Adult colouring book nights sell out fast in Toronto

Adult colouring books: they are suddenly all the rage, but not just in bookstores. Charities, businesses, and local artists are getting in on the trend.

The colouring book craze is inspiring artists and entrepreneurs all over Toronto

Adult coloring, Toronto's hot and lucrative new trend

6 years ago
Duration 2:01
A bunch of markers, a coloring book and a glass a wine, is all it takesfor these adults to sit at the kiddie table for an hour

Adult colouring books are suddenly all the rage, but not just in bookstores. Charities, businesses and local artists are getting in on the trend.

Adult colouring and wine nights

Red wine and a colouring book: It seems like such a good combo, you wonder why you didn't think of it yourself. Well, Toronto charity Story Planet, which promotes children's literacy, came up with that exact idea.

Most people who attended the adult colouring night said they were surprised at how relaxing the whole experience was.

The concept is simple: Story Planet provides the space, and everyone pays $10 to get in, plus extra for food and drinks. People bring the colouring book they got for Christmas, or they pick out a drawing sheet at the event. And then they colour, chat, and mingle.

These colouring nights are selling out fast. Event organizer Naomi Belcamino says she "had an inkling that they would be popular," but didn't expect to draw such large, exuberant crowds.

Dorothy wonders how long this whole trend will last. She thinks colouring is more of a fad than yoga.

She says these events have allowed Story Planet to raise money much faster than with previous events, like their board-games night.

A colouring book and travel guide

Local artists are also taking advantage of the opportunity.

How do you define adult colouring? "I feel there is a lot of pressure to stay within the lines," said one participant.

Toronto's Rafi Ghanaghounian co-created his own colouring book, in which each drawing represents a building or house in his Kensington Market neighbourhood. 

The Kensington Market synagogue: one of the many buildings represented in the United Colours of Kensington Market colouring book, that Rafi Ghanaghounian created and published.

"The idea is to bring people to the market," says Ghanaghounian. "They have this [book] as their guide."

And it works. Ghanaghounian has sold close to 600 copies, wildly exceeding his expectations.

Artists in the making

Colouring books have also brought great business to art supplies stores.

People can bring their own colouring books or pick out a sheet at the Story Planet to take part in adult colouring.

Jacklyn Gwartzman, owner of Gwartzman's Art Supplies on Spadina, says some customers are ready to pay up to $168 for a box of colouring pencils.

The big question that's on everyone's mind: How long will this trend last?


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