Happy New Year!

January 23rd is Lunar New Year  as we enter the Year of the Rabbit (except in Vietnam where apparently it’s the Year of the Cat).

below: Although this mural has nothing to do with rabbits (or cats), it is found in Chinatown.  Three dragons cavorting on the wall on Oxford Street, painted by sightone in 2016.

on the side of a large old brick buildig, a long horizontal mural of dragons, in chinatown,

central, gold coloured dragon, looking straight ahead with mouth open, part a larger mural in chinatown with three dragons

below: Blue dragon guarding the door at number 5.

blue dragon, part of a larger mural in chinatown with three dragons

Nearby there is an alley where the Chinatown BIA has sponsored some murals with Asian themes.

an asian couple, woman in pink with flower in her hair, man in green,

chinatown murals in an alley

green clad warrior in chinatown mural

three characters in chinese mural in an alley, warrior,

pig standing upright with green jacket and red necktie, green cap, jacket open in front to reveal fat tummy and belly button

young man in chinatown mural

mural with Chinatown theme, man in red robes

alley with metal oil drums covered with graffiti, low buildings with street art on them,

below:  A large koi, or carp, swimming towards a pink lotus flower.

backyard and back of building, with three Asian theme murals, goldfish koi, a pink lotus flower, and

below: “Flowers of the four seasons – Autumn Chrysanthemum” by rowdyradrat.

murals on the back of Chinatown stores, in an alley,

below: Another rowdyradrat painting – this one is “Flowers of the Four Seasons – Winter, Plum Blossoms” and it features Chinese plum blossoms.
mural of pink flowers behind a store on Spadina, in an alley,

mural of a pink lotus flower on the back of a brick building

a person walks on a sidewalk on a foggy day, large trees and a park on the right, lots of traffic and red rear lights on the left

The temperatures this January have been warmer than usual but that means more grey skies and dreary weather days.  I spent one of those grey afternoons in the fog on a stretch of Bayview Avenue near York Mills Road.  It seemed like an appropriate time to see how many abandoned houses I could find.

 

remains of a concrete wall, about 3 feet high, with number 2769 on it, with vacant lot surrounded by chainlink fence in the background

Once upon a time, and not that long ago, Bayview Avenue in this part of the city was lined with large houses on big lots, often hidden behind trees.  Slowly, each house is being replaced with 4 to 6 townhouses in line with a revised city plan.   Toronto has many housing issues including a shortage of family homes.

a branch has fallen off a tree and landed on the yard of an abandoned house, leaves and some snow on the lawn as well

below: Five years ago I posted a photo of this house in a post about empty Bayview houses.  It was empty at the time too.

wire construction fence in front of a driveway with snow on it, a house about to be demolished, red brick, two storey, large house

below: This house appeared in the same 2017 post.  At that time it still had a red front door.

wood barricade across a snow covered driveway in front of a bungalow ready for demolition

abandoned and empty bungalow with low white fence in front of it, driveway blocked, snow, fog,

below: Development is rarely a quick process and things can often get convoluted – the sign on this property is for one of the newest plans – it was filed in 2022.  There are websites advertising the 4 townhouses at 2621 Bayview for sale preconstruction.  There is also a website that claims that 2621 Bayview is included in a block, 2617-21 Bayview that is/was for sale for $14,800,000.  (MLS number C5438385).

blue and white development notice for Behar planning and design co to redevelopment a section of land on Bayview Ave the involves demolishing a few houses, including large bungalow house behind a large trees still there, sign in the front yards.

below: This is 2019 Bayview, included in the 2017-21 block.     At 14.8 million just for the land to get 11 units…..  Toronto may have a shortage of units but it also has a shortage of affordable housing.   What price is affordable these days?  A quick search of properties for sale on Bayview shows that a vacant lot is priced above $4,000,000 (1/2 an acre) and that a newly built townhouse with 3000+ square feet  is above $2,000,000.

blue and white development notice for Behar planning and design co to redevelopment a section of land on Bayview Ave that involves demolishing a few houses, including two storey beige house still there, sign in the front yards.

below: Another house that has sat empty.

old white fence and broken gate post at 2595, house in the background

below: With an application filed in 2017. Five years. Is the process that slow? The city wants this intensification to happen and there doesn’t seem to be a lack of potential developers circling like vultures.   Does a  backlog of files that are 5, 6, or more years in the making suggest a flaw in the system somewhere?

blue and white development notice sign for wilket park developments to demolish house and rebuild townhouses on the lot

a bungalow behind trees, some snow, empty house waiting to be demolished

below: Preparations for a new access road/driveway have begun where 2673 and 2675 Bayview once stood.

