The top 5 neighbourhoods for artists in Toronto
The top neighbourhoods for artists in Toronto are always in flux. You know the story: artists identify an area with cheap rent, set up live/work spaces there, a community forms, and a few years later full-on gentrification is underway and the cycle repeats elsewhere. It's not quite that simple, but there is a limited window that artists tend to take advantage of.
Here are my picks for the top neighbourhoods for artists in Toronto right now.
The Junction Triangle
The Junction Triangle is perhaps the most obvious neighbourhood for artists in Toronto. Rent remains within reach, it's become the central hub for the gallery scene (it's MOCCA's new home), and transit accessibility is decent throughout much of the area.
Located south-east of the Junction Triangle, Brockton Village has long been a popular neighbourhood for artists looking to capitalize on cheap rent and ample studio space. There's fewer galleries here, but plenty of creative hubs.
Even as only two stages of the three-part redevelopment of Regent Park have been completed, the neighbourhood has completely transformed. It's no wonder that Younger Than Beyonce Gallery launched its first show here last year. The Daniels Spectrum is a valuable neighbourhood resource and rent has yet to jump in the manner it will when the project is complete.
Carleton Village / Pelham Park
This little pocket of Toronto is located between Caledonia and Old Weston Rd. just to the north and south of Davenport. While its ascent as a burgeoning arts hub was hurt when Jessica Bradley closed up shop, the combination of cheap rent, warehouse space on Miller St., and the presence of Katzman Contemporary and recently moved Alison Milne make it a pre-gentrification haven for artists.
While the rate of gentrification is sure to increase in this area as various condo proposals become reality, for now Dovercourt Village is a place with reasonable (if not cheap) rent, lots of studio space along Geary Ave. and at 888 Dupont St., upstart art spaces like Warner Gallery. This is a diverse neighbourhood on the cusp of transformation, but there's a vibrant artist community here for now.
Photo of the future home of MOCCA by Hector Vasquez.
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