With the exception of one year, I have attended every Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition that has been held since 2001 (it was cancelled one year due to a garbage strike). Every year the weather gods offer up a medley of high winds, torrential rain, and oppressive heat. Thankfully this year was different: only sunny skies and reasonable July heat. Normally the TOAE is a large, sprawling event at Nathan Phillips Square in front and beside Toronto City Hall. This year the TOAE was reduced by 30 to 50 percent due to construction. The smaller, tighter show did not disappoint: it offered a mix of artists new to the show and seasoned TOAE artists. The condensed format felt fresher than previous years. As much as I appreciate many of the artists who have showed at the TOAE for years on end, it was good to see more new artists. Next year, when the construction is completed, more of the long-term artists will be back, and that will be good too: after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder.