This blog post will be taking a detailed look at art in Toronto. Galleries, museums, supplies, schools, shows, events and more will all be discussed as the post moves along.
We will begin by diving into the best Toronto Art Galleries and Museums because they are where you will fond some of the finest exhibitions and collections Canada has to offer. When they are out of the way we will move on to where you can buy all of the supplies you need at some of the best art stores near you.
Annual festivals, shows, and events will garner our next section. Local art walking tours can be a great way to see a variety of styles in a short amount of time, plus we will mention where to check out the coolest sculptures and statues in the city.
Art classes and lessons in your area deserve their own section and there are plenty of classes for both kids and adults that are available. Our final two topics will be about art studios to rent and picture or art framing shops near you.
Towards the end you will find a local art map with all of the numerous places we are mentioning pinned on it.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Toronto
There are many to choose from but in our opinion the best art galleries and museums in Toronto would be:
- Royal Ontario Museum at 100 Queen’s Park
- Aga Khan Museum at 77 Wynford Dr
- Art Gallery of Ontario at 317 Dundas St W
- Ryerson Image Centre at 33 Gould St
- Cooper Cole at 1134 Dupont St
- Clint Roenisch at 190 St Helens Ave
- Stephen Bulger Gallery at 1356 Dundas St W
- Corkin Gallery at 7 Tank House Ln
- Daniel Faria Gallery at 188 St Helens Ave
- Christopher Cutts Gallery at 21 Morrow Ave
- Museum Of Contemporary Art at 158 Sterling Rd
- Gardiner Museum at 111 Queen’s Park
- Leslie Grove Gallery at 1158 Queen St E
The Royal Ontario Museum is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum which houses a collection of 13 million artworks, cultural artefacts, and natural history specimens. They are all shown in 40 gallery and exhibition rooms and it attracts almost one million visitors each year.
The Aga Khan Museum is North America’s first museum dedicated to Islamic art and antiquities and it exhibits over 1,000 rare objects including treasures from His Highness the Aga Khan’s own collection. They host a variety of performing arts events that feature local and international musicians, dancers, and other performers.
The Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection of over 95,000 works ranges from contemporary art like Pierre Huyghe’s Untilled to European masterpieces like Peter Paul Rubens’ The Massacre of the Innocents and extensive holdings of works by artists like Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. Admission is free every Wednesday from 6 to 9pm and to anyone aged 25 and under.
Admission is always free at The Ryerson Image Centre which has almost 375,000 pieces in its collection including the famed Black Star Collection. Over 30,000 objects are in the collection at Stephen Bulger Gallery which includes historical Canadian works as well as worldwide modern and contemporary pieces.
The Museum of Contemporary Art displays the work of over 1,100 Canadian and foreign artists, has staged 200+ exhibitions, and welcomes 40,000 people each year. They also offer programs including artist talks and workshops. Admission is free on the first Sunday of each month.
The Gardiner Museum is a specialized museum of ceramics who also gives ceramics lessons for all ages in addition to lectures and other programs. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and admission is free.
Leslie Grove Gallery has new solo and group exhibitions that take place every three weeks.
Materials & Supplies Near You
Our favorite local art material and supply stores are:
- Curry’s Artists’ Materials at 1153 Queen St W
- Above Ground Art Supplies at 74 McCaul St
- Midoco Art & Office Supplies at 555 Bloor St W
- Deserres at 130 Spadina Ave
- Gwartzman’s Art Supplies at 448 Spadina Ave
- Articulations at 2802 Dundas St W
- Michaels at 142 John St
Curry’s Artists’ Materials has eight branches in southern Ontario and is a good place to buy a diverse assortment of art supplies and creative materials. Above Ground Art Supplies is a good option for anyone that is search for difficult-to-find products.
Deserres provides art workshops and classes for people of all skill levels in addition to custom framing services.
Shows & Events
There are some great art shows, festivals, and events in your area:
- Riverdale Artwalk in the Summer
- Outdoor Art Fair in July
- Toronto Art Crawl in September
- Art Toronto in October
- Luminato Festival in October
Riverdale Artwalk takes place over two weeks in June and August and features over 180 participating artists and entertainers in Jimmie Simpson Park in the local Queen East arts district. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is Canada’s largest and longest-running annual contemporary art fair, presenting 350+ curated visual creators at Nathan Phillips Square every July.
Every September Toronto Art Crawl goes down in the heart of Liberty Village featuring artists, crafters, and designers, as well as live DJs and food trucks. Art Toronto is Canada’s international fair for modern and contemporary works that happens every October.
