Where to buy art in Toronto

August 21, 2022 Toronto, ON, Canada

Art by Marissa Schiesser via artterra.ca

More often than you can imagine, I've been asked this question:

Where can I buy art in Toronto? -and across Canada

While the answer has changed a bit over the past couple of years (say before and after 2020), I figured I could put together a list of some of the places I often recommend in case you are looking for original art by local artists but you're not sure of where to start looking. 

*While many of these sites are based in Toronto, some offer shipping across Canada. 

1. Partial | partial.gallery

Partial is a platform and marketplace to rent or buy original works by Canadian artists.
On their site you can browse through hundreds of works and filter by artist, style, size, curated collections and even location.

What's really cool about renting artwork through Partial is you can enjoy original artwork and choose to refresh your space without having to make a big investment or a long-term commitment. Plus, if you really like one piece, you can choose to rent-to-buy it as well!

2. Ninth Editions | nintheditions.com

Ninth Editions offers a highly curated selection of original works and prints by exciting and up-and-coming artists at affordable prices. The mastermind behind this project is the one and only Ashley Mulvihill, who has remarkably curated collections for the Drake Hotel Properties, Fitzrovia Real Estate and RioCan, amongst others. 

3. Artist Project | theartistproject.com

Every spring, Artist Project comes to Toronto for a weekend. What's cool about this art fair is that, rather than visiting booths representing galleries, you can meet and buy directly from over 200 independent artists from across Canada and support the next generation of Canadian artists.

4. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair | torontooutdoor.art

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor art fair. #TOAF takes place every summer and it is has been running for over 60 years. In addition to the in-person event, recently they’ve added an online component with curated works by participating artists.

Photo via Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

5. Art Galleries | Toronto Art Galleries

If you are more familiar with the local art scene, you can visit your favourite gallery and buy original works by the artists they represent. Some galleries will also have a shop section (like the AGO, Open Studio or Patel Brown) and many of these will also run fundraisers and special events throughout the year. 

Tip: You can use this Toronto Art Map to discover art galleries and exhibition spaces across the city.

6. Art Toronto | arttoronto.ca

Art Toronto is the largest art fair in Canada. The fair takes place every fall and it's the perfect place for seasoned art lovers and collectors to discover the newest work by the artists represented by the participating galleries. 

Even if you are new to the art world, visiting an art fair is a fun way to discover new artists and learn about their work. 

Other platforms you can visit:

Hello Art | Art for commercial spaces. 

Arterra | Curated paintings, sculptures, jewellery, textiles and more.

Twenty-Twenty Arts | Not-for-profit supporting initiatives on mental health, homelessness, addiction, and climate change.

Art Match | Curated online art gallery & consultation service featuring works by Canadian artists.

Tips for buying local art:

- No matter where you are in the world, check out the local art fairs and visit their websites. They usually have a list of participating galleries or artists. This is usually a good starting point, especially if you are new to the city or the local art scene.

- Instagram is your friend. I know it might sound a bit obvious but try searching for #torontoartist "your location artist" or #torontoart "your location art" and browse through the results. 

- If you like an artist in particular, chances are you can buy directly from their website (if they don't have gallery representation) or they might even accept commissions. 

- Fundraisers organized by galleries, museums and local charities. 

- End of the year group shows. 

Remote Art Talks: Season 1 and 2

April 15, 2020 Toronto, ON, Canada

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world shut down for the first time, we asked some artists in our community about their practice and the impact of living in isolation. 

Without planning it, this series of 13 conversations became a sort of a time capsule of that time. This series was produced by Artifier in partnership with Partial and was highlighted as one of the best art talks in Canada by CBC Arts. 

an art show a week | week 11: Yoko Ono: The Riverbed

March 17, 2018 Gardiner Museum

Yoko Ono, Line Piece (detail), 2015 / 2018 © Yoko Ono. Photo: Tara Fillion

Week 11: Yoko Ono: The Riverbed
Where: Gardiner Museum, Toronto
Admission: $15
Favourite Artwork: Everything here is interactive, which means you may not see the same things I saw when I visited. However, I loved the station where you can mend ceramic pieces... with yarn (!) to then connect your piece to the works of other people who visited before. 

