Leonardo Galleries was founded by Iris Balija and first opened its doors in Forest Hill Village in Toronto in 1996. Nine years later the gallery moved to the Yorkville area and in August 2015 to its current location, at 255 Duncan Mill Rd.
Iris Balija, who finished her Ph.D. dissertation in Art History at the University of Essex in England became more involved with her academic career (one of the recently published articles), so her mother Zoya Balija stepped up her involvement with Leonardo Galleries on a part-time basis. Then, after spending over 20 years in the information technology field, Zoya retired in 2007 from IBM to devote herself on a full-time basis to running Leonardo Galleries.
Over the years, the gallery expanded its scope to include a distinctive selection of contemporary work by Canadian and international artists, museum-quality custom framing and fine art restoration services. As well as working with artists and presenting exhibitions, Leonardo Galleries participates and organizes many art-related events in Toronto such as the monthly Yorkville Art Gallery Walk, CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival and featured artist lectures. Leonardo Galleries has a genuine concern to promote Canadian and international art and artists of merit, and maintains high professional standards and ethics.
IN THE NEWS
Leonardo Galleries' artist's work featured in the New York Times.
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Leonardo Galleries and Toronto Art Visions are featured in the Toronto Star.
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Leonardo Galleries gets a visit from Tourism Canada (0:35):
Leonardo Galleries’ owner Zoya Balija explains the intricate art restoration process to The Globe & Mail
Click here for a look at the article.
Leonardo Galleries exhibited artist Serafino Catallo is featured in Canadian House & Home Magazine, October 2009
Take a look at Catallo in the realm of decor and design here.
Writer Carolyn Ireland’s “Designed for Urban Buyers” article in The Globe & Mail, July, 2009
Artwork from Leonardo Galleries is often selected by Canada's best designers to enrich their created interior design spaces. Award winning designers Elaine Cecconi and Anna Simone profiled the panoramic photograph "Penny Arcade" by Leonardo Galleries exhibited artist John Long in one of their latest projects, Lippincott Homes in Toronto. To see the photo (on the left wall of the article’s image) and full article, please click here.
Writer Alison Brown’s “Realities Retouched” feature article on Alternavox, May, 2009
Brown writes;"Stereo photography! What an amazing way to view John Long's images. I was transported to glistering brooks looking up to the majesty of a mountain precipice. I was in a sense standing along with the photographer more than a viewer in what this artist calls hyper realistic photography..." [A.B.] Please read the complete article, found here.
Writer Cynthia Gasner’s “Art exhibit examines the Exodus” special to The Canadian Jewish News article, April, 2009
"Her mystical paintings, in acrylic and mixed media, reflect her multi-faceted talents and her expertise with complex colour depictions. "
Gasner describes Leonardo Galleries exhibited abstract artist Lena Shugar. Please visit The CJNews online to view the complete article.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
We are so glad that we found you once again! Many thanks. Margaret.
November 12, 2011
Thank you very much, Zoya. We’re happy with the work. This is the second artwork that we had brought to you for framing and restoration and I am very satisfied with your service. Thanks again and I hope to see you again. Mariano.
July 18, 2011
Thank you so much, Zoya. I have hung the library picture back on the wall and the Duke of Edinburgh picture looks marvelous. Susan.
January 14, 2011
Hello Zoya, Just to let you know that the painting, Metaphor 5, looks lovely in Michael's living room. I know this is the one he will keep. It was a pleasure meeting you. It was also very kind of you to carry it to the car this morning. You see, there are some perks to getting old! I look forward to visiting the gallery again. Kind regards, Lorna.
March 10, 2010
Dear Zoya, I can't thank you enough for providing this information. You have helped us not only in our decision, but financially. The price they are asking for the painting in question is $7,000 Cdn. It is very nice but as I mentioned earlier it does need some work. We are not experienced when it comes to art and we don't have tons of money to spare. We live in a small town outside of Toronto but will make a point of coming to see your gallery the next time we visit Toronto. I look forward to meeting you, hopefully very soon. Again, thank you Zoya. Sharon.
October 30, 2009
Thanks so much Zoya. You have been so helpful and made this process so easy and simple. I hope to have the pleasure of visiting the galleries if we head over to Toronto next year. All the best, Megan.
September 21, 2007
Hello Zoya, Thank you very much for all your careful attention to my pictures. It's good to know that you have a real interest in art and your customers. I'm sure that I will see you again and I certainly will pass your name along to friends who may need help with framing. Thank you again. You made a difficult time much easier. Cheers, Barrie.
June 6, 2007
Zoya, The screen looks absolutely beautiful. We're both delighted with how it turned out. Thea.