outdoor art fairs toronto

The top 10 outdoor art fairs in Toronto for 2015

Outdoor art fairs in Toronto are a great way to enjoy the summer sun while taking in some local culture. We live in a creative city full of starving artists willing to sell their work for slightly more than the cost of the material it took to create them. If what currently passes for art on your walls are movie posters left from your college days or a famous painting of sunflowers, you might want to scope out the local talent at one of these fairs.

Here's a round-up of outdoor art fairs in Toronto this spring and summer.

Kensington Market Art Fair (KMFA) - Every Sunday from May 31 to October 25
Perhaps there's no better location in the city for an eclectic outdoor art fair than Kensington Market with its colourful characters and eccentric vibe. The KMFA is a curated fair organized by the Keep Six Exhibits in conjunction with Pedestrian Sundays (PSK). Forget your car and stroll around the market in search of various original two and three-dimensional art works.

Riverdale Art Walk - June 6 and 7
This is a two-day juried art exhibition featuring both established and emerging artists in various retail spaces and Jimmie Simpson Park along Queen East's art district. This fair in Riverdale/Leslieville has grown to now include 130 participating artists, local community groups, entertainers and vendors.

Liberty Village Art Crawl - June 13
This is the third annual Liberty Village Art Crawl showcasing original art, photography, jewellery design, furniture, and fashion. The event will also include DJs and food trucks. Bring along your wallet and your negotiation skills; a few of the artists may just be willing to cut you a deal.

The Beaches Arts & Crafts Show - June 13 and 14
The Beaches Arts & Crafts Show is all about handmade products created by artists, artisans and designers from across Canada. You can have your pick of visual art works, jewellery, leather pieces, clothing and home and garden decor. Even if the art doesn't impress you, the beachside setting at Kew Gardens will.

The Entertainment District Art Crawl - July 10
If the Liberty Village Art Crawl has peaked your interest, but you prefer to hang in the Entertainment District, you can go to this event organized by the same group. You'll get the same chance to see one of a kind products and unique pieces by artists and artisans but this time you'll be surrounded by theatres and concert halls.

Artfest at the Distillery - September 4-7
The Distillery is one of the nicer venues for an outdoor art event on this list, especially because of the many venues to eat and drink immediately nearby. Art hunting can be exhausting. So after you check out work from local artisans, head for a French-style lunch at Cluny or Mexican at El Catrin or just pints at the Mill Street Beer Hall.

Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale - September 11 to 13
An arts fair in Cabbagetown just makes sense. After all, this heritage neighbourhood has been home to many famous Canadians in the arts. This is a large juried festival that includes 180 artists and craftspeople so be prepared for large crowds to flock to Riverdale Park.

The Queen West Art Crawl (QWAC) - September 12 and 13
The Queen West Art Crawl is a weekend long festival at Trinity Bellwoods. The fair includes a juried selection from more than 250 artists and artisans. If you're planning to picnic at the park during the art crawl, you need to show up early because the event is a huge neighbourhood draw and choice spots go fast.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) - September 18 to 20
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) wants to school you in art appreciation at the same time as giving artists some much needed face time with prospective customers. This fair, located at Nathan Phillips square for over 50 years, is a humongous gathering of artists with up to 400 participants in 14 categories, offering hand-made originals to the 100,000 visitors attending the exhibition every year.

Danforth East Arts Fair - September 19 to 20
The Danforth East Arts Fair at East Lynn Park, located on the south side of the Danforth between Coxwell and Woodbine is a family friendly neighbourhood event. In addition to the art, you get children's activities, tons of great food and other pop-up entertainers that help to set the artsy mood.

What outdoor arts fairs are happening in your neighbourhood? Add them to the comments below.

Follow Sima Sahar Zerehi on Twitter @SimaSaharZerehi

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