Canadian Flair: Art and Culture from Coast to Coast
Collected by Flash Parker , AFAR Ambassador
Canadian art and culture has a unique flair all its own, from coast to coast and everywhere in between. Some of the world's finest musicians, painters, sculptors, architects, and craftspeople hail from the Great White North, and they wear the pride of their nation like a badge of honor. Immerse yourself in some of the country's finest art and culture – from Canadian museums and galleries to boutiques and co-ops. You may be pleasantly surprised what you discover in Canada.
Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC, Canada
One of the first things I learned about Montreal while attending McGill University is that the tourists head to the Old City and western parts of town, while the locals go east. Vieux Montreal, while quaint and cobblestoned, is an overpriced...
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4, Canada
Frank Gehry was born inToronto, but his dramatic 2008renovation and expansion ofthis Beaux-Arts museum washis first Canadian commission.He first discovered art on childhood visits to its vast collection,which spans the world. Now themuseum...
451 Rue Saint Jean, Montréal, QC H2Y 2R5, Canada
Contemporary art can sometimes be pretentious or obscure, but DHC/ART adds an edgy sense of wit, with exhibitions ranging from the visual puns of Ceal Floyer to the exuberant portraits of John Currin.451 rue St.-Jean, (514) 849-3742.
Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2, Canada
A trip to Toronto without a visit to Kensington Market doesn’t make any sense. Despite its diminutive size, this neighborhood packs plenty of activity within its boundaries. Arrive hungry: Restaurants and cafés dish out bites...
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Gastown neighborhood dates back to the Victorian era when “Gassy Jack” Deighton opened a saloon in a burgeoning sawmilling settlement. Now its grand heritage buildings—in Romanesque, Edwardian and Victorian Italianate styles—and brick-paved...
178 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1T7, Canada
Massey Hall is one of Canada’s most important concert halls. A veritable encyclopedia of musical talent has played here, including Enrico Caruso, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Igor Stravinsky, Patti Smith, Lou Reed,...
1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC H3G 1J5, Canada
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux Arts) is scattered across four different buildings, or pavilions. The Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion seen here is the institution's main building, with its international art collection. The other...
Old Quebec, Quebec City, QC, Canada
While walking within the walls of Old Québec a few years ago, (my fourth visit, but the first for my wife), this blond-maned horse caught my eye. Incidentally, in Québec French, "blonde" is more than just a hair color. It's often used to mean...
750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada
Western Canada’s largest public art museum weighs in at almost 12,000 works. The collection here is strong on Emily Carr, a modernist compatriot of the Group of Seven (Canadian landscape painters from the 1920s who were deeply...
2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, Edmonton, AB T5J 2C1, Canada
Sprawled over three floors, the recently renovated Art Gallery of Alberta—the oldest cultural institution in the province—maintains a collection that exceeds 6,000 objects. Welcoming and diverse, the AGA houses works from a variety of eras using a...
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3J 1V9, Canada
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada, and has a varied collection, from historic Inuit stone carvings to Nova Scotian folk art, nautical paintings, classical portraits, and even the small home of one of the...
179 Grande Allée Ouest, Québec, QC G1R 2H1, Canada
This sprawling museum is located in four buildings near Battlefields Park—the most recent of them, the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, opened in 2016 and was designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas's OMA. The 25,000 works in its permanent collection...
Graffiti Alley, Toronto, ON M5V, Canada
1271 Dundas St W #200, Toronto, ON M6J 1X8, Canada
I popped into Imperial Tattoo in Toronto's Land of Oz to meet with Ronan Gibney, one of the country's most famed tattoo artists. Ronan's chair is often booked two months out, which makes it tough to drop by and get a dragon, naked lady, or laser...
550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8, Canada
The Evergreen Brick Works, a reclaimed quarry in the lush Don Valley, is a showcase for sustainable and green living, as well as for urban design. A community has been established in this once-derelict industrial site and former landfill. ...
380 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4, Canada
Featuring the works of Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, and the Group of Seven, the National Gallery of Canada is one of the country’s premiere destinations for paintings, sculptures, and contemporary art. The building also hosts the Canadian Museum of...
1212 13 St SE #104, Calgary, AB T2G 5R3, Canada
This home of modern design is part gallery and part store. It’s full of innovative abstract art and functional contemporary decor such as John Greg Ball’s subsonic chair with built-in subwoofers, Eveline Kolijn’s sculptural installations, and...
23 Rue Ambroise Fafard #100, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC G3Z 2J2, Canada
While it may come as a surprise, Baie-Saint-Paul is home to a rather large amount of art galleries for such a small village. In fact, there probably are more galleries per capita here than in Montreal or Quebec City! But when you take a minute to...
4335 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada
Artwalk is an annual event put on by Whistler Art Council that strives to expose the community to local Whistler artists and promote their craft. During the two-month-long event (July and August), artwork is placed in various locations around the...
109 4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada
The Adele Campbell Art Gallery provides art lovers an opportunity to view and purchase distinctive pieces by well-known west coast artists like Mike Svob and Cameron Bird. The gallery is locally owned and holds an exceptionally well-curated...
4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V8E 0Y3, Canada
The 34,400-square-foot Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre engages visitors on many levels. Socially, it is the first joint cultural project between two separate native nations in North America. The center is also a stunning...
205 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L4, Canada
Kid Icarus is a wonderland of creativity, with rows of homemade cards, trinkets, jewelry, and gift ideas. It could take an entire day to take in all of the fun slogans and artful expressions that fill this store. It’s the perfect place to get...
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5, Canada
Home of the Toronto Film Festival, as well as other visual arts celebrations, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is a building dedicated to Toronto's film world. Theaters, libraries, galleries, offices, lecture halls, as well as a swank members' lounge and...
5587 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC H2V 4S8, Canada
I met Arianna Garcia-Fialdini in Montreal during the last day of her exhibition at the Espace Pop Alternative Gallery. I found her work stark, detailed, and captivating, and I spent more time than I thought I would wandering from mural to mural...
453 Laurier Ave E, Ottawa, ON K1R 0A2, Canada
It was the elite of the elite and I was walking amongst them. Great chefs from around the world had gathered in this building to learn the art of French cooking or pastry making... and I was now one of them. I didn't have a semester to master the...
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