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Thursday, November 28, 2013

The top 10 places to buy affordable art in Toronto

affordable art torontoPlaces to buy affordable art inToronto are rarities amongst the vast sea of galleries showing work by mid-career and established artists. But don't worry, they do exist! While you can always hit up sales and fairs like the upcoming Photorama or the Artist project, there are also places that sell reasonably-priced art objects on a regular basis. Without the cash to support a fine art addiction, it can be hard to decorate your abode in the way that most speaks to your inner-artiste. Let's leave the heavy-spending to the experts, and find art we can fall in love with, that won't make us instantly broke. At these 10 shops and galleries, you can avoid dropping more than $300 (and in most cases much, much less) when it comes to artwork, prints, posters, and all sorts of hand-crafted designs.

Telegramme Prints

Telegramme Prints have two locations, the original in Leslieville and the new addition on Ossington. They're a one-stop shop for art, framing, posters and printing. Their posters are nothing like the ones you tacked on your dorm room walls in university. On the contrary, they're beautiful screen prints or lithographs that each come with a certificate of authenticity. Their entire collection is viewable online, or use their handy in-store catalogue to choose the perfect piece for your home.

Kid Icarus

Kid Icarus is is a community-oriented shop with a wide array of handmade items crafted by local artists. They also undertake custom work, incorporating their designs or yours into posters, cards, rubber stamps, or wedding invitations. While the items on offer here tend to be on a smaller scale or accessory-like, there's a huge array of posters ($20 and $40), including Dave Murray's neighbourhood word maps.

Circuit Gallery

Circuit Gallery is a web-based company that uses the affordability of digital reproduction to offer editions of contemporary artwork at wonderfully low prices. The art comes in standard sizes, like 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20, and in limited but large editions (usually around 500). The smaller the size and the larger the edition, the less expensive the work is, and vice versa. With prices that start at $30 (for an 8x10), there's little reason to resist starting your own art collection.

Art Metropole

This long-established artist-run retailer has an eclectic collection of artist-created books, periodicals, posters, clothing, audio, video, and multiples. Their storefront on Dundas West is great for casual browsing, or use their online shop to discover unique and affordable finds.


Gallery 44, located at Richmond and Spadina, is a non-profit artist-run centre focused on photo-based art. They hold sales throughout the year, providing collectable photography artwork at accessible prices. Plus their online shop has growing selection of exhibition catalogues available for only $5.

Magic Pony

Magic Pony is the quirky and colourful West Queen West wonderland that sells art, design accessories, comics, and DIY materials. Their gallery cross-exhibits with Narwhal Gallery, and therefore you can buy multiples of the art from Narwhal exhibitions in-store at Magic Pony. Plus their website has a wide selection of fun and magical art that won't break the bank.

OCAD U Student Gallery

The OCAD U Student Gallery's art shows display works by up-and-coming OCAD artists. Just so you know, the work at these exhibitions is for sale, despite not have the prices displayed. Their shop is also open 12pm - 6pm Wednesday through Saturday, where you can buy prints, jewellery, pottery, zines, cards and the like. It's a great place to spend your money, because not only are you supporting starving artists, but they're also starving students.

NO Foundation

Located beside the Katharine Mulherin Gallery on Queen West, this store is a so-called "museum" that focuses on experimental and underexposed art. Their shop sells sculptures, jewellery, gifts and other artsy items at price points that won't cause sticker shock. Even better, the the profits are used to support the exhibitions and the artists involved.

Open Studio

Open Studio is a non-profit, artist-run printmaking centre dedicated to the production and preservation of original fine art prints. Aside from offering affordable facilities for printmaking, they have print sales that run Tuesday to Saturday 12pm - 5pm, or you can make an appointment outside these hours. Keep up to date on their latest sales by visiting their website.

#Hashtag Gallery

Since April 2012, this little Dundas West gal has been exhibiting work from a wide scope of emerging artists. Hashtag aims to represent the online revolution, so if you're into a more virtual aesthetic, this might be the best place to spend your cash. Art can be bought during their exhibitions, or you can check out the online shop for prints and original work. #art #affordable



This online-only shop connects art collectors with affordable fine art photography. Artists displayed on this site are winners of international photography competitions. You can browse through the website by price, size, artist, or colour to find the perfect piece that fits your budget.


Photo of Magic Pony

by Julia Stead via blogTO

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