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Toronto in the 80's

I've been thinking about Toronto in the 1980's lately. While sorting through some old frames I came across a poster for an Andre Kertesz exhibit at the Jane Corkin Gallery when it was on Front street. That got me thinking about how exciting Toronto was then. The Jane Corkin Gallery was the place I first saw Kertesz Polaroids and prints. I remember seeing the work of Suzie Lake for the first time there. As an aspiring 20 year old photographer Toronto was where it all was happening.

There was Mirvish Village, home to the Centre for Canadian Photography and bookstores devoted to art. Yorkville still had some of its energy left from the 70's with small galleries that promoted young artists. I still remember being so thrilled to have some prints in a bin in a Yorkville gallery. And there was the photo district in Queen St East. This area was home to studios and photo labs and galleries.

Toronto now has more galleries but Mirvish Village is gone and Yorkville is not the same.However, there are world class photography galleries in Toronto. Stephen Bulger Gallery and Olga Korper are just two of the many galleries that feature photography. there are public galleries such as the Power Plant, artist run centres like G44 and academic spaces such as Ryerson Image Centre. Toronto also hosts one of the worlds biggest photography festivals, "Contact" photography festival.

I hope that young photographers can still feel the excitement of discovery that I found in Toronto.

P.S. I forgot to mention the TPW, Toronto Photographers Workshop and Gallery44 Both important groups contributing to the Toronto photography scene in the 80's


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