From established institutions to new ventures, these ten Toronto
galleries push the boundaries of contemporary art and spark critical dialogue through the diverse range of artworks on show. Toronto’s galleries represent the best of contemporary art from local and international artists, exhibiting a range of art media and styles. Their dedication to inventive curation and support of Canadian artists are just part of the reason each of the following galleries stand out as the top arts destinations in Toronto.
Cooper Cole Gallery was opened in 2009 by Simon Cole, in place of his previous gallery space,Show & Tell, a successful gallery with a reputation for street art. Cole opened Cooper Cole in order to distance himself and his developing roster of artists from this movement. The rebranded gallery space now showcases diverse works, from abstract and conceptual paintings to sculptural installations. Cole insists that the gallery has no set style and he refuses to be pigeonholed into one artistic category. His mission is to bring a younger voice to the Toronto Art Scene by representing a number of local and American artists in their mid- to late twenties. Artists represented by Cooper Cole include Todd James, Jeremy Jansen, Jen Stark and Tessar Lo, among many others.
Cooper Cole Gallery, 1134 Dupont Street, Toronto, ON M6H 2A2, Canada, +1 416-531-8000
Andrea Pinheiro, © Cooper Cole Gallery
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens and initially named the Art Museum of Toronto. The Gallery is now one of the largest art museums in North America and since 2008 has been housed in an innovative building designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. The AGO has a collection of over 80,000 works including The Canadian Collection, Masterpieces of European Art and a Contemporary Art collection of all media from the 1960s to the present. Their Contemporary Collection features works by Canadian artists such as David Altmejd, Brian Jungen, Jeff Wall, and Shirley Wiitasalo, and international artists such as Mona Hatoum, Gerhard Richter, Doris Salcedo, Tino Sehgal, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.
AGO, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON, M5T 1G4, Canada, +1 416-979-6648
Clint Roenisch gallery opened its doors in 2003 adjacent to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) in downtown Toronto. The gallery represents a diverse selection of cross-generational artists working across photography, sculpture, painting, film and installation and over the years has built up an impressive roster of international artists. Clint Roenisch has been the location of premier solo exhibitions in Canada by several international artists, including Roger Ballen (Johannesburgh) Heather and Ivan Morrison (Wales) and Marcel van Eden (Zurich). The gallery has also exhibited works by renowned artists such as Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois and Nan Goldin. Many of the artists hosted at Clint Roenisch Gallery have exhibited at or been collected by prestigious institutions such as MoMA, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Clint Roenisch, 190 Saint Helen’s Ave, Toronto, ON, M6H 4A2, Canada, +1 416-516-8593
Wil Kucey Gallery
Wil Kucey Gallery
Owner and director Wil Kucey opened Wil Kucey gallery in 2003 in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood. The gallery focuses on promoting and giving exposure to emerging and mid-career artists, forging a pathway of professional representation for upcoming artists who have not yet broken into the commercial market. Over the last decade Wil Kucey gallery has built a strong reputation not only for itself as an art dealing and exhibiting gallery, but also for the artists it represents, including Tristram Lansdowne, Benjamin Oakley and Nicholas Di Genova. The works on show at Wil Kucey gallery come in all mediums, enabling the introduction of emerging artists to collectors and upper-tier galleries, as well as a wider public audience. Wil Kucey gallery also shows annually at Art Toronto: Toronto International Art Fair, Canada’s only modern and contemporary fine art fair.
Wil Kucey gallery, 1183 Dundas Street West, Toronto ON, M6J 1X3, Canada, +1 416 532 8467
Michael Antkowiak ©Wil Kucey Gallery
Since its opening in 1996, the mission of Angell Gallery has been to support both emerging and mid-career artists. The gallery specialises in representing artists who are known for taking risks in their work. The works shown at Angell Gallery often challenge contemporary culture and the critical norms of art-making. The gallery has therefore become known for pushing the boundaries of contemporary art through the presentation of high-quality works that challenge both the artists and their patrons. The artworks found at Angell Gallery come in a variety of mediums including sculpture and painting, looking more recently at digital and video art with their two-part exhibition Simulators. The gallery represents multiple celebrated local and international artists such as Geoffrey Pugen and Alex McLeod and exhibits regularly on the contemporary art fair circuit.
