Zoo
An animal lover's paradise, the Detroit Zoo is situated on 125 acres with many naturalistic habitats. Major exhibits include the Arctic Ring of Life, Australian Outback Adventure, Great Apes of Harambee, National Amphibian Conservation Center, Holden Reptile Conservation Center, Penguinarium and Butterfly Garden. The Detroit Zoo is home to animals from A to Z, including anteaters and zebras and hundreds of other species in between. More than 2,000 animals representing 230 species of amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles live in the Zoo’s 125-acres of true-to-life habitats that bring visitors face-to-face with these exotic creatures. https://detroitzoo.org/
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Military Park
Toss a Frisbee, walk your dog, or simply settle into the grass in this 14-acre green space bordering the IUPUI campus. Although it was a Civil War encampment and home to the first state fair, the park drew its name from its shape-like a military badge. https://www.visitindy.com/indianapolis-military-park
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Indianapolis Zoo
Located along the scenic riverbanks in White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo is conveniently located near beautiful downtown Indianapolis with easy access to walking and biking trails into the city. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums. Run with cheetahs on the African plains, or swim with dolphins in deep blue oceans. Wherever your adventure may take you, the Indianapolis Zoo will be your guide! https://www.indianapoliszoo.com/
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Duqesne Incline
Enjoy a spectacular panorama of Pittsburgh and its three rivers. Ride to the incline's Observation Deck in the 140-year-old Incline car to see what USA Today Weekend Magazine calls one of the "10 most beautiful views in America". https://www.visitpittsburgh.com/directory/duquesne-incline/
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Grand Haven State Park
48-acre park with the beautiful sandy shore of Lake Michigan along the west side of the park and the Grand River along the north side of the park. The park consists entirely of beach sand and provides scenic views of Lake Michigan and the Grand Haven pier and lighthouse. A popular destination located on Lake Michigan’s sandy shores. Activities include camping, fishing, sunbathing, volleyball and swimming, Modern lodge is available for rent. https://visitgrandhaven.com/listing/grand-haven-state-park/
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Navy Pier
Completed in 1916, Navy Pier is undeniably one of Chicago’s top attractions. Stretching into Lake Michigan, this year-round destination truly comes to life in the summer, with fireworks displays, live music, theatre, and cruises setting sail daily. Come fall and winter, Navy Pier is still hopping, with special events, sights, and activities that span all ages and interests. Pier Park is the epitome of fun. It’s where you’ll find the amazing Centennial Wheel, the Pepsi Wave Swinger, a 1920s-inspired musical carousel, and other nostalgic fairground rides. Just so you know, the Centennial Wheel soars to nearly 200 feet, with year-round, climate-controlled gondolas for the most spectacular Ferris wheel ride ever. It’s an iconic part of the Chicago skyline and a treasured piece of Chicago history, harkening to the city’s 1893 World’s Fair. You can even book a VIP Centennial Wheel experience in a glass-bottomed, plush-seated gondola. Fireworks perfectly synchronized to music have become a Navy Pier tradition. Biweekly shows are scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For an extra-special experience, watch the fireworks from the water on the deck of a cruise boat. https://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/attractions-and-tours/navy-pier/
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Millennium Park
With 25 acres of awe-inspiring landscape, breathtaking architecture and an iconic collection of public art, Millennium Park is Chicago’s premier green space. Millennium Park celebrated its 10th anniversary season in 2014 and continues to present dozens of free events and programs including art installations, outdoor concerts, films screenings, alfresco workouts and more. https://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/parks-and-outdoors/millennium-park/
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Hamilton Military Museum
Burlington Heights, where Dundurn Castle and the Hamilton Military Museum now stand, was occupied by the British military from 1813 -1815. Built as a gate house by Sir Allan MacNab in the late 1830s atop a battery from the War of 1812, This building known as Battery Lodge, now houses The Hamilton Military Museum. https://www.hamilton.ca/attractions/hamilton-civic-museums/hamilton-military-museum
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Hamilton Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario is the largest botanical garden in Canada and one of the largest in the world. It is a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature. Royal Botanical Gardens is a member of the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Within its 60 documented collections approximately 40,000 plants are displayed in five major garden exhibition areas; the Arboretum, Hendrie Park, Laking Garden, RBG Centre and the Rock Garden. https://www.attractionscanada.com/Ontario/Hamilton/Royal-Botanical-Gardens.asp
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Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Frederick Law Olmsted’s design for Buffalo’s South Park included a conservatory and surrounding formal gardens. In 1894, Professor John F. Cowell was appointed as the first Director of the conservatory. He gathered plants, trees and flowers from every corner of the world and his expertise and guidance allowed for many successful years for the conservatory. While South Park was being constructed, Lord & Burnham Co. was busy designing the South Park Conservatory. The tri-domed Victorian design was modelled after the beautiful Crystal Palace in England and was built by a Buffalo construction company, George P. Wurtz & Son, of wood, glass, iron and steel for a total cost of $130,000. Upon opening in 1900, the conservatory was the third-largest public greenhouse in the United States and was ranked as the ninth-largest in the world. The South Park Conservatory continued to grow throughout the early 1900s and six greenhouses were added in 1907. Over the years, extensive renovations and upgrades have been made, including restoration of many of the gardens, replacement of the outdated heating system, renovation of the main palm dome and greenhouses and more. Today, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens attracts more than 100,000 annually to enjoy the amazing architecture and the indoor and outdoor garden sanctuary. It is a gathering place where visitors can find peace and harmony and enjoy the simple power of the natural world. https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/botanical-gardens-2/
