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Arts

The top 10 places to buy affordable art in Toronto

Posted by Julia Stead / November 28, 2013

affordable art torontoPlaces to buy affordable art inToronto are rarities amongst the vast sea of galleries showing work by mid-career and established artists. But don't worry, they do exist! While you can always hit up sales and fairs like the upcoming Photorama or the Artist project, there are also places that sell reasonably-priced art objects on a regular basis. Without the cash to support a fine art addiction, it can be hard to decorate your abode in the way that most speaks to your inner-artiste. Let's leave the heavy-spending to the experts, and find art we can fall in love with, that won't make us instantly broke. At these 10 shops and galleries, you can avoid dropping more than $300 (and in most cases much, much less) when it comes to artwork, prints, posters, and all sorts of hand-crafted designs.

Telegramme Prints
Telegramme Prints have two locations, the original in Leslieville and the new addition on Ossington. They're a one-stop shop for art, framing, posters and printing. Their posters are nothing like the ones you tacked on your dorm room walls in university. On the contrary, they're beautiful screen prints or lithographs that each come with a certificate of authenticity. Their entire collection is viewable online, or use their handy in-store catalogue to choose the perfect piece for your home.

Kid Icarus
Kid Icarus is is a community-oriented shop with a wide array of handmade items crafted by local artists. They also undertake custom work, incorporating their designs or yours into posters, cards, rubber stamps, or wedding invitations. While the items on offer here tend to be on a smaller scale or accessory-like, there's a huge array of posters ($20 and $40), including Dave Murray's neighbourhood word maps.

Circuit Gallery
Circuit Gallery is a web-based company that uses the affordability of digital reproduction to offer editions of contemporary artwork at wonderfully low prices. The art comes in standard sizes, like 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20, and in limited but large editions (usually around 500). The smaller the size and the larger the edition, the less expensive the work is, and vice versa. With prices that start at $30 (for an 8x10), there's little reason to resist starting your own art collection.

Art Metropole
This long-established artist-run retailer has an eclectic collection of artist-created books, periodicals, posters, clothing, audio, video, and multiples. Their storefront on Dundas West is great for casual browsing, or use their online shop to discover unique and affordable finds.

Gallery44
Gallery 44, located at Richmond and Spadina, is a non-profit artist-run centre focused on photo-based art. They hold sales throughout the year, providing collectable photography artwork at accessible prices. Plus their online shop has growing selection of exhibition catalogues available for only $5.

OCAD U Student Gallery
The OCAD U Student Gallery's art shows display works by up-and-coming OCAD artists. Just so you know, the work at these exhibitions is for sale, despite not have the prices displayed. Their shop is also open 12pm - 6pm Wednesday through Saturday, where you can buy prints, jewellery, pottery, zines, cards and the like. It's a great place to spend your money, because not only are you supporting starving artists, but they're also starving students.

NO Foundation
Located beside the Katharine Mulherin Gallery on Queen West, this store is a so-called "museum" that focuses on experimental and underexposed art. Their shop sells sculptures, jewellery, gifts and other artsy items at price points that won't cause sticker shock. Even better, the the profits are used to support the exhibitions and the artists involved.

Open Studio
Open Studio is a non-profit, artist-run printmaking centre dedicated to the production and preservation of original fine art prints. Aside from offering affordable facilities for printmaking, they have print sales that run Tuesday to Saturday 12pm - 5pm, or you can make an appointment outside these hours. Keep up to date on their latest sales by visiting their website.

#Hashtag Gallery
Since April 2012, this little Dundas West gal has been exhibiting work from a wide scope of emerging artists. Hashtag aims to represent the online revolution, so if you're into a more virtual aesthetic, this might be the best place to spend your cash. Art can be bought during their exhibitions, or you can check out the online shop for prints and original work. #art #affordable

EYE BUY ART
This online-only shop connects art collectors with affordable fine art photography. Artists displayed on this site are winners of international photography competitions. You can browse through the website by price, size, artist, or colour to find the perfect piece that fits your budget.

