If death and taxes are the most reliable things in life, a close third could be the inevitability of artists and art galleries colonizing industrial and under-utilized city pockets. The pursuit of larger spaces, lower rents and edgy addresses drives dealers to seek out the next hot gallery district—oftentimes creating a domino effect that brings in cafes, retail shops and full-fledged commercial centres where they didn’t exist before (à la New York City’s long-gentrified Soho).
Which is what makes Toronto’s newest gallery district, at Dupont Street near Dufferin, surprising and not; offering a wealth of warehouse and garage-size spaces, it would seem the perfect undiscovered spot to open a gallery—except that it happens to be located smack in the middle of town. Now situated even closer to many collectors’ Forest Hill and Rosedale homes than they previously were in their downtown spots, dealers moving in to create the new Dupont art hub seem to have found a logistical win. Taking advantage of summer’s sleepier pace, several of my favourite galleries are on the move.
Simon Cole has made a name for himself both within Toronto and across our borders, showing at the NADA Art Fairs in New York and Miami, and the Material Art Fair in Mexico City. The debut group exhibition on Dupont Street (near Dufferin) includes work by Ryan Foerster and Sara Greenberger Rafferty.
Installation view at Cooper Cole’s new space on Dupont, with works by Anne-Lise Coste (left) and Ryan Foerster (right)
Stump has a strong eye for young talent and has established her gallery as a bellwether space for artists to watch. Her stable of mostly female artists includes Winnie Truong, and her Dupont space is slated to open in September.
Formerly one of Ossington’s marquee galleries, Jamie Angell’s space has joined the shift northward to Dupont west of Lansdowne. Gallery artist Steve Driscoll has a studio nearby, making collector visits that much more convenient.
Steve Driscoll, Half Crazy, urethane on board. Image courtesy of Angell Gallery
The husband-wife duo will be moving from their current location on Brock Avenue to Emerson Avenue just off Dupont by autumn.
I’m looking forward to seeing a re-invigorated part of the city come alive when the summer rains dry up, heat lifts, and cottagers return.