The top 5 outdoor art fairs in Toronto for summer 2014
Outdoor art fairs in Toronto always restore my faith in humanity by remind me how much creative talent there is in the city. And no, they're not douchey. They're wonderful. Riverdale, Cabbagetown, and, of course, Queen West all host their own neighbourhood events showcasing local artists and artisans trying to make it in Toronto, as well as the work of more established creators. What's more, many of these events come complete with food vendors and other entertainment.
Here are five outdoor art events set for summer 2014 in Toronto.
Riverdale Art Walk
The Riverdale Art Walk, in Jimmie Simpson Park, showcases both new and established artists in the city. The two-day event will feature a mix of styles of fine art. It also bills itself as one of the more affordable summer art crawls in Toronto. The 130 or so artists will show and sell their work alongside local community groups, food vendors and entertainers. This year's Riverdale Art Walk is on June 7 and 8.
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
Now entering its 53rd year (yes, it's that old), the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is the premiere open air art show of the year (though the Queen West Art Crawl certainly gives it competition). Running from July 4th to 6th at Nathan Phillips Square, the range of work is remarkable in both quality and price. While most of what's on offer is fine art, you will find some more crafty stuff amongst the affordable options. With booths helmed by the artists themselves, the fair is also a good chance to establish relationships in the Toronto art community. Even if you can't afford to buy anything, this one's worth a visit.
Toronto Art Crawl
The Toronto Art Crawl will be spread over not one, but three neighbourhoods, and held over several weekends. The Liberty Village Art Crawl will take place June 13-14, the Entertainment District Art Crawl is set for July 11 and August 8, and City Place Art Crawl will happen July 5 and September 27. About 45 artists will be featured, alongside food truck vendors and live DJs and other entertainment.
Cabbagetown Arts and Crafts Show
The Cabbagetown art crawl has been going down since before hyperlocalism was a trendy thing. Now in its twenty-sixth year, the festival will be held at Riverdale Park Sept. 5-7. It begins on Thursday night and ends on Sunday, with Parliament Street closed to traffic on Sunday for a parade and all-day entertainment. Alongside arts and crafts from over 180 artists, the crawl also features sidewalk cafes, garage sales, and local street food.
Queen West Art Crawl
The Queen West Art Crawl is a seriously organized affair, with categories ranging from photography to jewelry to - of course - paintings, drawings and mixed media works. It stretches through Parkdale and West Queen West, from Roncesvalles Avenue to Bathurst Street. There are 50 talented local artists confirmed as taking part in the outdoor art show in Bellwoods, and their creations come at different price points, so there's something accessible to most collectors (there's a $1-$50 category, for example). Looking to party? Fear not, as the event also includes the Parkdale night crawl. Check it out Sept. 12-14.
Kensington Market Art Fair
Toronto's newest outdoor art event, the Kensington Market Art Fair is hosted in conjunction with Pedestrian Sundays. Curated and run by Keep Six Exhibits, the relatively small fair (26 artists are featured at each event) is an excellent addition to the every busy street festival. The work on offer, which is by local artists, is well documented on the event's website, so you can scope out some of the artists in advance. Upcoming fairs will take place on June 29th, July 27th, and August 31st.
Photo by Irina No