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Buffalo Naval & Military Park
This Buffalo waterfront attraction is the largest inland park of its kind in the nation. All branches of the Armed Forces are represented in the park’s exhibits. Tour the decks and hulls of a guided-missile cruiser, destroyer and WWII submarine. Inspect uniforms and memorabilia in the museum and exhibits aboard the ships. See planes, a tank and more! https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/businesses/buffalo-and-erie-county-naval-military-park-2/
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Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Reservation State Park, which surrounds mighty Niagara Falls, is the oldest state park in the United States. The park is made up of numerous islands, as well as the famous Prospect Point area. The magnificent Great Lakes Garden greets visitors entering the park. The visitor centre offers information and exhibits about the park’s history, geology and technology. The Niagara Scenic Trolley provides three-mile guided tours, stopping at the park’s most scenic vistas and at such facilities as the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, which tells the story of the creation of the falls with exhibits and a multiscreen theatre presentation. The Observation Tower has elevators that take visitors 180 feet down to the base of the tower for a close-up view of the American Falls. While in the park ride the world-famous Maid of the Mist Boat and get wet while at the Cave of the Winds attraction. Visitors can also hike, bike and fish. Open year-round. https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/businesses/niagara-falls-state-park/
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Delaware Park Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is one of the main focal points of Delaware Park, featuring varieties from the All-America Rose Selections. There are 33 beds, allowing for several combinations and arrangements of spectacular rose bushes in bright purples, pinks, reds, yellows and whites. At the eastern end of the garden is a prominent pergola, dating to 1912. The Rose Garden sits beside the historic Marcy Casino, site of the Terrace Restaurant, and is maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/businesses/delaware-park-rose-garden/
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Japanese Garden of Buffalo
In December 1962 the city of Buffalo joined the United States Sister City International initiative by connecting with Kanazawa, Japan and a wonderful history of sharing resources has grown. In 1996, Kanazawa was largely responsible for the major renovations to the Japanese Garden of Buffalo providing trees, shrubs, paths and the unique stone lanterns. Located behind The Buffalo History Museum in the Olmsted Conservancy’s Delaware Park, the lush gardens and serene lake provide a contemplative refuge for all of Buffalo to enjoy. https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/businesses/japanese-garden-of-buffalo/
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Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum
The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum welcomes the young at heart! Housed in the National Register-listed Allan Herschell Carrousel Factory building, this attraction has exhibits, demonstrations, two antique carousels, a children’s gallery, gift shop and more. https://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/businesses/herschell-carrousel-factory-museum/
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Centreville Theme Park
Centreville Theme Park is the ultimate summer destination for families! Located on the Toronto Islands, Centreville offers a full day of family fun — featuring more than 30 kid-sized rides & attractions, alongside beautiful beaches and 14 casual restaurants for grown-ups and kids to enjoy. One of the top attractions for families in Canada, guests are invited to revel in Centreville’s new & improved Sky Ride. You are welcome to explore 600 acres of natural parkland, interact with farm animals and experience stunning lake and city views. Getting to Centreville is almost as exciting as the park itself. Everyone likes the scenic Centre Island ferry ride across Toronto Harbour. You can choose to arrive by private boat or water taxi just minutes from downtown Toronto, along the Harbourfront. http://www.seetorontonow.com/listings/centreville-theme-park/#sm.0017houyxdtier210nr1h126u6a73
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Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Immerse yourself in a world of 20,000 aquatic animals and discover your own underwater adventure in the heart of downtown Toronto. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada features North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel with more than 5.7 million litres of water and over 100 interactive opportunities. Get up close and personal with several touch exhibits and soak in a live dive show daily. This awe-inspiring attraction consists of nine carefully curated galleries showcasing a cross section of saltwater and freshwater environments from around the world – starting with species from Toronto’s backyard, the Great Lakes basin. From the heart-pounding experience of Dangerous Lagoon, a football-field length acrylic viewing tunnel with moving glide-path sidewalk through sharks, green sea turtles, sawfish and moray eels; to the hypnotic dance of Pacific sea nettle jellyfish which are illuminated in an array of breathtaking colours from within the kreisel tank at Planet Jellies, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will captivate Torontonians as well as guests from around the world! http://www.seetorontonow.com/listings/ripleys-aquarium-of-canada/#sm.0017houyxdtier210nr1h126u6a73
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Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) Collection features more than 100,000 great works of art, from cutting-edge contemporary to classic European masterpieces. View iconic paintings by the well-known Group of Seven as well as amazing art by established and emerging Indigenous, Inuit and Métis artists, sculptures, photographs, prints & drawings and so much more are on display in a beautiful building that itself is a work of art, with design details created by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. http://www.seetorontonow.com/listings/art-gallery-of-ontario/#sm.0017houyxdtier210nr1h126u6a73