chainlink fence in front of a vacant lot covered by a bit of now, black and yellow no trespassing sign posted on fence, some orange and black cones behind the fence, foggy day

vacant lot on bayview ave surrounded by metal fence

large house waiting to be demolished, behind fence

front entrance of house with old vines covering walls and part of windows

On the south side of Danforth, near Bowden Ave.., there is an alley.

below: The backs of two old brick buildings that face onto the Danforth.  Some of the buildings in the area are quite elderly.   The Don and Danforth Plank Road Company built Danforth Ave in 1851.  At that time it only went as far west as Broadview Ave.

back of two old brick stores on the Danforth, driveways and parking spots, 2 parked cars, small balcony on one

below: Looking west to Bowden Avenue.  There are a few street art pieces that have been painted in the past couple of years.

an alley behind the Danforth, a painted fence, a large pink man's portrait, a painted traffic box at the end of the lane

below: Natasha Dichpan painted this young woman and wolf (dog?).  It’s probably a dog but for some reason I’d like to think that it was a wolf.

close up of part of a mural on a wood fence in an alley painted by Natsha Dichpan, a purple young woman's face beside a pink and purple wolfs face

below: The multicoloured swirls of dots and splotches are by Andre Castro.

street art on a wood fence, two womens faces, and a wolf, in an alley

below:  A young woman with flowing pink hair, pointy elf-like ears, and many eyes, rides on a blue pelican (or at least a bird with a big beak), painted by Katrina Canendo in summer of 2021.  Pink mushrooms in blue foilage on the accompanying door.

two street art paintings on a concrete building, a small painting of pink mushrooms on a door, and a larger mural of a four-eyed woman with pink flowing hair riding on a blue goose (or pelican), a bird with a long beak. she has an eye on the back of her hand too

below: She also seems to have an extra arm as well as an eye on the back of her hand. She ate the mushrooms?

close up of pale green skinned woman in mural of a four-eyed woman with pink flowing hair riding on a blue goose (or pelican), a bird with a long beak. she has an eye on the back of her hand too

below: By Sasha Fonkatz, the only man on the block.  The calligraphy in the black box on the right says: “Sometimes you have to be a lion to be the lamb that you are” (a Dave Chapelle quote).  I am not sure what the whole story is surrounding the pink faced man, but the first two lines start “A true community is not just about …”

mural on side of concrete building, in two sections, on the left a pink faced man with very short dark hair, surrounded by words, on the right is a square of calligraphy white letters on black with a pink flower below it. The words say sometimes you have to be lion to be the lamb that you are
below: by Amani Muhammad, blues…. blue woman, blue pigeon, and blue butterflies among the pink and red flowers

mural by Amani Muhammad, a woman in blue holds a blue pigeon, pink and red flowers around them as well as blue butterflies

close up view of mural by Amani Muhammad, a woman in blue holds a blue pigeon, pink and red flowers around them as well as blue butterflies

below: Another Katrina Canendo piece, this time from April 2022. On the sidewalk on Bowden Street with Danforth Church in the background.   Once called Chester Baptist Church, the building was completed in two stages.  The original building was built in 1911 while a newer addition fronting onto Danforth was added in 1931.

painted metal bell box on a sidewalk in front of a church

below: Bowden Ave.  The street is named after John Wilson Bowden, a builder who purchased land in the area in 1858 and subdivided it in 1871.

2 houses on Bowden Avenue, 3 storeys high, one with a large wood balcony

below: Behind the church

garages in the alley behind Danforth near Bowden including one with a basketball hoop above the door and the squares in the door all painted differently

a small shed behind a house, lane behind Danforth

To the west of Bowden there are a couple of garage doors that have been painted but that was long ago.  Some have been tagged over.

garages in an alley behind Danforth with doors with old paintings on them

below: Long ago as in 2012 which is when this double garage was painted – CHEST on one side with Magical Mystery Tour and RASR on the other with Imagine.  Beatles fans I presume.

double garage doors, one side painted by chest and says magic mystery tour and the side painted by rasr and says imagine, painted in 2012

below: and 2013 (pest, bacon, nozer).

corner of a mural signed pest bacon and nozer, on a garage door in an alley, in reds and purples, in 2013

behind an old 2 storey brick house, a fence and a gate. on one side of the gate the fence is painted teal, on the other side it is red

Little India, also known as the Gerrard India Bazaar, is a section of Gerrard Street to the west of Coxwell Ave. I have walked around, and blogged about, Little India before.  Some of these images may resemble those that I have posted in the past,

below: TTC 506 streetcar southbound on Coxwell stops before it turns right onto Gerrard.