Angell Gallery, 1444 Dupont Street, Unit 15, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 4H3, Canada, +1 416-530-0444
Courtesy of Angell Gallery
Stephen Bulger Gallery
Stephen Bulger founded his gallery in 1994 whilst working as a Technician at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Since then the gallery has held over 150 exhibitions focusing on international, contemporary and historical photographs. Stephen Bulger Gallery represents numerous Canadian and international photographers including Pete Doherty, Sunil Gupta and Jeff Thomas, and has a collection of over 15,000 photographs, with a particular interest in documentary and historical photographs from Canada. Although the gallery works with collectors of all levels, it specialises in working with and offering advice to first-time buyers. CAMERA, Toronto’s premier lounge, screening room and gallery venue is housed here alongside the gallery bookshop, which contains over 3,000 titles on photography. Stephen Bulger is also the co-founder of CONTACT, Toronto’s annual photography festival.
Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, M6J 1H6, Canada, +1 416-504-0575
Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
Corkin Gallery, originally founded under the name Jane Corkin Gallery in 1978, is one of Canada’s pre-eminent visual art spaces. The gallery, owned by Jane Corkin, has gained worldwide recognition for its contribution to contemporary art discourse and its dedication to curatorial projects and exhibitions that facilitate discussion amongst artists, curators, museums and private collections. The gallery also contextualises the work of the numerous Canadian and international artists on their roster through exhibitions that provide a historical trajectory. The main topics explored by artists represented by Corkin Gallery are the environment, identity, consumerism and narrative. These themes are conveyed through a variety of mediums, including photography, abstract painting, digital media and sculpture. Corkin Gallery is now based in a converted tank house in the Distillery District, and regularly attends art fairs at The Armory in New York, Art Basel, Art Hong Kong, and Art Toronto.
Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House Lane, Toronto, ON, M5A 3C4, Canada, +1 416-979-1980
Kertész, Toronto, 2015 installation : Courtesy of Corkin Gallery
Daniel Faria Gallery
Daniel Faria Gallery is a contemporary art space housed in a converted warehouse in Bloordale Village. Founder, Daniel Faria, has worked in the gallery scene for over a decade, accumulating the right relationships, reputation and savvy necessary to open his own gallery in 2011. The relatively new space was well received in the Toronto art scene and has gone on to exhibit some of the biggest names in Canadian art. At present, the gallery has a selective roster of 10, mainly Canadian artists including Shannon Bool, Chris Curreri and Kristine Moran. International artists represented by the gallery include German-born Iris Häussler, whose multimedia works have featured in several shows, among others a solo show Iris Häussler As The Frog in 2015.
Daniel Faria Gallery, 188 St Helens Avenue, Toronto ON, M6H 4A1, Canada, +1 416-538-1880
Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery
Christopher Cutts Gallery
Working exclusively with art produced by high-calibre artists from Canada, the United States, Britain, Germany, the Czech Republic and Denmark, the Christopher Cutts Gallery is one of the leading commercial fine art galleries in Toronto. The gallery has been operational since 1986 and deals solely in critically acclaimed, new and historical works of modern and contemporary art. Their extensive programme includes Estates of historically significant Canadian artists, established senior artists, recognised mid-career artists and important emerging artists from around the works. In particular, Christopher Cutts is interested in emerging artists who are exploring the boundaries of media, representation and interpretation in contemporary art-making. They currently represent 45 creative minds, such as Ron Martin, Christy Langer, Andrew Rucklidge and Sherri Hay, and exhibit regularly at contemporary art fairs – Art Toronto and Art Miami, among others.
Christopher Cutts Gallery, 21 Morrow Avenue, Toronto, ON, M6R 2H9, Canada, +1 416-532-5566
Courtesy of Christopher Cutts Gallery
Located in downtown Toronto, Diaz Contemporary opened in 2005 in a newly renovated post-industrial building. The architecture of the space is well suited to the variety of media exhibited there including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography and media-based works. Diaz Contemporary is made up of two gallery rooms which can be adapted to present two shows simultaneously or one larger show. The gallery represents a range of emerging, mid-career and senior artists from Canada and Mexico and has become a forum for expanding critical international art dialogue within the local area. Directed by Benjamin Diaz, the gallery shows a commitment to fostering the careers of selected artists such as Kim Adams, James Carl and Kelly Mark whilst providing a strong platform for critical engagement with contemporary art.
Diaz Contemporary, 100 Niagara Street, Toronto, ON, M5V 1C5, Canada, +1 416-361-2972
Courtesy of Diaz Contemporary