Luminato Event Toronto is a 5-day multidisciplinary international arts festival where you will find music, dance, theater, and some digital magic.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
Art dealers and appraisers are where to go when you are trying to add a new piece to your collection or when you need to find out the true value of works:
- Mayberry Fine Art at 324 Dundas St W
- Old Master Gallery at 77 The Westway
- Cowley Abbott Fine Art at 326 Dundas St W
- Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts at 99 Avenue Rd #701
- Fischtein Fine Art at 209 Wicksteed Ave
Mayberry Fine Art provides a variety of art-related services including professional consultations, custom framing, restoration, appraisal, and art storage. Assisting collectors in the purchasing of artworks, appraisal, importing and exporting works, restoration, framing, and on-site installation are all available with Old Master Gallery.
Fischtein Fine Art has over 40 years of experience and expertise in consulting and selling fine art to both new and established collectors.
If you are reading this on a beautiful afternoon why not go on an art walking tour:
The Graffiti Tour starts at the intersection of Queen Street West and Augusta Avenue in downtown where you will experience the amazing street art that surrounds the downtown area known as Graffiti Alley.
Don’t forget about the Toronto Art Crawl that takes place in September, and the Riverdale Art Walk which goes down in the summer who we linked you to in the events section.
Sculptures & Statues
You can also find some really awesome sculptures and statues near you like:
- Between The Eyes at 1 Queens Quay W
- Full Circle at 152 Victoria St #140
- Tembo Mother of Elephants at Commerce Ct
- Garden of Future Follies at Front St Promenade
- Two Children of Toronto at 570 Bay St
- Love Negotiation at 114 Scollard St
Between The Eyes was created by Richard Deacon in 1990. Peter von Tiesenhausen sculpted Full Circle in 2002. Tembo Mother of Elephants is a large mother elephant sculpture trailed by her two babies that can be found in Commerce Court Courtyard. This massive mother elephant is one of the world’s largest bronze elephants.
The Garden of Future Follies is a sculpture garden that incorporates components from more than 80 existing public artworks in your area. The sculpture of the Two Children can be found just behind City Hall.
Toronto Art Classes
Whether you need lessons for kids or adults one of these best Toronto art schools and classes will offer them:
- Picasso’s Garage at 525 Hillsdale Ave E
- Academy of Art Canada at 1929 Davenport Rd
- Avenue Road Arts School at 460 Avenue Rd
- Talent Tree Art School at 2 Homewood Ave #202
- Freehand School Of Art at 3315 Yonge St
Picasso’s Garage offers children’s art classes and camps in a wide range of media. Traditional drawing and painting courses for students of all skill levels are taught by the instructors at The Academy of Art Canada.
They provide full-time or part-time programs to accommodate the needs of each student. Those who are not enrolled in the applied program can attend workshops.
A diverse range of classes for children and adults, from beginners to experienced creators are available at Avenue Road Arts School. Throughout the year they also have popular programs for March break, summer camps, parties, and specific school workshops.
Gardiner Museum and Deserres from our previous lists also have local art classes.
Studios For Rent Near You
Those of you who are ready to start a big project might be able to rent a local art studio at:
- Akin Dupont at 1485 Dupont St
- Akin Ossington at 888 Dupont St
- Akin St Clair at 1747 St Clair Ave W
- Artscape Distillery Studios at 15 Case Goods Lane
A frame can transform the viewing experience and some of the best shops for picture and art framing near you would be:
- Alternative Arts at 491 Bloor St W
- Off The Wall Art & Framing Gallery at 450 Queen St W
- The Picture Frame Factory at 1-1645 Queen St W
- Adina Photo & Custom Framing at 2 Homewood Ave
- Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery at 732 Queen St E
Art consultation services for your home or office and custom framing are available at Off the Wall Art & Framing Gallery. The Picture Frame Factory has hundreds of framing samples in stock while providing mounting and stretching services for oil painting canvases.
Adina Photo & Custom Framing is a good option for art restoration, canvas stretching, glass replacement, and installations. Some other places we have mentioned throughout the post that are good for picture and art framing near you are Deserres, Mayberry Fine Art, and Old Master Gallery.
You are all welcome to look through our blogs about:
Have Fun Enjoying The Toronto Art Scene
We really did try our best to break down the full art scene near you. We listed the best local galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in your area.
You probably love art as much as we do if you stuck around this long. If so use the comments to correct any errors you may have noticed, or let us know if any places we mentioned are no longer open.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Toronto!