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Uncover the top cities for art lovers in Canada 2022

Canada has brought us some of the leading names in 20th-century modern art. From Emily Carr to Lawren Harris, Canada has been an undiscovered powerhouse of creative talent with no signs of stopping any time soon.
Canada has brought us some of the leading names in 20th-century modern art. From Emily Carr to Lawren Harris, Canada has been an undiscovered powerhouse of creative talent with no signs of stopping any time soon.

Discover the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022

Did you know? As of 2016, there are 158,100 artists living and working in Canada. This impressive number equates to 1% of the country’s workforce. This is the same as 1 person in every 116 working Canadians dedicating their career to art. With these figures set to rise over the years, it should come as no surprise that Canada is a hot spot for creative talent. Ever since its creative boom in the 20th century, Canada has seen many changes in its art scene. What was once a way to celebrate national pride has now become a socio-cultural movement that prides itself on originality. So, if your creative soul is hungry for a new adventure, head to the land of Maple syrup and the Rockies. With an up-and-coming art scene set to rival the likes of Berlin or Mexico, discover the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022.

Artist communities in Canada

British Columbia, on record, is the top destination for artists in Canada since 1.08% of its workforce is dedicated to the arts – more than any of the other provinces. But, it is not the only place in this wild and rugged country that offers a burgeoning art scene.

Follow your creative itch and let your intuition guide you to the bright city lights of Toronto, – more specifically the neighbourhood of Junction Triangle. This modern metropolis, nicknamed “The Six” by locals, is situated on the banks of Lake Ontario and this watery energy is reflected back in the city’s ever-changing cultural scene. Artists such as Hajra Waheed and Marina Stojkovic are trailblazers within the visual arts, leading the way with their thought-provoking, often controversial work. Their art, along with that of some of the top artists in Canada can be found in Toronto’s swanky art galleries. While the Art Gallery of Ontario is the most distinguished of the lot, there are others that are putting Toronto on the map of top art cities in Canada in 2022. Bay of Spirits Gallery’s walls are mosaiced with an eclectic mix of colourful paintings and sculptures from indigenous artists. Meanwhile, Heliconian Hall in Yorkville champions female artists and holds regular solo and mixed exhibitions as well as performances.

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Most bohemian cities in Canada

Our hunt for the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022 continues and… Modern hippies, rejoice! Amid inner-city capitalist ideals and rising commercial pressures for artists, there is an oasis of freedom. Welcome to Tofino. Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, this bohemian paradise is home to leftover hippies and gypset creatives looking to wallow in nature’s beauty. Unlike anywhere else in Canada (or the world for that matter), Tofino is a place where sustainability is the law, hotels come with their own psychic and tarot card readings and the preferred mode of transport is the bicycle. Life may be stuck in second gear here but that doesn’t mean that it is short on art and culture. On the contrary. Take a trip down to Henry’s Carving Shed to meet local artist George Yearsly. His magnificent hand-carved wooden feather sculptures are a feast for the eyes and echo the beauty of Tofino’s natural surroundings. But, don’t leave without exploring the Roy Henry Vickers gallery which will lead you into a mystical world of totem poles, indigenous-style wood carvings and colourful paintings.

Artist village in Canada

While uncovering the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022, our attention was drawn to Alert Bay, a cosy village on Cormorant Island, Vancouver. This quirky hideaway embodies the essence of Tropia and harmoniously blends the First Nation and Pioneer cultures. Not only is it home to the killer whale, but it is also home to the world’s largest totem pole. The arts and crafts culture of the First Nation population makes this town a colourful and vibrant place to spend an afternoon. Lose yourself as you walk around heritage buildings, multi-coloured houses and a bustling boardwalk. Study the intimidatingly stunning masks, rattles and carvings of spirit animals, created by the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people at the U’mista Cultural Centre. The Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people have an age-old reputation of being skilled craftsmen and their creations are highly prized by international art collectors. Uncover the modern-day art scene with a tour of the island’s fifteen art studios and galleries. Today, the long, dark and cold winter nights offer the perfect opportunity to create colourful, heartwarming art. Expect to see the work of local painters, potters, glassmakers and more.

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Artsy towns in Ontario

We have searched far and wide for the boldest, brightest, most Tropia art towns and cities in Canada. Yet, our round-up is not complete without mentioning Caledon, Ontario. This is one of the movers and shakers that is putting Canada on the map. How? Caledon prides itself on its community, woven together to create a rich tapestry of creative talent. These local artists are then nurtured and supported through initiatives like Artful Caledon which provides space (both virtually and physically) to artists so that they can showcase their work. Art studios such as Caledon Art Studio celebrate love, art and education and it sets the tone of the town with their artistic co-working space. But to really understand why this town is one of the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022 you need to visit the galleries like Headwaters Arts. This Caledon gallery presents local, award-winning artists and helps them gain national press coverage thanks to events such as the Headwaters Arts Fall Festival.

Which city has the best art scene in Canada?

We would be lying to you if we said that we had a favourite art scene in Canada. This country is bursting with life, creative talent and fresh ideas. It may have overlooked middle-child energy but if you take the time to scratch under the surface you will uncover the top cities for art lovers in Canada in 2022. In fact, this country offers such a wide variety of creative talent that you will need to book a sabbatical to enjoy it all. From the fast-moving, rebellious art scene in Toronto to the precious legacy that the Alert Bay art scene is striving to create there is something to soothe everyone’s creative minds. Plus, there is nothing more romantic than gifting an original artwork to a loved one as a souvenir of your travels. Not only is a work of art a thoughtful gift that will be treasured forever but you are also supporting the growth of an up-and-coming artist. It is a win-win.

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