Art Gallery of Ontario

317 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M5T 1G4
CEO: Stephan Jost
Board President: Robert Harding

Charitable Reg. #:11879 0401 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 49 cents are available for programs.

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About Art Gallery of Ontario:

Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens as the Art Museum of Toronto. Today, AGO is one of the largest art museums in North America, with a physical facility of 583,000 square feet. Its mission is to “bring people together with art to see, experience and understand the world in new ways.” In F2018, AGO acquired 246 new works of art, bringing its total collection to just over 98,000 works.  Two of the most notable works are Reuben’s The Massacre of The Innocents and Untilled by Pierre Huyghe. Outside of general operations, AGO hosts numerous public programs.

In F2018, AGO welcomed over one million visitors, the highest annual attendance since its re-opening in 2008. With its collection, the gallery focuses on five main areas: Indigenous and Canadian art, European art, prints and drawings, photography, and modern and contemporary art. In 2018, with the help of the foundation, AGO led a crowd funding initiative to buy the Infinity Mirror Room exhibit. The foundation covered $1 million of the costs and the public raised the remaining $1.3 million to buy the exhibit and pay for shipping, publicity and staffing.  

Through its public programming, AGO focuses on engaging people to have meaningful experiences with artwork and starting conversations. In F2018, AGO hosted 105 public events and welcomed over 40,000 students to its educational programs. In celebration of Canada 150, AGO launched an exhibit with a focus on addressing the mistakes of the past and the move into the future. This exhibit helped launch a virtual field trip program that brings the gallery’s collection to isolated schools in northern communities using two-way video technology.

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Charity Intelligence consolidated the operating charity with its foundation using the foundation’s T3010 filing. This information was not available for F2018, as such, Ci is not presenting financials for F2018.

Art Gallery of Ontario is a major 100 charity with cash donations of $12.4m and donated art worth $16.9m in F2017. AGO's administrative costs are 12% of total revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 39% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 49 cents go to its programs. This is outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. AGO has funding reserves of $107.7m of which $70.5m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, reserves can cover program costs for just under 9 months.

Like other art museums, AGO's vast collection of art is NOT included in its asset values. AGO's collection of 96,000 artworks is carried at a nominal value of $1,000. In F2018, AGO purchased 50 works of art at a total cost of $1.3m. Total contributions to the collection in F2018 was 240 works with an estimated fair value of $39m.

AGO reports using external fundraisers. In F2017, external fundraisers raised $1.4m. The cost of raising one dollar through external fundraisers was 32 cents. This was up from 29 cents in F2016.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Art Gallery of Ontario. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 29, 2019 by Stefan Tetzlaff.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.9%8.6%2.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 39.2%35.1%31.1%
Total overhead spending 51.0%43.7%33.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 73.3%55.7%8.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 12,38613,42214,623
Goods in kind 16,87824,638244,787
Government funding 22,71422,76723,641
Fees for service 11,7299,5189,749
Business activities (net) 1,719174395
Investment income 8,9615,4225,963
Other income 1,2161,5771,309
Total revenues 75,60377,518300,467
Program costs 54,22258,914284,748
Administrative costs 7,9006,1907,174
Fundraising costs 4,8514,7114,542
Total spending 66,97369,815296,464
Cash flow from operations 8,6307,7034,003
Capital spending 10,3662,7843,154
Funding reserves 107,66496,14463,673

Note: Ci did not recognize transfers from the foundation to the operating charity as revenues, reducing total revenue by $2.4m in F2017, $1.9m in F2016, and $984k in F2015.  Ci did not recognize amortization of deferred capital contributions as revenue, affecting total revenue by ($9.0m) in F2017, ($9.0m) in F2016, and ($8.8m) in F2015.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 334

Avg. Compensation: $90,623

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

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