street art

Toronto: Art is who we are

Written by: Aleksandra Kaliszuk

The City of Toronto has a diverse identity, thriving in arts and culture. Toronto is home to 66% more artists than any other Canadian city. This is directly reflected in the numerous galleries, local eateries, museums and startups that make the city so interesting; the opportunities to create and experience art are everywhere! Toronto hosts 80 film festivals, is home to 10 city owned museums, 200 professional internationally known performing arts organizations, and hosts numerous annual events that support art culture, such as Nuit Blanche, Doors Open Toronto and Cavalcade of Lights. Such attractions and events contribute to the city’s sense of involvement and community. Toronto celebrates local talent and often showcases it throughout the city; there are more than 200 city owned public art works and historical monuments located throughout the city contributing to the generally urban landscape. There are often new installations appearing in new spots throughout the city, such as the annual Waterfront BIA exhibitions of lakefront art (up until February 25, 2018); encouraging city dwellers to pause hibernating during this cold season and explore.

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The plethora of cultural hubs and attractions in downtown Toronto make it easy for seemingly anyone to find something they are interested in experiencing or pursuing. Annually, Toronto’s cultural economy contributes approximately $11.3 billion to the city’s GDP, which is more than the energy, agriculture, mining, and forestry industries contribute combined!

Most attractions such as museums, galleries, and artistically driven neighbourhoods are located in and around the downtown core, such as the West Queen West BIA (coincidently where Twist Gallery is located) making it a desirable area for many tourists and Torontonians to visit. These areas are also home to some of the city’s most recognizable, and photogenic works of graffiti and street art created by local artists such as Ben Johnston, Kellen Hatanaka, and Arturo Parada (also known as DUROTHETHIRD).  Each of their works can be seen along Queen Street West, extending the charm of Queen Street’s infamous Graffiti Alley to other areas of downtown. Their work brightens up our city by adding colour and artistic flare while keeping it from becoming a boring concrete jungle. No wonder Queen Street West was noted as one of the hip-est streets on the globe in 2014 by Vogue Magazine!

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Being part of the city, we at Twist Gallery, love to support the community and local artists. Our April group exhibit will do just that: support local artists and showcase Toronto cityscapes through their unique perspectives.