Explore the Arts of Toronto

May 5, 2017 by Vanessa Claude

Explore the talent of Canadian artists and the culture of Toronto during CHEST 2017! Over the last decade, Toronto’s art scene has moved to the former industrial district, creating a new home for galleries, especially those of contemporary art. While Toronto’s galleries may not be very busy outside of opening nights, they allow you to visit at any time and admire the artwork at your own pace. Along with art galleries, there are many options available to experience music and performance art, as well as family-friendly activities. Here are a few places you’ll want to visit:

Art Galleries

The Power Plant

The Power Plant (4-minute drive), one of Toronto’s most established contemporary art galleries, is located within Harbourfront in an actual power plant – one that was in operation for most of the 1900s. If you’re with young family members, a free, hands-on art workshop led by artists with activities designed around the current exhibitions is available called Power Plant: Power Kids.

The Power Plant Gallery, Toronto
Photo by Tom Page/CC BY

Art Metropole

Art Metropole (15-minute drive) is a nonprofit organization with an eclectic collection of merchandise, including a huge selection of artist-created books, periodicals, posters, clothing, audio, video, and more. The name is taken from the building’s original tenant, Art Metropole, which operated as one of Toronto’s earliest galleries from 1911 to the 1940s. Art Metropole has always been the leader of Toronto’s artistic community. In 1997, over 13,000 items were transferred to the National Gallery of Canada as the “Art Metropole Collection.” The works of world-renowned artists, such as Yoko Ono, Sol Lewitt, Joseph Beuys, and Marcel Duchamp, are included in the collection.

Daniel Faria Gallery

Daniel Faria Gallery (18-minute drive) is a bright contemporary art space found in a warehouse that used to be an auto body shop. A number of reputable, mostly Canadian, artists’ works are displayed by owner Daniel Faria, including works by Shannon Bool, Chris Curreri, Kristine Moran, and Coupland. Check out other neighboring galleries within walking distance, including Tomorrow Gallery and the artist-run Mercer Union.

Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto

Photo by Miriam Matti/BlogTO

Music and Theatre

The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar

The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar (6-minute drive) has two to three (mostly free) shows every day, about 19 shows a week, jazz jams on Tuesdays, local and international talent, and a fantastic location. This place is truly hard to beat.

Canadian Opera Company

Spend an evening at the Canadian Opera Company (6-minute drive). During the week of CHEST 2017, the COC will be showing The Elixir of Love, a Cinderella story presented with a twist, as a poor and uneducated young man dreams of winning the heart of a rich, clever, and beautiful woman.

Canadian Opera Company production still
Photo by Canadian Opera Company/CC BY

Harbourfront Centre

For a wide variety of events and visual art, visit the Harbourfront Centre (4-minute drive). During your time at CHEST 2017, you’ll find options for literary arts, like the International Festival of Authors, theatre, music, shopping, and more. You may even get a chance for family skating on the Natrel Rink, which opens in November!

Note: all estimated times assume you are starting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

  • Sign up below to receive an email when new blog posts are available.