TTC streetcar southbound on Coxwell, stopped at Gerrard where people are getting on and off

In the windows of the Islamic bookstore….

black face head mannequin with teal head scarf, in islamic book store window

in store window, a framed image of arab calligraphy beside an ad for unicorn shaped gummy rush

On the street outside Lahore BBQ and Paan Center. …

Gerrard street sidewalk scene, with Lahore BBQ and paan center in the foreground, other stores

close up of metal grate covering blue curtain over the front window of lahore bbq and paan center

below: Three storeys of saris and South Asian fashion.  Bright pink!

pink three storey store on Gerrard

Mannequins in the windows of other clothing stores ….

mannequin in a window

photographs and mannequins on display in a window, reflections of street scene in the window too

mannequins in store window with reflections of globe shaped street lights and yellow lit public cart banner on light pole

And mannequins where you don’t expect them….

a white mannequin head looking out the front window of a house

Windows from the outside

below:  A boy and his robot?

two cardboard robots, male and female, in a window

below: Drumsticks, masala chai and Amma

window of a store in Little India, ad for drumstick ice cream, sign that says masala chai sold here, covid mask sign poster re Amma

old white bench outside, leaning against wall with window (store) and painted in multicoloured monsters

wall painted in yellow and red with a pile of old tires and other garbage in the bottom

And windows to look in

 

looking in a store window in Little India, figurines, shiny silver statues

below: Carpets and patterns on pattern.

carpets in a store window, some rolled in front of a carpet with diamond shapes in reds and oranges and teal,

below: Christmas poinstettia in the quiet before opening time.

poinsettia in the window of a coffee shop

below: Canadian flags for the world’s best butcher

looking in a window that has two Canadian flags, a mug that says best butcher, a hand roller,

below: The missing letters make the sign

looking in the window of a laundromat, sign on window says co laun

looking in the window of a store that has a bright green light shining on a plant by the window, reflections, clothes hanging inside

closed sign on a shop door, with a glittery gold curtain partially covering the window of the door

below: Waiting for the streetcar

below: “You Are Here” This painting is still on the wall but it is no longer The Flying Pony coffee shop, now it’s The Black Pony.

below: The old Belfast Tavern building remains, boarded up, neglected, and only a shell of what it once was.

old tavern building on Gerrard St., boarded up, now a u-haul truck and trailer rental location

below: Parked.

Outside the Lahore Tikka House restaurant, two tictoks sit behind barricades, in an otherwise empty parking lot

door with glass window that has been covered in newspaper, number 1447 sticker on it too, beside a wall with a graphic the illustrates various parts of Little India

below: Large mural on a fence in the lane behind Gerrard Street, north side.

large mural on a fence in an alley

below: Cat on the wall

mural on a fence in an alley, cars parked behind buildings, street art painting of a cat with an orange and yellow halo

alley behind Gerrard St., garages, house

below: Rowell Soller mural

Rowell Soller mural on the side of building

close up of a mural painted by Rowell Soller, green face

lit sign that says Dave! hanging over the entrance to a convenience store at Gerrard and Coxwell, Coxwell street stores in the background

below:   For whatever reason, Gerrard makes a jog at Coxwell.

two street signs, a yellow diamond shaped sign that says road narrows and green sign with words Gerrard street continues one block north

below: Gerrard India Bazaar banner and street sign.

utility pole with stop sign on Gerrard, pink pole with gerrard india bazaar banner on the top, stores on Gerrard in the background

Other posts about Little India

Back to Little India, on a snowy day in Feb 2022

South Asian Festival, street festival on Gerrard in July 2016

 

window of a store with twinkies for sale

Exposed to the elements, overgrown with ivy or bushes, and left on its own to gracefully age.  To fade; to peel.  That is the fate of a lot of street art, especially those in lanes and alleys.  Milky Way Lane is no exception and this blog post features a few pictures that I took last week.   I have posted many of these before, back in their youth.

 

on upper and lower part of wall, fish graffiti, blue on top and pink below, in the middle is a yellowmetal railing with a yellow square covered with with graffiti including the outline of an orange t shirt

below: Fear and dead ivy in the alley

looking down Milky Way Lane on a grey winter day, dead overgrown vines on a building and across the hydro wires, leafless little shrubs growing up against the building on the left

street art and graffiti and a large mailbox by the door of number 55

graffiti on a door, red and white

below: This enormous one eyed ice cream cone monster replaces another Buff Monster creation, also on a pink background.

garage covered with dead ivy and a garage door painted pink with a one eyed monsterin black and white

below: Preserving their modesty, two of the people painted once upon a time by Philip Saunders.

old mural by Philip Saunders, a couple holding hands, origianlly with no clothes on but the bodies have been painted over and their modesty preserved

orange rusty metal door in a fence in an alley

corrugated metal wall or fence with little alien spacemen graffiti

street art on a door, lion with grey man, standing upright, cartoon movie character,

small black stencil, person head and shoulders wearing a black balaclava

part of a street art mural, a person in brown and beige tones with open mouth, screaming, someone has add a red line coming out of the mouth

street art mural with the words forty seven in shaddes of orange, on a wood fence

peeling street art on a wood fence in an alley

in the corner of a mural, a little brown cone shaped character with big eyes and an orange hat

below: A square Elmo

Elmo painted on a square garage door in an alley

black and white heart with smiley face, graffiti, and the words love daddy

on a wood fence, two stars, old street art, fading and peeling, trash on the dead leaves at the bottom of the fence

