Queen West Art Cache

Queen West

Yesterday was a glorious day for the Queen West Art Crawl. After a hectic Saturday of property showings across the city that required negotiating bumper to bumper traffic, in part because the Gardiner Expressway was closed for the weekend, along with portions of Roncesvalles Avenue and Bloor Street for the Polish street festivals, and St. Clair Avenue for the 5K race, plus the mayhem accompanying the Queen West Art Crawl (all locations where I was unlocking doors for prospective buyers) the road closures nearly brought the city to gridlock. Everyone was late for something, but the sun-splashed streets made driving as pleasant as it could be, and everyone was resigned to open their sun roofs and demonstrate patience.

As a reward for showing thirteen properties over five hours to three different sets of clients on Saturday, my Sunday remained automobile free. That’s pretty rare for being a realtor-on-the-go, but the universe granted me respite by enjoying a luxurious brunch at the Lakeview Diner with my fab fitness trainer Laura Rantin from urbanfitt.com. As I enter day 8 of a serious cleanse (eliminating caffeine, junk food, liquor and any other possible vice, while tripling my consumption of organic fruits, vegetables and water), we relished our fresh squeezed orange juice, grapefruit segments and toasted Montreal bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and onion. Incidentally, I’m managing quite well now that the headaches have diminished but I’m craving coffee to wit’s end, which is exasperating given there’s a Starbucks in my building less than thirty paces away. Whaa!

Once we finished brunch Laura and I strolled the Queen West Art Crawl where I embarked on assembling a mini-collection on a budget. Here’s my amazing cache:


Who doesn’t love a colourful VW bus? This hand-printed 10″x10″ piece by Robert Tavares was only $20 and ready for framing!

I also purchased this 8″x10″ classic ‘Toronto Streetcar’ print from Ryan Couldrey for $20.



I have a real affection for little pieces. I find small art somewhat magical… like a small gift that you always cherish, which you can carry in your pocket if you like. The first small piece of this year’s collection was by artist  David Oxley. This wee 3″x6″ painting of two wrestlers was $60.


I couldn’t stop drooling over Suzanne Ernst’s landscape architecture pieces which are mixed media using photography. Here are the two 3″x4″ pieces I purchased for $45 each… one of lichen and the other of a cloudscape, followed by a photo showcasing several of her pieces:


I also purchased this 3″x3″ piece called ‘Butter Candles’ by photographer Kelly Stacey for $25. Bijou!


As a housing-obsessed realtor, the series of 3″x5″ ‘Doors’ by Sarah Tacoma left me captivated. I seriously wanted to purchase her entire collection of ethereal photographs covered in beeswax, but I ended up going with the classic bungalow. The cost? A well-priced $50.

Given my love for fireworks, and my propensity to light Sparklers where ever I might go (Sparkle Sparkle!), I couldn’t resist purchasing this white framed archival print on watercolour paper by David Harcombe for $100. Most anyone close to me would instantly understand why I’m drawn to this:


These 8 pieces, of which two are frame-ready, and the others just need a hammer, a nail and a wall, were an extremely reasonable $325 in total! Amazing!

I have one more piece to share… which I didn’t buy but covet. Painted on mylar and around 24″x36″ in size, this amazing Rooster by Sarah Hillock is still resonating with me. Available for $1500, I think this is breathtaking:


I’m really happy to support our local arts community. You should too! Check out their websites ok?

~ Steven

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