MAP

Discussion

48 Comments

artie / November 28, 2013 at 03:16 pm
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Prints are not art. If people are interested in affordable art they should seek out Toronto artists, go to gallery openings at small, independent galleries like 1080 Bus for example etc. Support the local Toronto art scene.

Not to undercut them but if you see an original piece you like, speak with the artist and try and negotiate a price that works for both of you. Artists need to make a living wage, but at the same time if you fall in love with a piece of art you can't afford, talk to the artist about it. Often they want to find good homes for their work, which they of course often have an emotional attachment to as well. When I was a really poor undergrad I was able to score a couple of works by now-semi-famous toronto artists just be being in the scene and talking to them. At the end of the day I don't care that these pieces appreciated in value, I'll never sell them because I love them, and that's probably why the artists sold them to me for a song in the first place.
Printmaker / November 28, 2013 at 03:37 pm
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Hey (F)artie, printmaking is an art as are the prints we make.
Amanda / November 28, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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Artscape has many wonderful artist at it's many locations. The Barns on Christie and The Distillery just to name two. http://torontoartscape.org/
The Barns is holding its annual Christmas Art Market next weekend December 8th. They have a Art Market that runs all spring and summer as well. http://torontoartscape.org/barnsartmarket.ca
beverly / November 28, 2013 at 03:50 pm
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Artie, I disagree. Screenprints and lithographs ( and other types of printmaking ) are indeed art, fine art, and can be exceptionally beautiful. They are made by real artists,,,right here in toronto.

they are often limited edition to keep the value. Perhaps you are thinking of works reproduced by the thousands, like posters?
Emily McInnes / November 28, 2013 at 03:52 pm
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Hi Julia,

I love the idea of this article, and you've got good ideas listed here. However, I have to admit that I'm disappointed that you didn't include www.eyebuyart.com.

I started this business in 2009 to connects art collectors with affordable, fine art photography by rising stars in the art scene. I founded it to address the exact challenges you outline in this article.

The work we sell on our site is vetted by high profile jury members in the field of art and photography, and is selected from winners of an international photography competition (that we have a partnership with).

If you do a google search for art, you're going to wind up with about a gajillion results. That's why this kind of article is great. It's hard to find work that you know is good, and in particular, that has been created by a real artist. My attitude is that the more people buying art online the better, because we're changing the game.

However - it would be great to get more support from local media like yourselves.

Please check out eyebuyart.com
We appreciate it and our artists do too.

Thank you!
Emily McInnes
Founder and Director
EYE BUY ART.COM
TBIT / November 28, 2013 at 03:57 pm
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Prints are only art if that is the art form. Buying a print of a classic oil painting is not "buying art" but often, the selling of a print of a smaller (say, smaller than Van Gogh) artist's piece is more the production of the art form than the original source piece.

Photography as art is a perfect example of that. No one buys the negative, they buy the product of that negative. And with that, I would suggest buying off walls in small galleries, cafes and coffee shops. There is lots of nice art to be found there. If you want to comment on my use of "nice" please resist :)
Simon Plashkes / November 28, 2013 at 04:00 pm
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The BEST place to buy affordable art in Toronto is directly from the painters at ART BATTLE: Live Competitive Painting. Once a month, watch as 16 painters paint 20 paintings for audience votes. All works are sold at silent auction. It's fun, easy, affordable, and exciting. Come check us out, our next event with ART BOMB: http://artbattle.com/ababab
Roger Cullman / November 28, 2013 at 04:05 pm
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This list is a good start.

