1 will munro Underwear (Zsa Zsa, June 16 to 30)
This show -- blending wonderfully tacky fashion, innovative sculpture, bright design and some seriously unserious men's underoos with the instant gratification of Polaroid photography and cash-and-carry shopping -- solidified Munro's place in the art world. His unique underwear designs from a previous runway show were in front of a wall papered with pictures of the briefs in action. Fun, functional and accessible -- three words that don't often apply to art in this city.
2 spencer tunick (Artcore Gallery, September 14 to October 19)
It's like a scene from Wreck Beach in Vancouver, but instead we're looking at the streets of Montreal. Naked bodies litter an urban location, carpeting the dirty pavement with an undulating sea of flesh and exposing the poverty of our urban environment.
3 louise noguchi In Light (Art Gallery of Ontario, July 6 to September 29)
Rarely is art stunningly beautiful these days. Video, already the ugly sister of film and typically handled with the sensitivity of a hygienist with one of those pointy silver things, is often particularly brutish. Noguchi's Crack is like a canvas by a master come to life.
4 edward burtynsky (Mira Godard Gallery, May 14 to 18)
Burtynsky continues to display a singular ability to reveal the tragic beauty of our industrial footprint's impact on the world -- the scars of a quarry with its green blood; the dull, dead soil of the oil fields; or the gasping hulks of rusted-out freighters beached by a low tide.
5 david hoffos Present Tense (Art Gallery of Ontario, May 22 to September 8)
Recently named the runner-up for the new Sobey Canadian Contemporary Art Award, with its prize of $15,000 in grocery money, Hoffos is a dark star on the art landscape. His near-pitch-black installation at the AGO revealed a city powered by the embrace of a pair of lovers.
6 anna hunt (Monte Clark Gallery, March 2 to 31)
Hunt captures architectural images in tiny embroidered works with remarkable flair and attention to detail. The metal, concrete and wood creations of famous architects are recreated in delicate threads and given a new and lyrical texture.
7 roderich buchanan (Goodwater, September 27 to November 8) Sport and art rarely seem to play nicely together. (Witness NFL highlights set to classical music on TSN.) Football (soccer) instills such passion in millions worldwide, and it provides fertile ground for Scottish artist Roderich Buchanan. In two simple video works he reveals the pure joy of the game.
8 napoleon brousseau The New Portraiture (Angell Gallery, February 28 to March 23)
These chameleon portraits reveal people through their possessions and show Brousseau's wit evolving to a new level. Sitters are painted with elements of their surroundings, blending them subtly into their environment. Nature over nurture.
9 Larissa fassler Doppelganger (YYZ Artists' Outlet, November 6 to December 14)
For Doppelganger, the talented young Fassler picked up a White Pages and phoned people in Toronto who share the same name with exactly one other person. The results of what could have been just an intellectual exercise -- photographing the pairs (and the singles whose "other" declined to meet them) -- are surprisingly emotional and entirely human.
10 david acheson now here (Christopher Cutts Gallery, February 23 to April 3)
Two enormous, lumbering sculptures dominated Acheson's solo show this year. Like two oversized babies, one blindfolded and bottomless and the other topless with pants, they seemed to be poised to crash through a wall and terrorize Roncesvalles Village.
bruce mau (The Power Plant)
You expect big things from a guy like Bruce Mau. The show was bright and lively and bold, but for all the big words and pictures, quite empty. It felt less like the work of a famous designer/artist/thinker and more like that of an art student with a gold card.
Gabriel Acevedo (The Balcony)
Artist James Carl's balcony is the hub of art advertising in Kensington Market and is usually covered with a simple, bright, thoughtful art message. Acevedo's work was the first disappointment -- the little goopy-shaped multicoloured demons were as forgettable as the menu of the Asian food joint next door.
Douglas Coupland (Monte Clark)
Coupland's still-life stuff managed to out-bland the intentionally (and often effectively) bland Vancouver artists typically shown at Monte Clark.