Parkdale mural in Milky Way Lane

brick wall, paint is peeling, two bricks are entirely exposed

close up of dead ivy on a metal wall that has green and black street art on it

below: Part of a “Stay Home” COVID mural by Elicser Elliott, 2020

Elicser Elliott stay at home mural from 2020. A young man holds a roof over his head

below: Still looking good, a moonman mural from 2020

mural by moonman painted in 2020, a snake-like character

 

below: Pink faced, orange leopard spotted blast of colour…. A mural by Christina Mazzulla.

mural of a woman dressed like a pink and orange cat, large, covers side of garage

Settlement in what is now Parkdale began before 1850.  In 1879 it was incorporated as a village and ten years later it became part of the city of Toronto.

below: Mural by Jim Bravo and Lula Lumaj from 2015, celebrating the history of Sunnyside Park.  In the early years, part of the attraction of living in Parkdale was its proximity to Lake Ontario and such features as Sunnyside Beach and Sunnyside Amusement Park.

Jim Bravo mural in Parkdale, beach scene, celebrating 100 years, Sunnyside Beach

close up of part of Jim Bravo mural in Parkdale, beach scene, celebrating 100 years, Sunnyside Beach

sign for Lees convenience store, milk jug shape in white with red letters that say open 7 days a week

below: Christmas wreath on the globe outside Parkdale Library.  This is the World Peace Monument, a globe surrounding a fountain.  It was designed by Peter Dykhuis and fabricated in copper and bronze by Heather & Little in 2005.  The metal sculpture has aged well but as we should all know by now, the city does not do water features well (i.e. I’ve never seen a fountain there; have you?)

sculpture outside Parkdale Library, a metal globe, with a Christmas wreath on it

In July 2022, City council adopted the Parkdale Main Street Historic District Plan.   It covers Queen Street  from Dufferin west to Jameson/Macdonell including this block of three buildings.  It hopes to preserve many of the two and three storey brick buildings that line Queen Street and in turn, the character of the area.

old brick buildings on Queen St West in Parkdale including home hardware store

below: Map of proposed Parkdale Main Street HDP. This map was found on a City website where you can also find other information about the project if you want.

below: Southeast corner of Queen and Dunn

 

old brick building at the corner of Dunn and Queen, with newer highrise behind

below: A happy black and white bear to greet you

painted doorway on Queen West, a black and white bear, smiling, sitting

below: And a cow in a tea cup

street scene, Parkdale, including Rustic Cosmos cafe and its sign showing a cow in a black tophat sitting in a tea cup

sign outside store, kodak image check system, best image, digital 1hour photo

sign beside a store window that says support your local farmers, with a picture of an old fashioned truck

below: Looking south on Lansdowne.  Note the car blocking the bus stop.

Lansdowne looking south to Queen, yellow building, Tiny Cafe, on the right, people getting on a TTC bus on the left side

below: Someone’s happy this morning

a store front with white metal bars, yellow door, and a large cutout of a white drink cup with domed top and a happy face on the side

below: Looking south on Noble towards Queen

vacant lot behind brick building on the northwest corner of Noble and Queen West

below: Northeast corner of Brock and Queen

large three storey brick building on the northeast corner of Brock Ave and Queen Street West, stores at street level, traffic lights at the intersection

coloured flags flying over Queen Street West

brick building storefronts on Queen West, Hanoi Restaurant, Vietnamese, beside Hamza Mosque

below: “No Justice No Development” in the window of this former store.

large square house on corner with large window, covered in white but with pink letters on window that say no justice

below: Row houses. Each house shares a gable, or a peak, with one beside.  Gables were very common in Toronto architecture, especially in the Victorian era, but in those houses each had its own gable.   As people have decorated their houses, the resulting mix of colours, materials, and textures forms its own picture. This is not unique to this street – there are many other places in Toronto where homes with shared gables (both semis and rows) have been renovated such that the two halves look very different.

line of row houses on Noble Street, all two storey, all with gables,

below: Bay and gable houses

bay and gable houses in Parkdale, some with added porch and balcony,

below: Parkdale has always had a mix of many different building styles, both commercial and residential. The Tsampa Tibetan restaurant has an octagonal turret.

Tsampa Tibetan restaurant with a turret on its roof, on the corner of Queen Street West, a pedestrian walking past

below: From rows of two storey houses to walls of glass and steel (on the other side of Dufferin, and the other side of the railway corridor).

