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Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor and online art fair

July 12 – 14, 2024.

Installations and Nested Exhibitions

Since 2011, TOAF has been showcasing contemporary installations, and site-specific work by acclaimed local artists. We select works that are exciting, dynamic and well-crafted to encourage the public’s engagement with an expanded vision of contemporary art.

Art Nest


Art Nest 2023

Curated by Fatma Hendawy Yehia.

2023 Art Nest featured commissioned artwork by five artists responding to the structure, architecture and meaning of Nathan Phillips Square.

Participating artists: Kristi Chen, Michelle Cieloszczyk, Rana Nazzal Hamadeh, Studio Rat, Stephanie Singh

Toronto holds inextricable layers of cultural diversity that make up the unique narratives and histories, including those of several marginalized and precarious communities. Public spaces in Toronto tend to reflect the city’s temporality, particularly as the pace of development has intensified over the past years. As a result of this dynamic, artists are often occupied with finding ways to activate and revitalize public spaces. 

This year, Art Nest focuses on these narratives of precarity and diversity and how they overlap in Toronto. The artists in this exhibition share their personal and collective histories and use sustainable materials to immerse and engage us within this particular public space. They create an opportunity to contemplate Toronto as a place where differences are celebrated as a concept, while not yet fully activated and experienced within the public realm.

Read more about Art Nest here

StreetARToronto Photography Featured Exhibition

Rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion since its inception in 2012 StreetARToronto (StART) has sought out and worked with artists from diverse communities to create and showcase some of the best mural, street and graffiti art and artists globally. These artists and artworks have transformed Toronto’s public streets, laneways, and parks into a city-wide art gallery!

The photography exhibit showcases a diverse range of street art of many forms over the past decade. The walls are adorned with vibrant photos that take you on a journey across many of the murals and artworks across our great city. You can explore and purchase professional canvas, and gator board-mounted photographs of some of the brilliant street art. Come visit and speak to StART Hosts who can share information and inspirational stories of the many projects and programs since 2012. The current exhibit features the evolution of StART projects throughout its 11-year history, using Toronto’s unique architecture as its picture frame – not just an amazing art piece, but a piece of Toronto history too!

You can see more StART artworks using the StreetARToronto Map at


Art Nest: A home for public art explorations

Curated by Rui Pimenta.

Art Nest is a new TOAF programming initiative that provides six artists – having either current or past experience participating in TOAF – with an opportunity to push the boundaries of their individual art practices beyond the physical and conceptual limits of the fair’s iconic 10 x 10 square foot tent.

We find ourselves in a time when so many ideas around monumentality and permanence in public art are being questioned and dismantled. Equally important is the question of who the intended and excluded audiences are, not to mention the obstacles so many artists face when it comes to gaining access to opportunities for creating art for the public realm. Art Nest looks to contribute to these conversations through this diverse collection of newly commissioned artworks that explore the meaning and future possibilities of public art, as well as the general public’s role in that relationship.

Read more about Art Nest here

StreetARToronto Photography Featured Exhibition

StART and the City: The Evolution of Street Art in Toronto

Rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion since its inception in 2012 StreetARToronto (StART) has sought out and worked with artists from diverse communities to create and showcase some of the best mural, street and graffiti art and artists globally. These artists and artworks have transformed Toronto’s public streets, laneways, and parks into a city-wide art gallery! A gallery that says ‘Welcome’ to everyone, from everywhere. You can see more StART artworks using the StreetARToronto Map at


StreetARToronto Photography Exhibit

A joint project of StreetARToronto (StART), Artusiasm, Civic Hall Toronto and TOAF

Toronto is home to some of the best mural, street and graffiti artists and art in the world. These artists and artworks have transformed Toronto’s public streets, laneways and parks into a city-wide art gallery! At this exhibit you can explore, and in some cases purchase professional, canvas and gatorboard-mounted photographs of some of the amazing street art located throughout Toronto. The current exhibit features StART projects by Indigenous Artists and Advisors from 2012-2018, as well as a selection of StART murals created during the 2018 painting season. Individually and collectively StART projects are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto Diversity Our Strength and foster a greater sense of belonging among all.

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces.

Home Birth 

By Chason Yeboah

Enter into a portal of comfort and acceptance. Remove yourself from the pressures of our world. A world where shame is a toxin, one fed to us through social ingestion. Consumed by us, created by us. Once exposed to this toxin the afflicted may heal in 4 stages: The Spewing, The Shedding, The Reflection and The Embracing.

In this installation, we will find 5 personifications of shame in their last two stages: The Reflection and the Embracing. Pass through the gateway into the crocheted womb, come home to the comfort of “The Mothers” who will be placed within to remind us what it means to have shame, and in doing so, embracing who we are as individuals in a world that sometimes strives to strip us of our individuality. Get comfortable and tell the mothers your shame.

Chason Yeboah is an Afro-Caribbean, Toronto-born artist. Many of her works touch on themes of identity, representation, self-love and body-positivity. She is well-known in Toronto for her handcrafted, nude, crocheted dolls called Knot Naked dolls. Each one is anatomically correct and representational of different body types; they come in a variety of skin tones and sizes. These dolls were made to represent the under-represented, and the marginalized, and created to remove the shame from nudity. Some of the dolls you may find in her collection include representations of trans folks, amputees, mastectomy survivors and more! Apart from her crocheted dolls, Chason uses her art and her exhibition spaces as a community building tool; her art booths in the past have been marked as a safe space and she opens the floor for open and honest discussions about body insecurities, representation and the like.

