Help brighten up my apartment.
January 13, 2009 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy inexpensive art or other wall hangings in Toronto?

I have a very bare apartment and the walls need some livening up. I'm a student and am living near York University, but I'm willing to go to pretty much anywhere in the city.
posted by tomcochrane to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Ikea has a good variety of inexpensive prints and frames.. good for adding a splash of colour. The selection is usually better in-store than on the website.
posted by kaudio at 7:25 AM on January 13, 2009

Do you like the TTC?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:35 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

1) Paint your wall in a color you love. Behr is decent and cheap. It makes a huge difference!

2) Posters can be had cheaply at twice yearly sales by Imaginus. I know U of T had them twice a year; I am fairly sure same goes for York.

Looks like the sell online for cheaply. They have very decent black and white photographs, outside of the stereotypical college poster subject matter.

3) Antiques/vintage stuff: Not just in North York - hit up the Goodwill/Value Village stores - you can find "art" there often.
Otherwise - I had the good luck of scoring a vintage "shelter area here" sign (for nuclear shelters) for $35 (its big, blue, and METAL) at one of the stores on Queen Street West-West-West (where it meets King, basically). That area is generally fun if you're into old stuff. I seen similar signs appear there again.
(The first store as you're coming from the east on the south side is fantastic.) There are like 10 shops all next to eachother in that area; you won't miss them.

I'll keep thinking... in my case, mom painted a lot of abstracts; if you have art school friends that's the best option.
posted by olya at 9:03 AM on January 13, 2009

Fabricland is the cheapest source for fabrics.

A simple (VERY simple) and neat thing to do is get a corkboard (IKEA is probably your cheapest candidate at $6/board), and paint it. We did dark grey and hung 2 side by side, vertically. Whatever you pushpin into them, looks beautiful.

I don't like IKEA's art, but it is cheap no doubt. They do have fabric as well, that's reasonably cheap.

You can find things on Etsy that are near you. Looks like you're a guy - you'll have to wade through lots of dresses/toys/jewellery. Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3 (ouch NSFW) Sample 4 (local pickup!) Sample 5

Sometimes the shipping from US (even) isn't bad.

Inexpensive sources for randomness can be:
Canadian Tire
Homesense is a little "oldey" for my taste, but has decent things. There are a bunch near you. They have "art" too, but its cheesy.
posted by olya at 9:19 AM on January 13, 2009

Response by poster: Should have posted that we aren't allowed to paint the walls. I've been really wanting to though.

Great suggestions all!
posted by tomcochrane at 9:54 AM on January 13, 2009

Something I've done often, on the cheap, is go to a web site like, find something I like. Buy the file large enough to print, then get it printed at Black's or any corner photo place (most places will do enlargements up to 8x10 or 11x14). Get some string or yarn (colored, if you like, or plain twine will also do), clothespins, and set up one or several strings of photos that inspire you.
posted by twiki at 10:45 AM on January 13, 2009

Waddington's Off the Wall sale is pretty great. And Telegramme has great band prints.
posted by peagood at 1:10 PM on January 13, 2009

I have two large wall hangings in my apartment (4' by 4' or so). One is a shower curtain and one is just a large piece of fabric from IKEA's fabric department. I built a couple frames out of plywood and stapled these onto them. They look great, they're cheap, and they're mobile. It's a bit more "adult" looking than the posters I had in college, but is still flexible enough to withstand apartment-hopping.
posted by JannaK at 3:54 PM on January 13, 2009

I just saw a cute idea at a restaurant yesterday. They had nicely gift-wrapped boxes or some kind of thin board and hung them on the walls in lieu of paintings. You can get some nice gift wrap for under 5 bucks and wrap up some shirt boxes or something.

twiki's answer is also great.
posted by eggplantia5 at 6:27 AM on January 14, 2009

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