There's also Yellow Korner, which has 2 locations in Toronto. One on Queen St. W. near Bathurst and the other one at the Shops at Don Mills. They also sell some great international work online:
http://www.yellowkorner.com

And there's Moniker Gallery on Richmond, just west of Spadina
http://www.monikergallery.ca
They're having a Nutcracker Holiday Art Exhibition on Friday, Dec. 13 (running till Dec. 19)
tobias / November 28, 2013 at 04:06 pm
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Hermann & Audrey - 1506 Dundas. learn up.
Jeremy / November 28, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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Telegramme (Ossington) has this really cute framer named Ellen!
andrew haller / November 28, 2013 at 04:42 pm
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Paradise Bound! Get art plus records.

http://www.paradisebound.ca/
Artist Helper / November 28, 2013 at 04:46 pm
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I find it strange that TO Blog touts itself as "Toronto's most-visited web site for local news and culture" and doesn't include any local online galleries. Just one example is http://eyebuyart.com/ which is doing a lot to help affordable artists, including many from Toronto, get national and international exposure, and even get their works into public galleries such as New Brunswick's Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Ottawa Art Gallery .

Any thoughts?
Jackie / November 28, 2013 at 04:54 pm
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art interiors is my choice
http://www.artinteriors.ca/
Me replying to a comment from Artist Helper / November 28, 2013 at 05:09 pm
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"Toronto's most-visited web site for local news and culture"

I never noticed that before. Quite laughable really considering most Torontonians, especially those not of the Left, have never heard of it. AHAHAHAAA!! Too fucking funny!!
salamandy / November 28, 2013 at 05:26 pm
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Gallery 1313 in Parkdale should be on this list. They are not for profit and support emerging artists, so prices can be quite decent! www.g1313.org is their website!
Mark / November 28, 2013 at 05:54 pm
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Too bad EyeBuyArt.com wasn't included. It's a pretty fantastic (and affordable!) place to buy beautiful art!
nb / November 28, 2013 at 06:03 pm
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Best place to buy affordable art? Directly from the artist. Completely cut out the gallery.
Marina / November 28, 2013 at 06:04 pm
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Subway Sign Art
www.wordology.etsy.com
shmenge replying to a comment from artie / November 28, 2013 at 06:04 pm
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"prints are not art"

TIL Artie knows sweet f all about art
Amalia / November 28, 2013 at 06:14 pm
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ART BATTLE is the best place to not only get the full experience of what visual artists do, but also to actually own LIVE works from REAL local artists at an AMAZING price.
Check it out. artbattle.com
Emily McInnes / November 28, 2013 at 07:55 pm
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Dear Team Blog TO.

I'm feeling the love again.
Thank you so much for responding so quickly, and for including eyebuyart.com into your list of great places to find affordable art.

I so appreciate that.

Thank you from the artists who benefit from these sites and from the people like me working behind the scenes to push more great art into the world.

Emily
Founder and Director
EYE BUY ART.COM
LMIH replying to a comment from Simon Plashkes / November 28, 2013 at 09:15 pm
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Listen to Simon and go to Art Battle.
Nicky Jameson / November 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm
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Support your local artists.Toronto based artist here (part-time as I have a day gig as well)I sell my photographic art prints and canvases online at Fine Art America.I would encourage artists to do the same as it's a great way to sell your art online, POD and get more exposure. Although it's called FAA there is a growing community of Toronto artists here too and I always get details of artists events in my locality. Buyers get art directly from the artists, rather than via a middle-person. My artist's gallery with my artwork is http://nickyjamesonfineart.com I also blog about my art at http://nickyjameson.com... The reality is that as artists we have to do more to promote ourselves and each other... so that people looking for art know where to find us wherever we may be and however they wish to buy.
Oil Can Boy / November 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm
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Artists who are represented by galleries owe it to their galleries to sell their work thru the gallery. Encouraging folks to hassle artists who are represented by galleries to cheat the galleries that work hard for them is kind of shitty.
Kristen Miller / November 29, 2013 at 07:38 am
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Skeir Gallery!!! Also the friendliest gallery you will enter, Shawn is a great guy and has smaller versions of his DNA paintings starting at $150.00
Nicole Collins / November 29, 2013 at 10:15 am
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I love that you are encouraging people to buy art!
But most of the so-called established galleries focussing on mid-career or senior artists ALSO sell works for $300.00, sometimes less. You just need to ask!
Check out General Hardware Contemporary for a super friendly example
http://generalhardware.ca/
(go Niki!!)
Also, most galleries will arrange installment payment plans so that you can spread out the expense. Again, just ask!
DR / November 29, 2013 at 10:21 am
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PROJECT GALLERY ALL DAY EREY DAY THEY GOT CHEESE ON DECK FOR THEM OPENINGS MIGHT HAFTA PARTICIPATE IN AN INSTALLATION
STRanger / November 29, 2013 at 11:28 am
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The Arts Market! www.artsmarket.ca