Noble Street street scene, back of a red brick building, fence for railway corridor, and high rises on the other side of the tracks in the background.

below: Until a few years ago, this was Designer Fabrics store.  The block of buildings was built in 1881 by J.C. Mussen, a Parkdale businessman.  It was originally six storefronts.   In 2020 there was a plan to build a nine storey condo on this site.

empty building at 1360 Queen West, old brick building, retail at ground level with papered over windows,

below: Like the building beside it, this grey building at 1354-356 Queen West may be demolished to make way for a condo development.  There has been a long line of retail businesses in this space, from John Wanless’s hardware store in 1881 to Designer Fabrics (1950s to 2018).  For more information about the building, see the website of Architectural Conservancy Ontario.

looking across Queen Street West, small tree and bus shelter on the south side, older buildings on the north side including a two storey brick building with front windows papered over

small tree in front of a parkdale mural

alley with old garages behind Queen Street West, trees, winter scene but no snow

below: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure…. I had to double check just to make sure that it wasn’t real!

overflowing household trash bin with a fake arm in it, look very real

garage in alley behind Queen West, painted in shades of green with a tag throw up piece on one wall

below: The bottom right section of a black and white mural by Jimmy Chiale.

part of a mural that is black and white stylized abstract shapes

fence in an alley, part chainlink, with old wood, and old metal leaning against it

below: “Danger – Restricted Area” says the sign

orange car parked in a short alley or driveway, by a pole with a sign that says danger restricted area, backs of buildings, muddy

stencil graffiti on a reddish brown brick wall, yellow paintbrush with top in flames, with words above that say you just read this

graffiti stickers on utility pole, one is an urban ninja squadron t bonez character

sticker graffiti on a pole, all text, says very clever statement that makes you question your miserable life

below: Nothing changes

large metal door or shutters covering storefront window painted orange with words nothing changes, large graffiti tag covering the lower part

below:Another demolition – this one is on Noble, immediately north of Queen Street West.  An 8 storey condo has been proposed for this site.

danger due to demolition sign on a fence at a construction site. partially demolished building on the site along with muddy land

view of part of a demolition site, concrete half wall with decorated top, looks like carved dancing people

below: Another building, another blue and white sign, another condo. As it turns out, this is immediately behind 1354-13656 Queen West (that grey building a few images above) which means that the 9 storey condo here will front on three streets: Queen St, Brock Ave, and Abbs St..

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on a wood fence

below: The struggle against colonialism continues

below: After a while there are just too many of these.  It can get a bit disheartening.  This sign sits in front of 1488 Queen Street West which is already empty and looking derelict at street level.  The snails pace of development doesn’t help – neglected properties are a liability.  They look horrid and contribute nothing to the neighbourhood.

blue and white development notice sign for 1488 queen west, with graffiti land back written on it

below: Scan for nonsense

paper on a wood utility pole, scan for nonsense, graffiti

With thanks to @designwallah for helping to identify the artists of some of the murals in this post.

notes here

signs on a utility pole on Queen Streeet East, early morning, rainy day, homemade signs arrow pointing to Provincial Park,

There’s a new provincial park in Toronto!

hand painted sign in green and white that say Parkdale Provincial Park, on a metal construction fence around a vacant lot waiting for redevelopment on Brock Ave.., also a hand drawn sign that mimics the blue and white Ontario Parks sign

… but sadly it’s just a vacant lot

small table in a vacant lot, behind a fence, houses on Brock Ave in the background

The city has owned the land for a few years and has already torn down the LCBO that used to be here.  The plan is to build supportive housing for those in need.  So far nothing else has happened – has the project stalled?

sign on a metal construction fence around a vacant lot with title 40 homes 2023, description of fight to build affordable housing

“We are in a housing crisis.
Parkdale needs permanent supportive housing.
Three years ago in December 2019, the City of Toronto purchased 11 Brock (this site) from the Province, with a purpose to redevelop it as affordable rental homes for some of Toronto’s most vulnerable people.
In December 2022, Municipal Councillor Gord Perks’s office shared that it will be funded by the Rapid Housing Initiative, a Federal program.  But bids for a non-profit haven’t started and plans aren’t yet made.  Why?  NP Remind Councillor Gord Perks, Federal MP Arif Virani, and each other that we remember the human right to housing.”

