Art can transform a mere living space into a haven of emotion, expression, and personal narrative, turning walls into their own captivating canvas that speaks to the soul of those who visit and live in the space.
For over 50 years, David Crightonhas captured the city's essence through his masterful designs, and now you can bring his vintage landmark and neighbourhood pieces into wherever you call home. What makes these collections unique, and how do you choose the right one for you or a loved one? Read on because we're giving you all the essential highlights now!
This treasure trove of beautiful art prints of Toronto was often created from the necessity of earning a living through his art. Never too humble to go into a neighbourhood, David would visit prospective clients with an example illustration as an enticement to shops and businesses to commission him for their business. He was wildly successful with this strategy and soon developed quite a name for himself.
He and his wife Laura worked tirelessly for all the products they sell at One of a Kind, the CNE Exhibition show and many others, including the Toronto Outdoor Art Show. Goodness knows they had a lot of energy. David would visit these neighbourhoods, create artwork for the shop owners, and then get them to buy it.
He attended all the art shows in the city. David supported his family 100% as an artist from the very start in 1973 after graduating from Central Technical School. Learn more about his early days in our Blog Series. One of his top sellers, the classic Toronto Skyline, was commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accounts for their conference in the late 90’s.
The Essence of Iconic Toronto Landmarks
So, what is the significance of featuring iconic Toronto landmarks in your home decor? Each of our beloved landmarks has historical value and is associated with a person, event, and connection to the community. Here are a few examples of incredible landmarks in our city.
David shared the following quote: The Gooderham Building, also known as “The Flatiron” is undoubtedly my favourite Toronto subject. Over my career, I have created more artistic versions of this iconic landmark and its developing surroundings than I can recall. Nestled in the historic St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, this unique piece of architecture dating from 1910 stands resolute on its triangle of ground. The image you see here is the version that captures the essence of "My Toronto" - The Old, The New and The Futuristic.
This Massey Hall Glass or Canvas Framed Art Print captures an iconic Toronto Landmark. This image has been part of the David Crighton catalogue for close to 50 years. Massey Hall, a cultural cornerstone in Toronto, boasts a rich tapestry of historical significance. Established in 1894, this iconic venue has witnessed over a century of transformative moments in Canadian history. Its hallowed halls have resonated with the echoes of legendary performances by artists ranging from Glenn Gould to Neil Young, solidifying its status as a beacon of artistic excellence. Massey Hall is not merely a venue; it's a living archive of the nation's cultural heritage. The "Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street" has hosted landmark events, including important speeches, political rallies, and cultural gatherings that have left an indelible mark on the Canadian narrative. As a National Historic Site, Massey Hall continues to be a testament to the enduring power of the arts in shaping the identity of a nation, drawing people from all walks of life to revel in the magic of live performance and celebrate the shared history of Canada.
Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square is an urban plaza that forms the forecourt to Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, at the intersection of Queen Street West and Bay Street, and named for Nathan Phillips, mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962. The square opened in 1965, and, as with the City Hall, the square was designed by architect Viljo Revell. The square is the site of concerts, art displays, a weekly farmers' market, the winter festival of lights, and other public events, including demonstrations.
Nostalgia and Neighborhood Vibes
Totally Toronto Art's neighbourhood collections are a snapshot of memories from The Junction to Queen West or The Beaches and High Park. These pieces evoke a sense of belonging and nostalgia for those who have visited or lived in these neighbourhoods.
Nostalgia and Neighborhood Vibes
Welcome to the 416 area code, home to the best neighbourhoods filled with diverse stores and restaurants. This particular art print is the first Beaches Illustration to be completed and it captures the charming, laid-back Toronto neighbourhood known as The Beaches on Queen St. E., there are 2 variations of this print, as each time the landscape of stores and shops changed, David completed a new one to capture the ever changing landscape of the city! These variations are available for purchase as high-quality giclee (unframed) or Canvas Framed (framed).
The cool thing about our neighbourhood artwork is that it captures moments in every neighbourhood's evolution. If you are from Toronto, you'll love the trip down memory lane showcased in these art prints. No matter where you call home, we all can respond to the charm and character, not to mention the talented creativity and whimsy of these lovely neighbourhood streetscapes. This is particularly poignant when you realize that cities everywhere are slowly being torn down and replaced with tall glass and characterless condos and office buildings.
This illustration of The Goof Restaurant is a perfect example of David's prospecting methods. It's very likely that he walked into The Goof Restaurant one day and said, how would you like an art print of your restaurant, something like this, to hang on your wall and use in your advertising. The result is that artwork became cherished wall art in many Toronto homes. It also is part of the wall decor at The Goof and has been on the front cover of their menu for years.
The Bamboo Club was Studio 54 of Toronto and the birthplace of the Toronto International Film Festival. Located on the legendary north side of Queen West between John and Spadina, The Bamboo was where the hip crowd went to see and be seen.
Everyone recognizes this iconic sign, Sam, the Record Man. David was commissioned by Sam Sniderman to create an illustration as a retirement gift for one of his employees in the early '80s. The result was this iconic print of Sam's. He was paid $100 plus all the records in the window.