Also voted the Best Unique Gift Store 2013 by Now Magazine Readers
pierce replying to a comment from Emily McInnes / November 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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Except that eybuyart is not affordable. Your choices for art in the price range for 25 and 50 dollars is always empty. I'm not buying prints for more than 50, sorry.
Emily McInnes replying to a comment from pierce / November 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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Hi Pierce,

Oh my gosh - thanks for pointing this out! I had to increase our prices on the 8x10" and 11x14" sizes recently (to accommodate for an increase in our print costs). I realized just now (thanks to your post) that we didn't update the "search by price" menu on our homepage.

Gah.

Well it's fixed now. So although we've increased our prices on the 11x14"s from $50 to $60, you may like to know we're having a 24-hour black friday promo where you get 20% off all art that has the keyword "black". That'll get those back in your price range.

http://eyebuyart.com/content/blog/black-friday-2013/

Hope that helps.

Send me an email (emily@eyebuyart.com) and I'll give you a code for free shipping as well, to say thank you for helping me find this mistake!

Cheers,
Emily
opensource1111 / November 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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Making art that is affordable to a larger cross section of the public is important, but let's not forget that artists need to make a living as well. Unless the artist runs a factory type operation, churning out products rather than works of art created by careful thought and imagination, $300 is not fair compensation. Artists themselves need to stop devaluing their work, especially young or new artists.
Emily McInnes replying to a comment from pierce / November 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm
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Posting again so you see this Pierce (hm, not my technical day - I was sure I checked that reply box):

Hi Pierce,

Oh my gosh - thanks for pointing this out! I had to increase our prices on the 8x10" and 11x14" sizes recently (to accommodate for an increase in our print costs). I realized just now (thanks to your post) that we didn't update the "search by price" menu on our homepage.

Gah.

Well it's fixed now. So although we've increased our prices on the 11x14"s from $50 to $60, you may like to know we're having a 24-hour black friday promo where you get 20% off all art that has the keyword "black". That'll get those back in your price range.

http://eyebuyart.com/content/blog/black-friday-2013/

Hope that helps.

Send me an email (emily@eyebuyart.com) and I'll give you a code for free shipping as well, to say thank you for helping me find this mistake!

Cheers,
Emily
Reply
Cale Fair / November 29, 2013 at 02:02 pm
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www.GelaSkins.com

E-comm business, where all prints/stretched canvases are manufactured in Toronto's Junction. Featuring incredible local artists (Dave Murray, PlayDead Cult, We Kill You, Warren Mack and more.) 100's of other talented artists from across the globe.

Full disclosure: I PROUDLY work for this company. Check us out!
Nicole / November 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm
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Best place to buy Original Affordable Art

Gallery Catalyst at 666 Queen St. West

www.GalleryCatalyst.com
Anna / November 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm
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Take a look at Wondereur.
http://wondereur.com/

up and coming artists with a story behind them.
ARTIST / December 2, 2013 at 07:40 pm
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These guys are also located in Toronto, and have VERY affordable artwork for sale from artists around the world.