 

handmade sign that looks like a provincial heritage plaque, description of history of Brock Avenue LCBO, now a vacant lot

11 Brock Avenue LCBO
1891-2016
Construction of this edifice began in 1889 to celebrate the annexation of the Village of Parkdale into the City of Toronto.  Originally a “Barber Shoppe and Purveyor of Fine Elixirs”, it was the finest destination for the procurement of alcoholic spirits and haircuts.  The Shoppe fell on hard times in 1916 with the advent of prohibition and the reduction in haircuts due to the famous poorly times Toronto head lice outbreak.  Ostensibly becoming Toronto’s foremost storage facility, bootlegged moonshine was sold in a hidden speakeasy carved into a 125 cubic meter block of ice.  Attracting patrons from across the city for both alcohol and ice alike, this enterprise allowed the neighbourhood to prosper and directly led to the construction of Sunnyside Beach and Amusement Park.  Not coincidentally, 1927 brought the first electric household refrigerator into the market, the end of prohibition in Ontario, and the creation of the LCBO.  11 Brock became one of the first 18 LCBO stores that opened on June 1, 1927.

 

black and white photo of park ranger in mask, along with a drawing of a person in a sleeping bag with caption, need home

two black and white photos, one of kids on horse back, on metal fence around a vacant lot, part of Parkdale Provincial Park protest

unesco world heritage site sign, on installation of parkdale provincial park, on brock ave, vacant lot where LCBO building was torn down

the word Ontario written on a log, with a cute little black and white animal (skunk? bear?) sitting on it

Getting there:  11 Brock Avenue, just north of Queen St. East

Accommodation: none (or bring your own sleeping bag)

Food & Drink: Check out Sam James bakery right across the street from the park entrance (if there was one).

 large black and white painting of 6 hands coming together, radial symmetry, on wall of Sam James Coffee Bar

 

There is a railway bridge that crosses Lansdowne Ave just south of Dundas West.  Along the concrete wall on the east side of the underpass is a long stretch of murals painted last year by a group of muralists and street artists.  This is “Community Built”.

below: At the south end of paintings…. Ducks and loons in the water; ducks in flight by Nick Sweetman. Most people will recognize the green-headed mallard; the duck with the big black and white head is a male hooded merganser.  A female merganser has a similar crest on her head except that it is brown.

Next to the ducks there are people fishing and wading in a creek.  This portion was painted by Elicser Elliott.

part of a mural on the walls of an underpass, Nick Sweetman painted ducks and Elicser Elliott painted people in a creek

part of a mural, painted by elicser elliott, woman in yellow jacket and hat, standing in creek, hands in water,

below: Under the tracks, abstract flowers in yellows and oranges by Chris Perez

painting of abstract flowers in a mural by underpass, painted by Chris Perez, yellows and oranges on a blue background

below: Black hands and white hands reaching out, by Rowell Soller

street art mural underpass, calligraphy in red and yellow surrounding a black person, face and many black and white hands,

below: Kedre Brown (left) and Artchild (right)

mural under a railway bridge, two diferent scenes by two different artists, a black panther on the left, a person's portrait on the right, person is wearing a blue hat with little wings on it

below: Scenes on light green by Andrea Manica – a dog, a bee, and a couple of strawberries – walking in heels with coat and hat – sitting on a yellow blanket – a tent, mushrooms, and playing ball.

stylized people on light green background, scenes, in a mural under a railway bridge,

below: As the years go by we’ll be able to date the artworks of 2020 to 2022 by the presence of masks.  That’s assuming that we won’t be wearing them again…..

part of mural, a brown person wearing an olive coloured wide brim hat and a pink covid mask,

below: Under a rainbow where nature thrives in a collaboration between Shawn Howe and Mo Thunder.

mural by shawn howe and mo thunder, an wall of an underpass. under a pink sky, a semi circular rainbow. under the rainbow a sleeping fawn, a loon, and many flowers and plants

a sleeping fawn in a street art mural

below:  Que Rock

two murals on an underpass wall, on the right, by que rock, first nations theme and symbols

from a street art mural, a face painted with lines in blues, red, and yellow,

below:  A few artists from Red Urban Nation Artists Collective had a section of the wall to paint

houses above, a stair case to a lower level sidewalk and street, with a mural on the wall and stairwell between the two levels

below:  Part of the RUN Collective, is Ren Lonechild who painted the apes at the bottom of the stairs.  Swooping and swirling around the apes and the stairs are ghostly creatures that are the work of Cedar Eve Peters

murals by an outdoor staircase, by red urban nation artists collective, apes walking in the blue night time, northern lights, ghost like figures

close up of part of a mural with large monkey or ape hand reaching for a smaller monkey or ape

below: The view from the top of the stairs from Shirley Avenue

looking down an outdoor stairwell beside Lansdowne Ave., into an underpass, murals on the left wall, street on the right

below: by Danielle Hyde

close up of part of mural painted by Danielle Hyde, a member of Red Urban Nation Artists Collective, on a wall beside a staircase, pink and brown faces swirled together,some hands too

long stretch of concrete wall alongside a railway underpass on Lansdowne Ave., covered with many different murals,

below: A mural with a message that the willow tree is nature’s aspirin.  Willow bark contains salicin which is chemically similar to aspirin which also known as acetylsalicylic acid.  The salicin chemical structure is shown in this mural by Keitha Keeshing-Tobias.

