Bancroft Studio Tour


Lakeview painter, Patrick Dougherty often has ideas for paintings flash into his mind while he is lolling in a placid state in his bathtub. And he finds he must quickly get himself up from the bath and scribble down the idea before it is gone. And adds it to the file organizer in his head, as well, for possible future painting of individual art pieces or an extended series of creations.

Dougherty was born youngest of five in Winnipeg to a Cree native mother from Saskatchewan and a Canadian Irish father from New Brunswick. He recalls excelling in theatre in public school; and after high school graduation in 1983, and working for a year, followed up with pursuit of theatre at George Brown College in Toronto—primarily filming student productions. Next, he took a job as an assistant to a financial manager at Bank of Montreal. And after a year there, became a bike courier, thoroughly enjoy the job for the four years he spent doing it.

And with biking in his blood, flew to Edmonton and rode across B.C. to Vancouver where he stayed a while then continued on over to Vancouver Island. Meanwhile at one house-sitting pause, he was permitted to use art supplies in the home and knocked off a set of 18 landscape paintings. And upon returning to Vancouver, framed the works and had a show at a place called the Firehall Art Centre and sold all of the works—a momentous point that set him seriously in the course of fine art creation.

Around that time, he met actress, Rachel Crawford—who had been a child performer in both Canada and the U.S. and was finding herself over-worked and wanting to take a break. And she and Patrick began a lengthy journey in her van across Canada to Ontario, down the U.S. east coast and ending up in the wild celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Rachel felt pressure to accept good acting job offers and she returned to those while Dougherty just kept rolling in the van, painting and taking in the fab landscapes of the lower western states then heading north and staying the winter and making art in Death Valley, California. He did some further driving for and assisting of Rachel in the mid 1900s before landing permanently in Toronto and establishing himself and his art in the Kensington Market area in the early 2000s.

Next were several decades of a relationship with a hard-working, well-to-do partner who he assisted and lived with in the Leslieville neighbourhood. He also connected with Musclow cottager artist, Ketha Neuman and began frequenting her family property; and joined the early studio tour. And when his relationship terminated 3 years ago, he purchased his present home and studio at 737 Lakeview Road (at Clear Lake Road). In his own words, Dougherty says he: “… does not set out to create aboriginal art but has always been influenced by his native heritage.” And “throughout his career he has experimented with various media, finding satisfaction combining unusual objects with traditional formats. And continues to evolve creatively while having strong roots in his childhood traditions.” Connect with him at

(Profile writing and photo by Allan O’Marra)