http://www.prinnnt.com
Someone studio replying to a comment from Printmaker / December 3, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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Well said, Printmaker!
Printmakers, including ourselves, carry their designs from initial sketch through to the finished product and often reproduction. Its alot of work to design for different styles of printing. We do letterpress and it is a tremendously laborious and imperfect system, which has a new set of considerations with each project. We also reproduce other artists' work - but certainly not to make a quick and easy buck! Reproducing images to share with the world helps to support that artist's work (with their permission, of course,) and spread the love - exposing more people to more art thats accessible and affordable! A great example is what we are currently working on: http://kck.st/18fced5
Tom / December 6, 2013 at 10:30 am
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Pikto has good art as well on their site and in the distillery http://www.pikto.com/cad/gallery/top-pick.html
nb replying to a comment from Oil Can Boy / December 8, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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I don't agree. And I don't think many other artists would either. Like it or not, art is not a retail operation. I am happy selling my work directly to anyone that wishes to buy it. Galleries rarely deserve the substantial commission (50% or more in most cases), that they take. It would be unacceptable in any other business relationships.

Artzila.com / December 27, 2013 at 08:53 pm
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Artzila.com is based in Toronto and represents Canadian artists and photographers. Selling limited edition museum quality prints starting at $40.00
Graeme replying to a comment from artie / February 5, 2014 at 05:39 pm
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Artie, I totally agree with you. We're (#Hashtag Gallery), not a print based gallery, that's just what we have in our online shop.

Our aim is to promote emerging artists who need the help showing their work, and to encourage first-time art buyers to give real art a chance instead of heading to IKEA to buy a print on canvas that 10 of their friends have.

Also a list of 10 places by no means is an inclusion of everything out there.
Graeme replying to a comment from artie / February 5, 2014 at 05:48 pm
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as pt.2 to my last comment. "Totally agree" meant "agree that cheap art does not ONLY = prints." I should have expanded that a bit...
Lailee Soleimani / April 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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This has to be added to the list : atelier rzlbd in Northyork, Bayview Village. It's a very chic, minimal space in the lower level of the mall.. a fairly young gallery owned by an award-winning modern architect and sells very affordable art by local artists.

www.rzlbd.com
Caroline / June 17, 2014 at 01:13 pm
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I create kids art prints for Nurseries, play area’s..... They are Modern, colourful, customizable. Check it out!!
www.Carolinesinkandpaper.com
Mike B / July 13, 2014 at 09:28 pm
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I buy all my art from the Eclectic gallery. The owner knows his art and himself is an artist. Plus his framing is the best. The gallery is located in bloor west village and Windermere and bloor street.
Mel M / July 13, 2014 at 10:11 pm
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Rosewill Studio & Gallery is a cool collective of several Toronto artists. There is a lot to choose from, and a constantly fresh assortment. Prices are pretty good too, and will often even do payment plans. 1630 Dundas Street W.
Onterryo / July 14, 2014 at 12:20 am
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Great article. And since people are suggesting other places I'd like to put forward the Art House Gallery at 594 Markham St. as another great place to get original art by local artists at affordable prices. www.facebook.com/thearthousegallery.ca.
Open Studio / July 14, 2014 at 10:58 am
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Thanks for including Open Studio in this list blogTO! Just a note that the link you have for us is an old one and no longer working. For our Print Sales Gallery, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon - 5pm all year, you can follow this link: http://www.openstudio.on.ca/print-sales/. We also now offer online shopping, available here: http://store.openstudio.on.ca/Print-Sales-Gallery-s/2043.htm. For our Artist Proof Sale, which happens annually around the holidays, this link has more info: http://www.openstudio.on.ca/artist-proof-sale/.

In response to Artie, as others have mentioned, he seems to be confused between prints and reproductions. A reproduction is a (often digitally) printed copy of an artwork conceived in another medium, such as painting. An original print is an artwork conceived of and executed entirely in one or more of a variety of print media, such as screenprinting, lithography or intaglio. Fine art photographs are also referred to as prints. An original print can employ digital methods, but the distinction is that it is an original and not a copy of an artwork in another medium. For more information on printmaking, see here: http://www.openstudio.on.ca/what-is-a-print/ or you could take one of our classes: http://www.openstudio.on.ca/classes/.

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