mural on a wall, willow as nature's aspirin, chemical structure of aspirin, evening sunset scene

below: This project incorporated a previous public art installation on this site.  Back in 1989 a number of small sculptures, or forms, by Dyan Marie were embedded into the wall of the underpass.

shiny round sculpture embedded in concrete wall that has been incorporated into a street art mural

below: This is Leone McComas’s contribution to the ‘Community Built’ project

mural on concrete wall of underpass, different coloured silhouettes in long flowing clothes walking to a picnic in the park

below: Alex Bacon painted dancers in hazy flowing shades of pink and orange.

mural on exterior concrete wall, in shades of pink and orange, 3 human figures dancing, females, long flowing hair,

below: Two murals.

two murals on a concrete wall. on the right is a cyclist painted by Curtia Wright and on the left is a scene with two brown figures, a male and a female, standing above a yellow and orange sun

below: Close up of the cyclist painted by Curtia Wright

close up of cyclist head and shoulders, part of a mural, long brown hair, orange bike helmet,

below: Two brown figures by kaya joan

two brown figures facing each other, pink flowers on chest, hands up, white flowers in hands, dark sky behind them

below: On the right – a  blue woman reclines by a cluster of colourful houses.  She’s got one hand on a pink lawn and her feet on a red lawn under a white-leafed tree.  This mural was painted by Yasaman Mehrsa.

two murals, one by june kim of a gold tiger, and one by yasaman of a blue reclining woman

below: Close up view of the big regal cat by Planta Muisca as it sits on a blue mat by a bowl of papaya and a slice of lemon.

part of a mural by Planta Muisca, yellow and gold tiger, with green necklace, a bowl of papaya, other animals in pastel colours

below: Welcome to Little Tibet … standing beside a white chicken by Caitlin Taguibao

two murals on Lansdowne Ave., on the left is tribute to little tibet, on the right is a white chicken with wings stretched out

below: People from the Little Tibet mural, by Kalsang Wangyal,

part of a mural, multi generational group of people, little tibet, mother holding baby, father with son on his shoulders, grandparents too

  below: A mural by Tenzin Tsering on the right – a bonfire where “the flames of the bonfire represent the tradition of oral storytelling and act as a homage to the diverse and unique stories/voices of the people in Tkaronto.” (from her instagram page)

two murals with tops of houses behind,

below: And what’s a Toronto mural if it doesn’t have a raccoon?

light blue silhouette of a raccoon with a light blue and dark blue striped tail, in a mural on Lansdowne Ave

In the mural two pictures above, the painting on the left is the work of Jordan McKie (aka trip2thetop)  The next few images are from that mural.

part of mural by trip 2 the top, butterfly with smiley face, other abstract shapes and figures

trip 2 the top mural, face of a person, black and white crosswalk, a yellow duck, a purple cat,

a smiley face worm by some leaves in orange and red, abstract shapes mural

below: A dragon’s head at the north end of the underpass by June Kim.

part of a June Jiuen Kim mural of a green gragon head with white teeth, blue spots, blue nose, and blue eyes

below: Looking south

graffiti on concrete supports at the end of a railway underpass, winter time, some snow on the ground, trees, a truck driving past,

city of toronto brass plaque on Lansdowne underpass bridge

A Mural Routes project from 2021

 

June, Jordan McKie, Tenzin Tsering, Kalsang Wangyal (waz_graphics), Caitlin Taguibao, Planta Muisca, Yasaman Mehrsa, kaya joan, Curtia Wright, Alex Bacon, Leone McComas, Keitha Keeshig-Tobias Biizindam,  Red Urban Nation Artists Collective (Drew Rickard, Danielle Hyde, Cedar Eve Peters, Ren Lonechild and Que Rock), Mo Thunder and Shawn Howe, Andrea Manica, Kedre Brown, ARTCHILD, Rowell Soller, Chris Perez, Elicser Elliott, Nick Sweetman.

Curator and community engagement facilitator: Bareket Kezwer

looking through the top of a TTC bus shelter with blue sign for Dundas, Lansdowne Ave in the backgound

Let me tell u …  about the graffiti that I’ve seen recently

in front of a very blue wall, a yellow bollard with three stickers on it. The phrase let me tell you is written on the three stickers

Little voices that protest ….

below: Such as “cars ruin cities” stickers.

sticker on a metal utility pole on Lansdowne, black with grey text that says cars ruin cities

Or protests of a more political nature ….

below: Doug Ford Resign.  (But you know he never will, no matter how low the Conservatives go).

pink sticker on a black metal railing, hashtag doug ford resign, mention of twitter and facebook, #dougfordresign