Hundreds of stories about David around this city exist in all the nooks and crannies.
Anyone familiar with Queen St. West will surely recognize these veteran shops - Originals and Off The Wall Framing. Ross Patchell started Off the Wall and launched alongside artist David Crighton, and the two enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship over the last 50-plus years. Ross has retired and transitioned his business to his daughter, Allison, who is framing a storm just like Dad. Watch for an interview with Allison, where we'll get some good stories about the art world back in the 70s and 80's, the peak of Queen Street as an artist's colony. Notables like Charlie Packton, General Idea, and A Space (both of whom worked out of the City TV building BEFORE it was CITY TV) play a part in that story.
University of Toronto Collection
The University of Toronto is one of the most prestigious colleges in Canada. Artist David Crighton has captured the Toronto historical landmarks on the UofT campus for all to enjoy. These pieces make incredible gifts for students, alumni, faculty, and anyone with a special place in their heart for U of T! A few favourites are Convocation Hall and Hart House. For so many, diplomas find themselves hidden in offices or closets - these stunning conversation pieces show school spirit and a reminder each day of successes.
Explore the idea of personalizing a special piece for a loved one - we can add their name, date and degree to truly make it one of a kind!
Making a Statement with High-Quality Art
Investing in high-quality art pieces is more than a mere transaction; it's a commitment to making a lasting impact on your living space. Beyond the initial aesthetic allure, the craftsmanship and attention to detail in premium artworks ensure they stand the test of time. These pieces become decorative elements and integral components of the narrative that unfolds within your home. From the texture of a canvas to the clarity of colours in a glass-framed piece, the quality speaks volumes, creating an atmosphere that resonates with sophistication and a sense of permanence.
Art, when chosen and crafted with discernment, transcends the transient trends of decor, evolving into a timeless statement piece. It can encapsulate moments, emotions, and cultural nuances, making it a cherished part of your story. Whether it's a vibrant canvas illustrating an iconic Toronto landmark or a meticulously framed piece capturing the essence of a neighbourhood, high-quality art can become an enduring symbol of your taste, style, and the memories associated with the place it represents. As time passes, these statement pieces grow in value, not just in monetary terms but in the rich tapestry they weave into the history of your home.
The Art of Framing
Framing art is akin to presenting a masterpiece on a curated stage, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and overall impact. A well-chosen frame serves as a visual boundary, directing the viewer's focus towards the intricacies of the artwork. It creates a deliberate contrast between the piece and its surroundings, allowing the colours and details to pop. Additionally, framing provides a protective layer, shielding the artwork from dust, moisture, and other potential hazards, ensuring its longevity. The right frame is a complementary companion, amplifying the artwork's story and bridging the creator's intent and the viewer's interpretation. It's a subtle but powerful tool that guides the eyes, drawing attention to the nuances of the art and framing not just an image but an experience.
We have a well-established relationship with one of Canada's top custom printing and art framing companies. They have been handling all of our needs since we started in 2014. They are incredibly professional and responsive to our needs, helping us serve our clientele with personalized and prompt attention. We have sent orders - glass and canvas framed - worldwide and have only had one return because of a slight imperfection in the frame. It was promptly replaced, no questions asked. We have never had any shipping damage, including glass frames.
Here are a few of our framing options:
Finest Canadian kiln-dried solid wood frame with smooth 100% cotton giclee acid-free paper for a long print life.
Our Canvas Framed Art is ready to hang, gallery quality, with a 100% quality and colour assurance guarantee. What does 'ready-to-hang' mean? Almost exactly as it implies, when you receive these pieces, all you need to do is choose a spot and hang your artwork using your hooks! This option simplifies the decorating process, as there's no need to hum and haw over the look and feel of the frame.
Our canvas will not fade or alter your image over time. Our canvas is UV-protected. Each Canvas Frame is hand-stretched onto the finest Canadian kiln-dried solid wood frame. All you need to do to keep your piece tidy is wipe clean with a damp cloth!
Unframed Art Prints
This option best suits someone who wants to frame their art print to match existing artwork or decor OR to display without a frame though we recommend framing to prolong the quality of the artwork. Custom framing is perfect for this situation and is generally more expensive than ready-to-hang Toronto art prints from our shop.
Let Your Space Share Your Story
In the symphony of personal expression that is your living space, wall art emerges as the defining crescendo, infusing each corner with vibrancy and character. From iconic Toronto landmarks to nostalgic neighborhood vibes, and the timeless allure of themed collections, our curated selection at Totally Toronto Art invites you to embark on a journey of transformation. Whether it's the enduring elegance of glass-framed pieces, the rustic charm of canvas-framed art, or the effortless allure of ready-to-hang creations, each piece we offer is a thread in the canvas of your unique story. As you contemplate the historical resonance of Massey Hall, remember that your space too is a canvas waiting to be adorned. So, let your walls speak volumes, and explore the diverse collections that await you by clicking HERE and unlock the possibilities of making your space not just a dwelling but a gallery of your most cherished memories and sentiments.