Nick and I were happy to go to the grand opening of a brand new independent art gallery in Toronto, on Thursday evening.
The C9 Art Gallery, located in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto (at 7 Sultan Street, at St. Thomas Street, south of Bloor, between Avenue and Bay), is "devoted to nurturing inquisitive and inclusive viewpoints when challenging art", with the focus of "bringing Canadian and International artists together for themed shows that spark not only curiosity but conversation as well".
Their first show, Relationships, features artworks by Jin Zuo and Corno. It "investigates themes of complicated human connection. It is an intimate, multifaceted exploration of the human relationship with oneself as well as others, encouraging reflection and questioning personal sense of belonging". The exhibition runs until April 23, 2018.
The opening party was a good time, with excellent art, friendly people, and wine and hors d'oeuvres.
All this was made even better by the interesting location of The C9 Gallery, within a brand new modern building that has been erected, connected to a row of Victorian era (circa mid 1800s) townhouses. You walk between the old buildings to access the entrance to the gallery.
Returning readers might know that I am very keen to explore new developments that incorporate Toronto's historic buildings. You may know that Toronto is currently experiencing a construction boom, with new buildings appearing to be flying up everywhere you look in this city today. It brings joy to see creatively designed new structures being built alongside, and sometimes around, Toronto's first buildings, rather than having the original ones destroyed to make room for the new. The place we were in on Thursday was a terrific example of this practice.
There's more about the building at the end of this post, but first, here are some photos of the lovely grand opening celebration of The C9 Art Gallery :
These are pieces by Jin Zuo ...
↑ Nick found the painting containing the segment pictured on the front of the attractive book that accompanied Jin Zuo's work. ↑
↑ I learned after we took this shot, that the two paintings behind us (on the right) are called "Soul" and "Mate". That's about right, given our many years together! ↑
↑ We had a nice conversation with these ladies. Mirian (on the right) has a blog, "Love Mirian", and a beautiful Instagram account. Check her out ... she's impressively multi-talented. She designed and made the top she was wearing that evening. ↑
Looking over to the area with Corno's pieces ...
↑ Portrait of Andy Warhol by Corno ↑
More photos of the building ...
As mentioned, the historic townhouses were built in the mid-1800s, when Yorkville was a village 3 kilometres away from Toronto. In fact, back then, given that they traveled on dirt roads in horse-drawn carriages, that was quite a way from what was then the city, which was a small area in the King Street East and Parliament area.
Yorkville joined Toronto in 1883, and in later years, before all the high-end shops, hotels, condos and restaurants, Yorkville was a "regular" neighbourhood. In the 60s and 70s, it was where the artists lived and performed, including Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and writer Margaret Atwood. It was considered ground-zero of Canada's hippie movement.
I couldn't find any historic photographs of the row of townhouses that align The C9 Gallery entrance, however did find this one from 1973, when they were about 120 years old.
↑ An photo from 1972 of the same townhouse. ↑
Here's a photo of the corner across from where the gallery is today. Those buildings are long gone (where the former UGG's store is, if you know the area), but I thought you'd like to see that hip fellow with his bell-bottoms and wide tie.
↑ Across the street. ↑
Thank you for reading.
Cheers to a new gallery and to new friends!
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