Tag Archives: Historic Distillery District


“Untamed Things” @ Arta Gallery in Distillery District, Toronto

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself discussing legendary Group of Seven Canadian artist Tom Thomson – first with northern Ontario artist Pauline Langmaid, then with author and Thomson expert Barry Brodie. This evening, I think I topped it all off by attending Arta Gallery‘s new exhibition titled “Untamed Things” which features stunning Thomson-inspired paintings by 11 acclaimed painters from across Ontario who retraced Thomson’s footsteps through Algonquin Park as inspiration for their own artistic explorations.20170908_180925Here are some examples of their work which remains on display until Sept. 19th.20170908_175000 20170908_175421I introduced myself to several of the artists who were on hand to meet-n-greet the appreciative gallery guests…. here’s Peter Taylor (below)  www.petertaylorpaintings.com20170908_175146..and here’s the very jovial Paul Nabuurs (below) www.paulnabuurs.com20170908_175814(0)I then met Andrew Peycha (below)….www.andrewpeycha.com20170908_180215….along with Mark Berens (below)….www.markberensart.com20170908_180243and Bryan Wall (below) whose work really resonated with me. Wish I’d had lots of moolah on me as I would have loved to grab one of his smaller pieces (2nd pic)  www.bryanwall.ca20170908_18050920170908_175230So many beautiful paintings of all sizes suitable for any downtown loft, condo, home or corporate office.20170908_181219 20170908_181556I definitely recommend you visit Arta Gallery , 14 Distillery Lane (in the historic Distillery District) downtown Toronto. Visit their website for hours and directions: www.artagallery.caexhibition_image_428









Over the long weekend, my bestie, Erena, and I made a quick visit to the annual ArtFest crafts and fine arts market in the Distillery District of downtown Toronto. We also visited some of the established art galleries located in the enclave of 19th & early 20th century warehouses and cellars. It was so crowded that it was hard just to get in to some of the tents so Erena and I focused on just a few.

Our very first stop was at Joseph Calleja‘s handcrafted silk & cotton scarf display The Toronto-based photographer & artist incorporates many of his own photos into the unique and beautiful prints in multiple colours, shapes and sizes. Some are pure silk, others a cotton/silk blend as well as long wraps in the softest of cotton. Erena purchased 2, one a vibrant pink and the other…the blue one she’s modelling below. www.callejascarves.com20160522_133428 20160522_133236I then noticed a very talented sculptor, Chaka Chikodzi, who hails from Kingston, ON, which has become quite the artists’ colony thanks to the great light quality in that area (about 3hrs east of Toronto, on Lake Ontario). This one charming piece of carved Springstone is a a guinea fowl and it really called to me. Perhaps next time he comes to Toronto, I will have the $s to make it mine!   www.chakachikodzi.com20160522_141408Erena and I wandered around some more trying not to trip over the cobblestones (hint: NEVER wear your Manolo Blahniks to the Distillery District!!) and saw lots of returning exhibitors from last year which I previously covered in my blog, so we sought refuge from the hot sun inside the Thompson Landry Gallery and discovered all sorts of amazing artists we’d never previously seen, for example Tommy Zen from Montreal. He is descended from several generations of Venetian cabinet makers and artisans, eventually discovering his own love for clay and ceramics. The gallery (there are actually 2 amazing Thompson Landry Galleries on-site, opposite each other) proudly displays his giant ceramics, each gilded with sparkling gold and vibrant colours. Below are 2 of my favourite pieces, each well over 6ft tall!!  www.thompsonlandry.com20160522_160806 20160522_161353Many more artists are showcased there including this massive 10′ x 6′ canvas of a raging bull (titled Turbo) by Dominic Besner (below). This was Erena’s fave.20160522_161251I also liked these pieces…what do you think?20160522_16131520160522_160924We then walked over to artagallery where I found some more gorgeous works of art that really resonated with me. I really liked these two: below left is P. Colbert’s “Dream Creek” oil on canvas (36″x48″) and below right is I. Stoyanov’s “Yellow #18″ mixed media on canvas (68″x48″)  You can find out more at www.artagallery.ca20160522_164359I also found these florals engaging…and happy!20160522_164730 20160522_164742….and Erena made a bee-line for the playful pieces featuring wildlife!20160522_164839artagallery offers some unique display settings, too – I really liked this rusted old boiler plating (below)20160522_164702The next Artfest takes place over the labour day long weekend (Sept. 2-5) in the same venue; if you’d like to check out the shopping, dining and sight-seeing opportunities at Toronto’s Distillery District, visit their website for hours & directions: www.thedistillerydistrict.com20160522_164631






It’s almost flea market and yard sale season and what better way to start off the spring than a visit to the Leslieville Flea Market held 3rd Sunday of each month down at Toronto’s historic Distillery District…lots of old stuff, new stuff, weird stuff and WTF stuff and I just love it all!

20150322_130719First stop (as always) was to Whisky & Spice, the delicious booze-infused handcrafted mustards created by east-ender Dan Gordon. Dan and his lovely wife Laura held court today (below), offering samples of the Whisky/honey, Porter beer or Riesling wine & apple flavoured mustards.  www.whiskeyandspice.ca

20150322_125701 20150322_125813 20150322_142044Opposite W&S was the Bragg & Bee Vintage Supply Company who offered a very cool 1930’s medical poster. Wouldn’t this look great hanging your doctor’s office? You can find BraggandBee on Facebook.