Of course not all graffiti is a protest against something. Sometimes it’s hard to discern any reason for it!  But often the variety and scope of eccentric and creative ideas makes finding
expression
Taking the time to produce and spread.

stickers on a metal utility pole, two are urban ninja squadron, and one has a red silhouette on concentric circles of yellow and white

stickers on a pole, one is portrait of man with black gold eyes and large fangs for teeth, the other is a cartoon like drawing of a roman soldier in orange

below: “Love is love” in a whole new way.  Can anyone pass by here and not take the time to read it?  Whether you think it’s stupid or it’s profound doesn’t really matter.  Someone thought that it was worth their time and effort to produce it.

spray painted in black, stenciled text on concrete wall beside outdoor stairwell that says love is love spelled backwards then spelled backwards again

below: Some love is quiet, hidden, in small hearts in places most people don’t see

small sticker on the back of a traffic sign that started as a hello my name is sticker, small yellow heart on itPink hearts to put a smile on your face.

a pink heart painted on a concrete barrier

pink heart stenciled onto a concrete support, with a spray paint black happy face beside it

below: So simple yet so happy.

black facial features, closed eyes and smiley mouth, graffiti on concrete railing support

below: In the “just because” category

two stickers on a pole, on top is black and white tag like drawing. one on bottom is four little characters in pink with outline and features in darker colours

small sticker of an animal drawn in black and blue, partially ripped, on a black metal litter collection box on sidewalk

below: Some references are obscure.  Pulp machete?

black drawing of a man's portrait, wearing hat, text underneath says pulp machete

below: “Revolutionary change for a dollar”?

spray painted in black, stenciled text on concrete barrier beside parking lot says revolutionary change for a dollar

below: “We are living in a simulation.”   These days simulation theorists are a digitized dime a dozen (I stole that line from a ‘Wired’ magazine article).  We can’t know that we don’t live in a simulation so no one is going to win or lose that argument, and besides, what difference would it make?  There are still people who don’t believe in evolution; maybe God’s hand is on the joystick.  We’ll never know.   Whatever your beliefs, credit to Mrbrandnu for the graffiti.

spray painted in black, stenciled text on concrete barrier beside parking lot says we are living in a simulation

I’m going to end this blog post on a hot and fiery, but mysterious, note – the next few are stencils with a red flame theme.  I’d love to know who the artist is.  Let me know if you know!

spray painted in black, stencil of spray paint can with red flames coming out of it

stencil, red flames, black paint roller

stencil, two red flames, a black silhouette of a bird in flight, on a wall of an abandoned building covered with ivy and other green overgrowth

stencil of a black rose with red flames coming off the top of it.  Petals on fire

Along a wall beside the playground at 103 and 105 West Lodge is a mural painted by Elicser Elliot and Nick Sweetman a couple of years ago.   It’s theme is the outdoors and it includes scenes like kids playing baseball, people reading and sitting outside, as well as people planting gardens.  There are also lots of animals – a large dragonfly shows off its wings, bees fly by, squirrels hoard nuts, a robin pulls a pink worm out of the ground, and a very large hedgehog sniffs the flowers.

below: Hedgehog covered with thousands of protective spikes.

large hedgehog in a mural, painted by Nick Sweetman

below: Playing baseball and keeping an eye on the bees

outdoors theme mural on wall at west lodge ave apartment buildings, parkdale

behind some trees, elicser elliot mural

large bee in a mural, painted by Nick Sweetman

below: An encounter with a skunk

woman in blue uniform sitting on ground beside large skunk, kids watching her

below: Playing with friends.  Great dunk shot!

mural by elicseer elliott, people outside, two boys playing basketball,

part of a mural along a wall by elicser elliot, a girl with a white head scarf holds a large orange flower. winter time, snow on the ground

below: This robin has found very large worm

mural, nick sweetman, brown dog standing beside a large robin that is pulling a pink worm out of the ground

mural, boy outside, kneeling on grass and playing with large pink worm, another boy is hiding behind a tree

corner of wall, interior angle, with mural painted on it, kids outside

below: A blue dragonfly with translucent wings

blue bodied dragonfly in a mural, painted by Nick Sweetman, 103 West Lodge Ave., wall, snow on the ground, beside some large trees

elicser elliott mural, three kids outside, one in purple top and orange shorts sitting against tree, reading a book.

below: A black squirrel and a grey squirrel and thousands of nuts!

mural, outside, close up of a black squirrel and a grey squirrel and their piles of nuts

two people sitting in a garden, part of a mural on a wall, one person in a green t shirt is planting a small green twig in the brown dirt, the other person is female and has a purple head scarf

portion of wall painted by Elicser Elliot and Nick Sweetman, people outside,

snow covered playground with one wall covered in a mural painted by elicser elliott and nick sweetman