401 Richmond: Toronto’s Art Haven

POSTED ON April 5, 2023 BY Justine Smith

Nestled in Toronto’s bustling entertainment district is a hidden gem and must-see destination for art enthusiasts. 401 Richmond is a historic industrial building-turned cultural hub, home to an array of gallery spaces, art exhibits, charming shops, cafes, and creative studios. We had the opportunity to connect with a number of these dynamic spaces. Read on to learn more about what visitors can expect when exploring 401 Richmond. 

Abbozzo Gallery – Studio 128

Ineke Zigrossi, Director:

Ineke in the gallery - The Group Exhibition Wavelengths featured work by Lola Erhart, Delfina Gómez Marestaing, Celia Lees, Fabiana Salomao, Steven K. Tucker, and David Wilstermann

For 30 years, Abbozzo Gallery has been devoted to creating an accessible and inviting space for first time buyers and seasoned collectors. We offer high-end regional and International Fine Art ranging from photography, painting, sculpture and prints and editions

The Group Exhibition Wavelengths featured work by Lola Erhart, Delfina Gómez Marestaing, Celia Lees, Fabiana Salomao, Steven K. Tucker, and David Wilstermann

Learn more about Ineke and Abbozzo Gallery in our recent Member Feature!

Critical Distance Centre for Curators Studio 122

Work by Catherine Blackburn is featured in the Spring exhibition: Materialized

Shani K Parsons, Director:

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit gallery, publisher, and professional network devoted to supporting contemporary curatorial practices. This means that all of our programs are specifically focused on stimulating questions and conversations on the who, what, where, when, and why of curating — not just where it comes from and what it does, but also who it serves and what it can make possible. As such, our exhibition program is as diverse and eclectic as our curatorial and artistic collaborators, with whom we work across disciplinary, geographic, and generational divides.

New Music Concerts – Studio 358

Image: BRuCH: Chansons Madecasses, Photographed by Kyle Poole

Brian Current, Artistic Director:

“At New Music Concerts, we are passionate about detailed and adventurous music. We believe that no matter where you come from, if you love adventurous music, you will always have a home at NMC. For 52 years, we have worked hard to further the appreciation, creation and performance of exceptional adventurous music, and make sure that it is open and accessible to everyone. It’s a genuine community where people come together through a shared love of new sounds and new musical forms. Think: drinks and conversation aplenty after every concert.  Plus it’s way less expensive than most other music shows, including $10 tickets for students! If you are curious about what is going on internationally in art music, including the latest in cool musical technology, we are the organization for you. 

We produce about six concerts a season alongside online programing, a fun audio blog and a range of educational programs. Every single piece of classical music was once a contemporary composition supported by the community surrounding the composer. At the time they believed in the limitless power of music to change peoples’ lives and bring people together. This gave birth to incredible masterpieces over time. That’s NMC, today.” 

Open Studio – Studio 104

Left Image: Group exhibit Cultivating Connection, featuring artwork by Alyssa Alikpala, Noelle Wharton-Ayer, and Jenn Law, Right Image: Solo exhibition by Phyllis Gordon, In Praise of Lichens

Rebecca Travis, Curator and Collections Manager: 

“Open Studio is a non-profit artist-run printmaking centre, so all of the work that we do is focused on print. We have three exhibition spaces that are free for the public to visit and a shop that features artist prints and multiples. Through our gallery programming, we hope to engage and surprise visitors by showing the breadth and experimental possibilities of printmaking as it relates to contemporary culture, and how it intersects with other media. Visitors can expect to see explorations of analogue processes such as screenprinting, etching, letterpress, and lithography in our exhibitions, but print also finds its way into installations, video, photography, textiles and more. We hope to get both artists and the public excited about what it can do as a medium.

The often-unseen part of our space is an expansive printmaking studio that adjoins the galleries. Artists are able to rent time in the studio at a subsidized rate to work on their projects, and we also run education classes for the public, team building corporate workshops, and artist residencies.”

Tangled Art + Disability – Studio 124

Images: Cripping Masculinity: Designing Fashion Utopias

Sean Lee, Director of Programming:

“Tangled Art + Disability operates the first disability art gallery in Canada dedicated to exhibiting Mad, Deaf and Disabled artists, and advancing accessible curatorial practices. The gallery has made an international name for itself as a space for vibrant disability culture and unapologetically “crip” ways of working. 

Tangled has established itself as a space of political engagement, and each exhibition uniquely considers access and disability aesthetics from a variety of perspectives. From print and painting to performance and installation and more, each show considers how accessibility can make the experience of an exhibition better for all. Visitors are welcome to attend the gallery in person, or book a self-driving robotic tour to visit remotely.

Urbanspace Gallery – Ground Floor 

Images: Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy Exhibit

Jennifer Ward, Communications & Community Animator:

“The Urbanspace Gallery was created to explore the city. A venue for diverse and rotating exhibitions and events, the gallery investigates how cities work, how we might improve them, and how we can learn from the past to create visions of the future. With a focus on “bottom-up”, grass roots approaches, a wide range of local and global issues are examined including community, public space, housing, transportation, planning, governance, diversity, sustainability, and citizenship.  In partnership with many individuals and organizations, Urbanspace Gallery contributes to an ongoing discussion about cities, and offers visitors a space to learn and reflect on their place within them.”

Discover more creative and unique spaces at 401 Richmond:

Image: Dark Horse Espresso Bar

Grab a beer, glass of wine, coffee, or treat at Dark Horse Espresso Bar