Glenn Priestley was born in Toronto and lived his formative years in Scarborough, Ontario, where he attended the Vocational Arts Program at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute.  He is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art Fine Arts Programme, where he spent a year in off-campus studies in Florence, Italy, and graduated with an Honours Diploma in 1976.  His understanding of the figure was further enhanced through study of Anatomy at the University of Toronto.

He has taught drawing and painting at numerous locations and institutions most notably on the faculty in the drawing and painting department at the Ontario College of art, now OCAD From 1989 through 1996 

 His first one-person show was held in 1981 at the Lemay Carell Gallery; since then he has been represented by galleries in Toronto (Roberts Gallery, Nancy Poole’s Studio,  Mira Godard Gallery, Odon Wagner Gallery) and in New York City (Wunderlich Gallery, Tatistcheff & Co. Inc., Gerald Peters Gallery andArcadia Fine Arts), where he has had numerous individual and group exhibitions.  His work has been the focus of two museum surveys:  The View from Tabor Hill, organized by the University of Waterloo Art Gallery which traveled to the Art Gallery of Windsor, and Glenn Priestley:  Variations, at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

 In 1996 he left Ontario and moved with his family to Fredericton, New Brunswick.