Arts Market: Story Until Now
In 2011, Daniel Cohen opened the first Arts Market location in the Leslieville neighborhood. It was his ambition to help artistic entrepreneurs follow their passions with Toronto’s first year-round artisanal market. Giving artists and creators the space to pursue their businesses in an affordable manner has always been the cornerstone of all Daniel’s market–related decisions.
The first iteration of the Market was only open on weekends and artisans were there in person to help customers – a format that has changed over time to match what we do today. The second location opened in the vibrant College and Ossington neighbourhood in 2013, and it broadened the scope of artisans that could be found within our community. In 2015, Vintage B. opened at College – a floor dedicated to local vintage vendors who curated thoughtful selections of various wares. In 2016 a third location was opened in the bustling Riverside neighborhood. Surrounded by a fantastic selection of local boutiques and eateries it soon became a go–to neighbourhood gift shop. In 2019 we saw our latest expansion to-date with the opening of a fourth location in the lovely Junction neighborhood. With another installment of Vintage B. on its lower floor, it pushed our community of artisans to over 280.
Getting into a regular rhythm with four locations and a growing staff was very challenging, but we all learned new and better ways to support our artisans and become more involved in our local communities through charity work and other outreach endeavors.
In 2020, as Covid-19 spread globally and impacted families and local businesses, the difficult decision to close our Leslieville and College locations had to be made. With the understanding and support of our community of artisans we were able to shift our time and resources to the remaining locations in Riverside and the Junction and the 150 artisans there.
As things change and we adapt we will continue to bring you the same great service and artisan-driven spaces that bring a smile to your face. Some changes you’ll notice when you visit us include newly installed sneeze guards at the checkout counters, hand-sanitizer stations at the door, customer limits within the market, and our encouragement to keep your distance from other shoppers while lining up to pay. All of these changes have been implemented to better serve our communities as well as our staff and to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We have also permanently changed our hours! We’re now open daily from 11am to 6pm, offering extended shopping hours and more options for our busy artists to bring in new merchandise.
If you were a patron of our College or Leslieville locations, you may notice an influx of your favourite vendors into our Riverside and Junction locations over the next few months as they’re being rehomed at 2978 Dundas St West and 790 Queen St. East. If you don’t see your favourite artists, please let us know and we can try to connect you!
Lastly, we’re so grateful for the support we’ve received not only from our artisans, but also from our local communities as well as the Riverside and Junction BIA’s. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting Toronto local artists and letting our businesses continue to thrive.