Toronto art bus brings the 905 art scene to city dwellers
The art bus is one of Toronto's best accidental-secrets. Outside a small circle of artists, gallery admins and students, few others beyond Toronto's hardcore devotees to art (and free snacks/low qual wine) know about the rides, yet they're one of Toronto's best free activities. Plus, these bus blasts past the Bloor/Yonge/whatever paradigm to like, the burbs, aka places it's difficult for arty city dwellers to TTC to (we're hopeless).
The yellow school bus is called into use mainly for openings or special events like artist talks. Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough is a popular destination, and last fall the bus wound its way several times to Markham Museum for Land|slide's programing (so good!).
No matter how serious the art-speak in the curatorial statement of exhibit you're on your way to, the bus' inexplicably too-small seats (did we grow or something?) and (if you're lucky) smiley-face overhead lights will have even the most tightly coiffed of fauxhemia cracking a smile. If the exhibit is bad, you still get a story to tell. And snacks. (Note: I've never seen a bad exhibit on an art bus trip.)
Art bus rides and tours leave from different locations around the city: often 401 Richmond, MOCCA or Mercer Union. Occasions are sporadic, so trips best found by following Akimbo's openings and events listings.
This weekend you can ride the contemporary art bus tour - for free! - to Blackwood Gallery and the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). The tour starts at Koffler Gallery at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street) at 12pm and returns at 5pm.