Curry’s Art Store

$$ Home Decor, Art Supplies

Curry’s Art Store

Full Description


In 1911, Fred Curry opened his Art Supply store at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets in downtown Toronto. Initially, although he carried artist materials and photographic equipment, the business revolved around custom framing and the sale of oil paintings, watercolour paintings and etchings.

Customers would often visit Fred to learn of his latest European buying trip while their horses were shoed and new harnesses and bridles were fitted at the blacksmith shop two stores north of Curry’s. Business thrived during the 1920’s as framing and gallery sales moved his enterprise forward. The depression of the 1930’s, however, drove Fred and many others to the brink. The store stayed open from 7A.M. to 11P.M. six days a week.

During those difficult years, the family lived above the store and, while Fred rested, his young daughter would staff the empty store. To survive, Curry’s stocked increasingly more fine artist materials. Fred bartered these materials to struggling artists in exchange for their art which he, in turn, attempted to sell in his gallery. Several of Canada’s most famous artists worked closely with Fred during this period. The gallery framing business, once so heavily relied upon, had to close after Fred Curry’s best framers did not return from the 2nd world war. The company was then forced to change direction and become a leading supplier of drafting materials to the fast growing Canadian aircraft industry by the mid 1950’s.

With the advent of dry transfer lettering, Curry’s began supplying to advertising agencies, art design houses and the government. Dry transfer lettering was a significant part of the business during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Since then, increasingly sophisticated computer graphics technology has rendered that business obsolete but has opened the door for color graphics output devices and supplies. Throughout all the stages in the development of Curry’s, artist materials were the glue that held Fred Curry’s dream together. The heart of Curry’s business today is selling Tools of Creativity – quality art supplies. Curry’s now has 11 stores located throughout southern Ontario and offers an exciting selection of art supplies and creative materials, all with competitive, artist-friendly pricing.

Fred Curry’s Values: Quality, Service and Integrity have continued to be the critical mission in this family run business now in its fourth generation. Fred Curry’s great grandchildren now actively propel the company forward, having adopted Fred’s values, for both customer service and for life, as their own.



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