Toronto has no shortage of art galleries and museums and though you might be familiar with the larger ones like the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, there are many more opportunities to see some amazing art in Toronto. There are several neighborhoods in the city that have a high concentration of art galleries and here are six to explore the next time you’re in the mood for art.
The Distillery District is one of Toronto’s best-loved attractions and neighborhoods, a hit with both locals and visitors to the city. Pedestrian-only cobblestone streets are made for aimless wandering and in addition to shops and restaurants, the area is home to several noteworthy art galleries. Corkin Gallery is a 10,000 square foot space representing a variety of artists who work in mediums ranging from photography to sculpture, Arta Gallery is home to a large collection of contemporary work by both Canadian and international artists and Thompson Landry Gallery specializes in Quebec artists and sculptors, to name a few on-site galleries.
The fast pace of restaurants, bars and galleries opening on and around Ossington has slowed somewhat over the past few years, but there are still some galleries to found in this popular Toronto neighborhood. Loop Gallery is where you’ll find a broad spectrum of work comprised of everything from painting and printmaking, to photography, sculpture, textiles and more. You can also find Le Gallery, Milk Glass Co. (a gallery and event space) and Stephen Bulger Gallery in the area.
Junction Triangle and Around
The area around Dupont and Lansdowne, especially heading west on Dupont is an area exploding with art galleries. This ‘hood is probably the newest and most exciting spot for art in Toronto right now and has seen a spate of artists open up shop in the last couple of years. Some stellar examples include Angell Gallery, ESP Gallery, Clint Roenisch, Scrap Metal Gallery and Gallery TPW to name a few in a continually expanding roster of creativity in this part of the city. In addition, The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art has recently moved to Toronto’s Lower Junction neighborhood.
While Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood might be more known for ritzy shops and restaurants than for art, there are several galleries worth checking out in the area if you’re shopped out, or would rather browse art than high fashion finds. Liss Gallery deals in contemporary fine art, Loch Gallery focuses on both established contemporary artists (mainly painting and sculpture), as well as Canadian and European historical works of significance and Navillus Gallery specializes in Canadian and International emerging and mid-career artists with a focus on photo-based works and paintings. Other galleries in and around Yorkville include Mayberry Fine Art and Mira Goddard Gallery among others.
West Queen West
Toronto’s “second coolest neighborhood” as named by Vogue is also an important hub for art in the city with more than a few galleries well worth a visit. Gallery 1313 houses four exhibition spaces showcasing local, national and international contemporary art; General Hardware Contemporary features contemporary painting, photography, sculpture, artwork on paper and video art; other area galleries include Twist Gallery, and Birch contemporary to name a few.
The west end of Toronto is where you’ll find the highest concentration of art galleries, but that doesn’t mean there’s a dearth of creativity in the east end. Making a trip east on the 501 Streetcar can net you some good results where art galleries are concerned. Dianna Witte Gallery (formerly Parts Gallery) was established in 2002 and continues to showcase contemporary photo-based art and painting by emerging and mid-career artists; Visions Gallery is another east end spot featuring contemporary art, and you can also visit Urban Gallery and Studio 888 among others for your gallery fix.