Noumenon (optical semblance)

By Jonathon Anderson Studio

Fixed atop of the Cascading Beer Garden, Noumenon plays with a sense of illusion and perceptual distortion. Jonathon Anderson is an Associate Professor of Interior Design and Director of the FCAD Creative Technology Lab at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. His work explores how industrial manufacturing and CNC technologies influence the design and making processes.


Slow Photo Box

Gallery 44’s members bring the magic of the darkroom to the TOAF with their develop-your-own photo booth. We will take your photo then guide you through our on-site darkroom to develop the paper and watch your own portrait magically appear. All in under 10 minutes! How’s that for instant!?

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a charitable, non-profit, artist-run centre committed to supporting multi-faceted approaches to photography and lens-based media. Founded in 1979 to establish a supportive environment for the development of artistic practice, Gallery 44’s mandate is to provide a context for meaningful reflection and dialogue on contemporary photography. Gallery 44 is committed to programs that reflect the continuously changing definition of photography by presenting a wide range of practices that engage timely and critical explorations of the medium. Through exhibitions, public engagement, education programs and production facilities our objective is to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.

Eyes of Society – Social Commentary Nested Exhibition

Curated by The New Regionalism Project

The Eyes of Society exhibition by the New Regionalism Project showcased outstanding pieces of social commentary, and created an awareness of the correlation between free expression in the arts, and an open, democratic society. The works in this exhibition demonstrated that not only can art be about something, it can also reflect the aesthetic traditions of skill and craftsmanship while remaining cutting-edge and modern.

Participating Artists: Clare Allin, Francesca Chan, Julia Hepburn, Emanuel Pavao, Azadeh Pirazimian, Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart, Anthony Taylor, Mariana Topfstedt, and Yaohua Yan

Closer to You

By Artist Jillian Jerat

Closer to You represents the importance of human connection in a world that is addicted to constantly being plugged in. What do we lose when life becomes digital? Are our basic human needs being sacrificed for convenience without us even realizing it?  A two-headed sweater forces interaction; it creates a spontaneous moment between a pair of individuals, hopefully encouraging them to immerse themselves in the present – and turn away from their screens. Materials: acrylic and wool yarn.

Jillian Jerat is a recent graduate from the Material Art & Design program at OCAD U with a focus on textiles. Her work revolves around the use of colour and its ability to transform, disrupt and enliven its surroundings. For more information or to commission a piece, please email [email protected].


Hanging Garden

By Plant Architect Inc.

PLANT has made a studio practice centered around putting a lens on the landscape to heighten the sensual experience and the understanding of the landscapes we inhabit. They use many methods including framing, sequencing, contrasting, pointing, shifting scale, and occupying. Sometimes, we just need to turn it upside down to see it anew, The Hanging Garden does just that. 

Citizens of Craft Nested Exhibition

By Craft Ontario

Citizens of Craft is a national project, led by Craft Ontario, in participation with the provincial and territorial craft councils of Canada, and the Canadian Crafts Federation. The goals of this project are to clarify and deepen the public’s understanding of craft and make craft more broadly accessible to Canadians. The Craft Ontario Citizens of Craft Exhibition showcases excellence in contemporary craft, featuring work from eight skilled members: Korinna Azreiq, Joe Bauman & Dayna Gedney, Marie Eve Castonguay, Courtney Downman, Becky Lauzon, Tania Love, and Joon Hee Kim.



By Max Streicher. Generously supported by Max Streicher & Pari Nadimi Gallery

Max Streicher is best known for his colossal inflated figures and their engagement with architectural spaces, interior and exterior. Troika is a continuation of a series of “equestrian monuments”, or should we say anti-monuments? For all their monumental presence they are but vinyl skins filled with air. Streicher’s work with the horse image emerged out of an interest in expressions of the metaphysical as seen in the work of Giorgio de Chirico or Salvador Dali, both of whom depicted horses and both with reference to classical sculpture. Historical references are rich and varied in Streicher’s works generally. In Troika we see, for example, hints of the Elgin Marbles and classical ponies that grace the entrance to San Marco’s Basilica in Venice.

Streicher has also found inspiration in the ancient Chinese terracotta army of soldiers and horses of Shaanxi province: “As I breathe life into these horses I feel that I share something with the creators of that terracotta army. I assume my motivation is of a different nature. I am not interested in an expression of might or eternity. On the contrary, my work with inflatable and kinetic sculpture is always about bringing the viewer back to a shared physical experience, the sensation of breathing, for example, and also to an awareness of the tenuousness and fleeting nature of our existence.”

Giant Canadian Picnic Table

by Roman Milo and Jano Badovinac

Insofar as this sculpture is symbolic of leisure; the goal is to engage the spectator evocatively, not only literally. Juxtaposition between the form and the urban setting should reflect the idea that our oversized picnic table is big enough to accommodate all of us.

Funders & Sponsors

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