60 Works / 60 Years

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair at 60 
Market Gallery 
Coming Fall 2021 

The City of Toronto began collecting art for display in civic buildings in the 1850s. Since then, The City of Toronto Art Collection has grown to include over 3000 works of art including paintings, watercolours, prints and sculptures. A large majority of these are on permanent display at City Hall, Metro Hall and other civic buildings across the city. 

The Mayor's Purchase Award at the annual Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is an important moment for the collection. Each year the Mayor, assisted by City curators, selects a work to be brought into the municipal collection from the fair. This is an excellent opportunity to purchase works from new and emerging artists and enrich the collection with diverse perspectives. Past winners include George Boyer, Clint Griffin, Jesse Boles, Dionne Simpson, Ruby Zhang and Raoul Olou. The 2021 winner will be announced Thursday July 8th at TOAF's virtual Awards Ceremony.

The Purchase Award, which does not have a set value but covers the purchase price of the selected work, was first awarded in 1979, the year of the opening of the City-operated Market Gallery, where many of these works have been exhibited.

An exhibit marking the fair's 60th anniversary is planned to open at the gallery in the next few months. In the meantime, here is a small sample of the display.


Recent Mayor's Purchase Award Winners

Cheryl Rock 
B.G.M. 3.0 (Black Girl Magic)
Mixed media 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2020

Raoul Olou 
For my Honest Ed
Oil on panel 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2019

Sarah Pais
Toronto City Hall
Watercolour on paper 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2018

Ruby Zhang 
Bugs on Queen
Watercolour on paper 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2017

Susan Gale 
Toronto Street I
Acrylic on panel 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2016

Todd Stewart 
Cudia Park, Scarborough
Panel, ink
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2015

Chris Albert 
AGO Stairs 
Panel, photographic paper, resin
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2014

Kelli Jerome 
Toronto Island 
Paper, ink, acrylic paint 
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2013

Dawn Harmer 
Shield Me 
Panel, photographic paper, ink, acrylic resin
City of Toronto Art Collection 
Mayor's Purchase Award 2012