Before visiting, you must know it is forbidden (by Yoko Ono herself!) to take pictures/have your phone with you while you are in this room, so -of course- this made me extra curious, and I was greatly surprised to see people truly immersed in the experience. 

Yoko Ono, Mend Piece (detail), 1966 / 2018 © Yoko Ono. Photo: Tara Fillion

Stone Piece, Yoko Ono, 2015 / 2018 © Yoko Ono. Photo: Tara Fillion

Yoko Ono, Line Piece (detail), 2015 / 2018 © Yoko Ono. Photo: Tara Fillion
About the exhibition:

YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED invites visitors to collaborate with the artist, the museum, and each other, participating in the artwork through everyday action and contemplation. YOKO ONO: THE RIVERBED, in a sense, becomes a temporary village—a repository of hopes and dreams for individuals and for the world.

The three-part installation is conformed by: Stone Piece, Line Piece, and Mend Piece, which invite to reflect, connect, and heal.

Yoko Ono: The Riverbed
February 22 - June 03
Gardiner Museum

*See online special events taking place during the exhibition.

**Thank you to the Gardiner Museum for allowing me to share these images here.  <3

an art show a week | week 10: Cup and Ball

March 10, 2018

Roula Partheniou, Cup and Ball

These may look like a bunch of ordinary cups in the middle of a room but look again and you'll realize these are actually 500 detailed sculptures meticulously arranged. Everything that looks familiar here, is probably not.

It feels like it was yesterday when I discovered this secret gallery at the top of the BMO building.
Ok, ok... the truth is: it's not actually completely secret, but it feels like it!... in a good way, of course. 

I first found out about the space through a post by Toronto Star's art critic Murray Whyte (whom I discovered when I started this project and now I'm a declared fan... hi there if you're reading!)

This gallery is only open by appointment on Fridays because it is actually located in the middle of an operating business floor! The pieces that are shown here are part of their private collection, so it's a great opportunity to see up close artwork from contemporary Canadian artists. No pictures allowed.

On this floor we can also find The Project Room which, as the name indicates, is a space that hosts for almost a year a contemporary art project commissioned by BMO. This year's exhibition is “Cup and Ball, by Sculptor Roula Partheniou.

Week 10: Cup and Ball
Where: The Project Room
Admission: by appointment only

About the show

Nothing is quite what it appears. Each ball, each cup stack or tempting prize is meticulously crafted in cast resin or wood, faithfully painted, and arranged perfectly to convince us they are familiar, mass-produced ready-made objects. Entirely ordinary. But perception is trumped by skill here, and the game is all about perception itself.

January 18 - November 30
Bmo Project Room
King & Bay

Appointments only on Friday
via cupandball.ca

*All photos courtesy of Roula Partheniou, The Project Room.

an art show a week | week 9: Winter Stations

March 06, 2018 Ashbridges Bay Park

Make Some Noise!!! Alexandra Grieß & Jorel Heid Hamburg, Germany
Ok, this week I might be a bit biased, but I was dying to see these Winter Stations! Here's the thing: as some of you know I was working at OCAD U for a while and there I got to meet some of the faculty and students participating in the project so I couldn't help but to feel happy and excited for everyone. #soproud -Plus, it's always great to hang out with friends and see some public art!

Week 8: Winter Stations
Where: Ashbridge's Bay
Admission: Free
Favourite Artwork: Revolution, by OCAD University (oops!)

Revolution, by OCAD University
Ben Chang, Anna Pogossyan, Amr Alzahabi, Carlos Chin, Iris Ho, Tracee Jia, Krystal Lum, Adria Maynard, Purvangi Patel, Judiette Vu

Wind Station Paul van den Berg & Joyce de Grauw Rotterdam, Netherlands

Obstacle Kien Pham Surbiton, United Kingdom
Nest, Ryerson University - Adrian Chiu, Arnel Espanol, Henry Mai Toronto, Ontario, Canada
About WinterStations
This is a single-stage open international competition, welcoming artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to submit concept proposals for WinterStations' temporary artwork installations.

For it's fourth year, the theme was: “Riot:, and the seven winners will be on display at Ashbridge's Bay until April 1st. 

For a list of all the winners click here

WinterStations 2018
Ashbridge's Bay
February 18 - April 1st

© Artifier | Toronto Art Radar. Design by Fearne.