Words, words, words.  People write them. People read them (or ignore them!).  And some people take pictures of them and blog them.

below: Let’s start with the encouraging words such as this one: “Be you not them!”  I don’t know who is behind the #happytoronto campaign but if you search for that hashtag on instagram, you’ll discover that they wrote a number of positive messages on Toronto sidewalks.

words written in chalk on the sidewalk, Be you, not them! #happytoronto

below: Another hashtag, another set of words.

words stenciled onto the sidewalk in black, that say It's Okay not to be OK #thesadcollective

below: Time and weather and peeling paint have erased some of this message but “still believe” is still there and hanging on.

a metal garage door once painted blue, the blue is peeling. Stickers that said no parking have fallen away so there's only NO A G left. Written in yellow spray paint is Still believe.

below: Like most facets of life, there’s always the negative ones.
But who knows, maybe he speaks the truth?

on a concrete block exterior wall, spray painted words that say you smell

below: “I’ve always known it was you”
Ambiguous words:  A declaration of love?  An accusation of a crime?

on a concrete wall painted beige, a stencil in orange that says I've always known it was you

below: Danger due to construction workers ONLY.   Definitely no other dangers here!


below: “Eat right, exercize, die anyways”.   A touch of reality or cynicism.  The interpretation is in the eye of the beholder so to speak.


below: How to open this door.  At first glance, what silliness.


below:  “If not now, then when?”
Playing visually with written words.

words written large in white on a black wall, if not now then when. A bright yellow table and chair sit in front of the wall.

below:  Chinese characters on a yellow wall.  I have no idea what it says and I’m not sure if google can help me translate.  Post no bills?  No parking?  Both doubtful… I think!  They are written on a mural on Gerrard East (Chinatown East) that was only a few days old.

graffiti Chinese characters written on a yellow wall.

below:    “Go perfect into peace”.  Wonderful sentiment.  The grammar is iffy ( a direct translation from Chinese into English?  完善纳入和平) but I like the succinctness of the message.

go perfect into peace, words written on a fence beside a no parking sign

below:  And last, I am going to include the words from this mural because it is now adjacent to a construction site and who knows how long its going to remain visible.

mural on a lavendar coloured wall, a hand pointing down.

below: From the mural above, a quote from the novel ‘Tom Jones’ by Henry Fielding written, appropriately, on the wall of the Tom Jones restaurant.  I’ve included the transcription below the photo.

words of a quote from a novel by Henry Fielding, written in black on a lavendar coloured wall, exterior, outside

[…] these laws my readers patrons whom I consider as my subjects, are bound to believe and to obey; with which that they may readily and cheerfully comply, I do hearby assure them that I shall principally regard their ease and advantage in all such institutions; for I do NOT, like a jure divino tyrant, imagine that they are my slaves or my commodity; I am , indeed, set over them for their own good only, and was created for their use and not they for mine.  Nor do I doubt, while I make their interest the great rule of my writings doings, they will unanimously concur in supporting my dignity and in rendering me all the honour I shall deserve or desire (II,i)

from the novel Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.”

  1. icelandpenny says:

    You’ve caught a couple of my own favourites, plus a bunch I hadn’t seen before – thanks! For ambiguity, I’ve always liked the big “You’ve changed!” at (I think) Queen W & Ossington, anyay, right by CAMH. Is it admiring, or accusatory?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s