20150322_13011820150322_13013720150322_130557Found another vendor friend, Sonja from Woo-Hoo Home Decor, Accessories & Collectibles, just next door…I should have just kept walking ’cause I found so many things I wanted and I eventually purchased a gorgeous embroidered picture of sweet peas plus another piece of CarltonWare Australian design (the lovely leaf shaped green plate at the bottom) to match existing pieces I own. Sonja has some stunning vintage CCCP/Russian lacquer ware as well as lots of bunnykins and bunny-themed items just in time for Easter. Find all the treasures on Fcbk: /woohoodecor

20150322_142122 20150322_130650 20150322_130700 20150322_142339 20150322_14234620150322_14243120150322_142501Totem Jewelry & Accessories was next, featuring the “arm knitted” collar-scarves…yes, owner Sarah Podemski actually knits these using her arms, not knitting needles. Wow…and so soft and warm. Ideal for these next few chilly weeks before Spring really arrives.

20150322_131154 20150322_131158 20150322_131203Sandra and Carlos from No.7 Hot Sauce were there, too, hopefully warming up the visitors with their awesome range of spicy, HOT sauces. You can find No.7 Hot Sauce at various farmers’ markets or via their online store, too. http://no7hotsauce.com/

20150322_131312 20150322_131327Vintage Dan (below) was opposite Sandra & Carlos and his collection of vintage finds was pretty eclectic and wild.

20150322_131523 20150322_131548 20150322_131513…and below, here’s some fabulous bling from www.BlackIrisdesign.com.  Designer Iris will custom make rings to fit your finger size so do check out her website to see some of her cool sparklies.

20150322_131849 20150322_131900I ran into Sacha from Douglas + Son who had some awesome early/mid-20th century vintage collectibles including early 20th century school maps and a great floor lamp with a very industrial design (pictured below). Check out their Instagram account for more vintage treasures: @douglasandson

20150322_132316 20150322_132348Cute as a button Emily Green (below) introduced her line of Rhode & Rue Cosmetics – high quality ingredients, great range of lipstick colours – check out the full range at www.rhodeandrue.com

20150322_132539(0) 20150322_132546 20150322_132554Then in the next booth I found the charming Paper Hearts designs, featuring hand-crafted painted vinyl clutches, wee purses and make-up bags as well as adorable cards. See the rest of the goodies here: www.shoppaperhearts.com

20150322_132804 20150322_132810 20150322_132821One of the newest vendors at the Flea is Dcora Pillows, beautifully handmade pillow and cushion covers that make it so easy to change your decor without spending a fortune on new furniture. Congratulations to owner Myriam Jimenez (centre in photo below, flanked by her daughters), originally from Colombia, for introducing her exquisite fabrics to Toronto. Check out the full range here: http://www.dcora.madeurban.com/

20150322_133123 20150322_133157And below, here’s Aussie woodsman, Matt Obst, who re-purposes industrial wood and metal into one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories. Visit his gallery http://www.obstwood.com  Matt does commissioned works as well.

20150322_133826 20150322_133830 20150322_133835The lovely lady from Gold Apothecary (below) introduced me to her line of bath and body products, all of which smelled deeeevine! Pity the internet doesn’t have “scratch-n-sniff” but check out her luxurious treats for your skin (and nose) at www.goldapothecary.com

20150322_134612 20150322_134622 20150322_134617Also reconnected with Cassandra (below) from www.chicmadeconsciously.com which offers unique wearable art made from recycled inner tubes! These beautiful rubber latticework bracelets, cuffs and even bags are super cute and very durable…plus you’re helping the planet. We all win with Cassandra!

20150322_135056 20150322_135101 20150322_135108One of my fave new vendors (I’d never seen them before) was Shop Betty, curated vintage kitsch including these adorable eggie cups (below)…and although I’ve seen many Indian motorcyles, I’d never seen an Indian stepladder before…LOL! Thanks to Cindy & Melanie for sharing all the info on your wares. www.shopbetty.ca

20150322_135202 20150322_135205 20150322_135250 20150322_135749 20150322_135801www.MyFrugalFather.com offers some pretty elegant vintage blankets that are hand dipped dyed, some trimmed with a patterned blanket cut up, some mended and some Hudson Bay Blankets & Canadian made blankets from the 60’s.  Their site is still under construction but you can follow them on Instagram @myfrugalfather

20150322_135922 20150322_135931 20150322_135955Was pleased to meet Jessica D’Silva of Avani Creations (below) recycling and upcycling leather and fabric from South Asia. Avani also has a wide selection of porcelain door knobs and drawer pulls so you can add a little pizzazz to old furniture or cupboards. www.avanicreations.com

20150322_140051 20150322_140120 20150322_140125Now meet Justin Roth of Daily City Train, who takes great photos of musicians on stage, places and things, then creates unique coasters with the images. Great conversation pieces, esp. if you’re fans of the cutting edge Toronto musicians he features.  www.dailycitytrain.com

20150322_140840 20150322_140846 20150322_140856Next to Justin was his good friend and fellow artisan Felica Victoria Laplume who handcrafts pretty soy candles for her company Citchen Candle Co. Felicia’s candles threw a soft golden hue across the table and made everything look soft and sexy.  www.citchencandleco.com

20150322_141131 20150322_141143…and a few more random shots from another fun visit to the Leslieville Flea market. Don’t forget, 3rd Sunday of each month. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and check out the website for news and vendor profiles. See you next month!  http://leslievilleflea.com/

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