Guide: 11 places in Toronto to see awesome art for free
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You know what’s better than taking in all the amazing art of the city? Taking in all that art for free. Toronto is known for its incredible cultural and art scene. So when you consider how much of it is available at zero charge, it’s hard not to feel crazy lucky. You can see amazing street art, historical artifacts, and all the latest work from local talent without breaking the bank! You’ll expand and open your mind, but keep your wallet closed. We’ll take that deal!
Here are 11 of the best places in Toronto to see awesome art for free.
Hands down, the best street art in the city has to got to be at Graffiti Alley. This iconic Queen St location is home to masterpieces from Toronto’s favourite local street artists. You can stop by for a classic T.O. Insta pic and check out all the incredible murals this spot’s got to offer.
Where: 513 Queen St W
A surprisingly great place to hit for street art is Yorkville. They’re fresh off the 2020 Yorkville Mural festival, so there are loads of new amazing works throughout the area. The big highlight is the massive seahorse mural located on top of the Cumberland Parking Garage. Stop by and enjoy a drink on one of the many patios while you’re there.
Where: See a map of locations here.
Of course, we’ve gotta include the most well-known gallery in the city. If you’re under 25, you can hit up the AGO for free. Enjoy the amazing works, the incredible architecture, and the relaxing atmosphere at your next visit here.
Where: 317 Dundas St W
Contemporary art and waterfront views? We’re in! Head over to The Power Plant Gallery inside the Harbourfront Centre to enjoy the latest works by the incredible talent. Starting September 26th, they’ll be featuring works by artist Nathan Eugene Carson. His pieces explore themes of Black identity, history, and symbolism.
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay W
This incredible building features a ton of mini exhibits featuring work by local artists. Not only can you explore loads of galleries in one day, but you’ll also have access to the site’s insane rooftop garden. Plus, every so often the artists have been known to stop by their own exhibits. So if you have any questions, or just want to gush about their talent, they are readily available.
Where: 401 Richmond St W
This contemporary art gallery is one for the ages. Located in a quaint building on Dupont St, the spot has works so fantastic you won’t believe you’re seeing them for free. Their main claim to fame is their collection of original pieces by Warhol, Murakami, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg.
Where: 365 Dupont St
Ever find yourself shopping for produce and artisanal cheese when you realize you just want to check out free art? Yeah, yeah we know that’s a crazy specific situation. But it could happen to you! If it does, you’ll be grateful for the Market Gallery at St Lawrence Market. Right now, they’re featuring the exhibit “StreetARToronto You’ve Changed.” You can learn more about that here.
Where: 2nd Floor St Lawrence Market, 95 Front St E
This spot is an artist-run non-profit known for its innovative exhibitions and diverse talent pool. You can stop by for a free exhibition tour OR a with a classroom on a free educational tour. Although, if you’re a teacher reading this, maybe wait until after the pandemic for a group field trip. Learn more about the unique contemporary exhibit lineup here.
Where: 1286 Bloor St W
Speaking of contemporary art, you can also stop by the MOCA while you’re in the area. This incredible museum is run on the belief that art can be both culturally and socially useful. Which is why all their exhibits are great for prompting informative discussions around their subject matter. Plus, the spot is steps from the West Toronto Railpath, so you can go for a nice walk (and see some street art) afterward.
Where: 158 Sterling Rd
Head on over to the Distillery District to feast your eyes on this amazing spot. The Arta Gallery features an amazing collection of modern art created by Canadian and International artists alike. You’ll see one-of-a-kind paintings, gorgeous sculptures, and even explore artifacts of fashion!
Where: 14 Distillery Ln
Last but not least we’ve got the Corkin Gallery. This amazing place is another Distillery District full of incredible works. Their main focus is on art exploring issues surrounding the environment, identity, and consumerism. Plus, they feature works in all kinds of mediums. So no matter what you’re into, you’re sure to find something interesting here.
Where: 7 Tank House Ln
So get out there and check out all this amazing art for free! Let us know which of these amazing spots is your favourite.