Roberts Gallery was established in 1842 and in its 175 year history it has been owned by three families. The Wildridges’ acquired the well established institution known as Roberts Gallery in 1948, making 2023 their 75th anniversary! Since the mid 1950’s, the gallery has specialized in Canadian Art and has had the honour of handling some of Canada’s best known artists.
To this day, the gallery handles only Canadian artists and represents an eclectic group from across the country.
Perhaps best known for dealing in Canadian historical works, we currently have associations with the estate of John Gould, Arthur Shilling, Carl Schaefer, Franklin Carmichael, and A.J. Casson, to name a few. Our current list of contemporary artists are as diverse as their mediums. From coast-to-coast we have traditional landscape painters as well as mixed media abstract artists.
We have new solo and group exhibits on display every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the year.
On an annual basis we host our Artists Choice show every January, which features new work from all our contemporary artists. We also host our historical based “Sketches” exhibition every June.
Charlene and Paul Wildridge have directed this gallery for the past twenty plus years, and continue to search for and introduce new up-and-coming artists.
The name and label of Roberts Gallery has long since been associated with the finest in Canadian art, and the honesty and integrity in which it deals.
“In 1972, Mr. Casson presented this coat of arms to our family as a Christmas gift along with the explanatory legend. He then used the crest in designing our letterhead for the Gallery.”
– Paul T. Wildridge
2023 – Wildridge family celebrates 75 years of Roberts Gallery ownership
2020 – Move into 631 Dupont Street
2019 – Move off of Yonge Street to Campbell Avenue(temporary location)
2017 –Roberts Gallery celebrates 175 years in business and 75-55-35 RFM McInnis Exhibition.
2014 – Began representing the Estate of Jack Bush, for the early and transitional period of his work. 60th anniversary of the Painters Eleven’s first exhibition held at Roberts Gallery.
2013 – John Gould Memorial Exhibition.
2008 – 60th anniversary of the Wildridge family owning Roberts Gallery.
2006 – 40th anniversary of John Gould at Roberts Gallery.
2005 – Special exhibition for the 80th anniversary of the Canadian Association of Painters in Water-Colour.
2003 – 9th annual Sketches featuring selected work from Goodridge Roberts.
1998 – Special exhibition commemorating 100 years since the birth of A.J. Casson.
1995 – First annual Sketches show.
1992 – Roberts Gallery celebrates the distinction of being the oldest firm in the Dominion dealing in fine arts.
1988 – Jack Wildridge celebrates his 40th year in business.
1980 – The Royal Canadian Academy celebrates its 100th Year and Roberts Gallery presents a group exhibition which features the gallery artists who are members.
1973 – The December Choice Exhibition becomes Artists Choice and appears as the first show of the New Year, a tradition still in practice today.
1971 – Roberts Gallery presents an Alfred Pellan solo exhibition. Franklin Arbuckle has first solo show.
1970 – First Peter Harris exhibition.
1969 – First Leonard Brooks exhibition.
1968 – First Mackay Houstoun exhibition.
1966 – First John Gould exhibition.
1964 – December Choice Exhibition makes its first appearance evolving from the O.S.A Small Picture Show which had been an annual event.
1962 – First Marjorie Pigott exhibition
1961 – Roberts Gallery moves to 641 Yonge Street and opens with a Jean-Paul Riopelle exhibition
1960 – First Jean-Paul Lemieux exhibition
1959 – First A.J. Casson exhibition. First Goodridge Roberts exhibition. First William Winter exhibition.
1958 – In conjunction with the Women’s Committee at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Roberts Gallery presents an exhibit of Quebec Artists.
1957 – First F.H. Varley exhibition
1957 – First F.H. Varley exhibition
1956 – First solo Alan Collier exhibition.
1955 – First solo York Wilson exhibition.
1954 – Painters Eleven hold first exhibition at Roberts Gallery.
1948 – Gallery moves to 759 Yonge Street and is reopened with an exhibition of paintings by Peter Haworth. At this point the gallery moves away from the European art focus and toward a Canadian Art focus.
1948 – Roberts Gallery acquired by Sidney and Jack Wildridge.
1935 – Tom Roberts, brother of Guy Roberts, has his first solo show.
1934 – Upon the retirement of Percy Roberts, the gallery comes under the direction of his eldest son, Guy Roberts.
1924 – Gallery moves to 29 Grenville Street.
1910 – Roberts & Son move from the original King Street West address to 729 Yonge Street.
1880 – Percy Roberts, son of Samuel, became associated with his father in the business Roberts & Son. In 1892 Percy Roberts became sole proprietor.
1870 – Samuel E. Roberts, a fine arts dealer from Brighton, England, acquires the gallery from Mr. Pell, establishing Roberts Gallery
1842 – William Pell, a gilder from London, England, establishes an art gallery on King Street West in Toronto