Looking for a dose of artistic flair?
Parkdale, one of Toronto’s creative enclaves, is where it’s at. Beyond its trendy cafes and vintage shops, this neighbourhood pulses with a vibrant art scene that’s as diverse as it is captivating. From stunning street art to intimate galleries, in person workshops, and live events. Parkdale is a canvas of creativity waiting to be explored. Since the 1980’s the neighbourhood has attracted artists to fill the store fronts on Queen West.
In Present day, Parkdale’s art galleries are like hidden gems waiting to be discovered. They’re not pretentious, fancy-pants establishments; they’re welcoming spaces that celebrate all forms of creativity. Whether you’re into contemporary installations or classic paintings, you’ll find something that’ll make your artistic heart skip a beat.
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Let’s dive into a few of our favourites:
1. Elaine Fleck Gallery: Founded in 2003 by Elaine Fleck, this gallery is a curator’s haven, presenting a carefully selected range of art forms, including paintings, photography, and mixed media. Elaine’s discerning eye and taste have propelled the gallery onto the global stage, representing artists from around the world.
2. Gallery 1313: With over two decades of exhibitions, Gallery 1313 started as the Parkdale Village Arts Collective (PVAC), advocating for Parkdale-based artists. Located in a 1934 Art Deco building, it continues to be a member-based artistic hub, hosting numerous exhibitions annually.
3. General Hardware Gallery: General Hardware Gallery, established in 2010, showcases the works of emerging and established artists, both Canadian and international. Nestled in Parkdale at 1520 Queen St West, it’s a space where creativity knows no bounds.
4. Twist Gallery: This New York-style loft space, spanning 5,000 square feet, redefines the traditional gallery experience. With a focus on supporting local artists and a commitment to a relaxed, inclusive environment, Twist Gallery is not just a place for art enthusiasts but a lifestyle destination.
5. Propeller Art Gallery: As the last remaining artist-run gallery in the Queen Street West Art + Design District, Propeller Art Gallery is a self-sustainable space thriving since 1996. Located at 30 Abell Street in the heart of Parkdale, it hosts a diverse range of local and international exhibitions.
6. Parkdale Pottery: New to the hood, this woman-owned teaching studio dedicated to nurturing creativity through pottery classes and workshops. This studio offers open studio membership options, allowing students to seamlessly transition from structured classes into a more natural studio flow. This provides a nurturing space for continuous growth and encourages the development of individual artistic styles. Located at 1688 Queen St W.
7. Parkdale Hall: This building has a huge history, once an Eaton’s and later Brewers Retail, the owners worked around the clock to restore this building back to its original glory! The Parkdale Hall opened in 2020 (sadly not great timing for an event space!) and since have made a huge impact to Parkdale, with a big list of interesting live events. From makers markets, Fashion openings, candlelight concerts and more, there is something for everyone. They also have a huge outdoor event space available across the street. Located at 1605 Queen St W.
8. TONIGHT Live Happenings Bar: A cozy and inviting space that most often host comedy shows, but occasionally has live music as well. There is always something happening hip there! Located at 1704 Queen St W.
9. Larrys Folly: A favourite local coffee shop by day, and by night a really cool live music and event space. Serving craft beer and other libations. This place feels like you have stepped into another world with its kitschy décor and friendly staff! Located at 1462 Queen St W.
10. Peach Berserk: Peach Berserk is a fabric and fashion design studio that also hosts silkscreen workshops and art events. The shops unique creations are produced and curated by Kingi Carpenter in the Parkdale shop. Peach Berserk has been around in Toronto for years and has now found a home on Queen West just east of Roncesvalles. This testimonial from their website describes it best “If Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood had a creative lovechild it would be Peach Berserk.” Located at 1694 Queen St W.
Where Walls Tell Stories
Last but not least, we cannot forget the street art scene in Parkdale. This neighbourhood is where the street art will grab your attention. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill graffiti tags; I’m talking about bona fide masterpieces that seem to breathe life into the concrete. Wander down Queen Street West, and you’ll encounter a living canvas that tells tales of culture, activism, and pure artistic flair. Say “Hello” to the Parkdale love-bot on Triller (one of our Fav’s)
Parkdale, Where Art is Life. In Parkdale, art isn’t a distant concept confined to museums – it’s a living, breathing part of everyday life. From the vibrant street art to the cozy galleries, this neighborhood is a playground for creativity. So, if you’re looking to get your artistic fix, Parkdale is where it’s at.
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