Given Bloor-Yorkville’s early days as a hub of counter-culture, arts, and music, it’s fitting that today the area houses a number of unique (and free!) art galleries. There are, of course, our major landmarks such as the ROM and the Gardiner Museum, but throughout the area is a growing list of spaces with incredible selections of contemporary designs, sculptures, abstract, and even pop art.
Whether you’re in the market to re-decorate or simply get inspired by talented artists, these fantastic spaces offer a wide-range of perspectives, carefully curated exhibits, and make for a great afternoon out in the community. Many of the galleries also host opening parties for their exhibits, which provides a great way to engage with the community, meet artists, and learn more about various art forms.
While there are over a dozen art galleries within Bloor-Yorkville featuring everything from emerging artists, contemporary works, photography and more, we’re shedding light on just a few to get your art-filled adventures started. If you get tired along the way you can map out your coffee breaks with our caffeine guide or refuel at these health-focused vegetarian restaurants.
Bloor-Yorkville Guide: Best Art Galleries in Downtown Toronto
A true leader in contemporary art, Liss Gallery is home to incredible exhibits, artist appearances, and exclusive collections. Their extensive photography collections feature originals by John Lennon, Ronnie Wood, Bob Gruen and more. Aside from Rockstar moments, collectors can anticipate the return of the iconic Art of Dr Seuss collection in December 2019. These pieces include rare and newly released pieces from the beloved artist. Liss Gallery also offers consulting for corporate spaces, hospitality (of which their clients include the Bloor-Yorkville Four Seasons Hotel), and of course, residential consulting, which includes delivery, and installation.
The Lumas approach to art is particularly refreshing for today’s consumer. With the idea that “art should be for everyone,” Lumas sought to close the consumer gap in the art photography industry; a place typically reserved for established collections, institutions, and museums. By disrupting the typical production model (creating slightly larger print runs, and varying their size options), Lumas is able to offer affordable but authentic art. While they create more than just a few of each piece, they’re not mass-produced, thus providing unique statement-making pieces, while maintaining an attainable price point.
Neighouring everyone’s favourite Dessert Lady is C9 gallery. The quaint and industrial-style space features a selection of highly-curated, contemporary collections from select groups of artists. The focus of their exhibits is to elicit conversation and connection through the artwork, with the team carefully selecting pieces that speak directly to this mandate. Additionally, the gallery often hosts interactive events (such as their previous Sound of Toronto multi-sensory experience), furthering their hope of fostering meaningful relationships within Toronto’s artist community.
Phillip Gevik, director of Gallery Gevik, has spent his career dedicated to supporting Canadian and Inuit art. His gallery, located on Hazelton Ave, curates exhibitions dedicated to “artists who represent Canadian art at its best.” Such pieces include high realism to lyrical abstraction and also historical works; the selections can be viewed during regular hours or by appointment. The nurturing of Canadian talent, finding pieces that transcend trends and that speak to his clients’ character is what has fueled Gevik’s career. The growing collection of historical pieces and incredible Canadian works not found elsewhere make this a must-visit location for any art lover.
This family-owned gallery has made Bloor-Yorkville its home since the 1980s! Since then, it’s become esteemed for its vast collection of Contemporary Indigenous and Canadian paintings, sculpture and international works. The large gallery, on Cumberland Street, is bi-level and boasts 1800 sqf of showroom space. It’s also the exclusive home to some of Canada’s “leading artists—five of whom hold the Order of Canada.”
Not for the faint of pop-art heart, this Bellair Street gallery is packed with bold colors and attention-grabbing pieces. From large scale Warhol-inspired portraits, to fashion, cityscape, classic comics and everything in between, you’ll without a doubt find something you love, executed unapologetically in the playful 1950’s style. The store has an incredibly large selection, making it a fun place to browse to matter your age or style preference. Without a website, you really will have to pay a visit! You never know what gem you might find.
There are many more studios to discover, which are all listed on our directory.