Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

From the monochrome past to the coloured present – there’s a new mural on the corner of St. Clair West and Spring Grove painted by Christiano De Araujo.    Old black and white photos of the area and its people provide the background for a group of ten very modern and diverse people.

looking diagonally across the intersection of St. Clair West and Spring Grove Rd to a new mural that has just been finished on the side a building, painted by Christiano De Araujo.

painting of two young women, one blond and one withshort curly bright red hair, on top of painting of black and white vintage photos

painting of a black and white photo from 1930 of a woman holding a baby

below: The top photo is 1732 St. Clair West in 1911.

painting, in colour, of a group of people standing in front of paintings of some old monochrome historical pictures of the St. Clair area

below: On the top, very left corner, the black and white photo is a street scene – It’s St Clair Ave looking east from Prescott Avenue, under the railway bridge and beyond.  The bridge was built in 1931 and the photo was taken shortly after that.

new mural on the side of a 2 storey building, a series of vintage black and white photos of the area and people, with paintings of 8 modern people in colour

This is a StART (StreetARToronto) project

The Gardens of St. Clair is a mural project in an alley behind St. Clair West between Prescott and Blackthorn Avenues, just west of the railway tracks.  There are lots of roses and other flowers as well as butterflies and birds.

the side of a building covered with a mural of flowers and the words St. Clair Gardens

below: A purple pansy and a luminescent insect with a shiny blue body.  The dark green vine motif runs throughout the project.

garage door and sides covered with a mural, a purple pansy, an insect with shiny blue body and narrow wings,

a painting of a rose, very realistic, at the top corner of the side of a building, hydro poles and wires in the background

below: Flowers inside the door too.

green door with window, painting in the window too, surrounded by a mural,

an alley with buildings covered with street art murals, the Gardens of St. Clair project

below: Wunder three times over.

a wall with three large text throw-ups that all say Wunder, as a tribute to Mike Kennedy. Also a bird and a flower, a yellow star

part of a mural, a bird coming into land, wings back, feet forward, body almost upright

large mural in an alley, the head of a blue heron appears above abstract painting and text street art

backs of buildings in laneway with murals on them, one is a large pink flower,

cracking cement on a wall covered with a mural of a pinkish rose, on green background

The plaque on the wall says:
The Gardens of St. Clair
Concept by Mike (Wunder) Kennedy, 1973-2017.
Featuring work by: Bacon, Kane, Rony, Wales, Kwest, Baler, Tensoe2, Flown, Vinse, Whysper, Adore, Miles, Sight, Elwal, Emes, and Nick Sweetman

Art on construction hoardings.

below: Looking northwest at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West where seven large collages by Daniel Mazzone dominate the corner.

intersection of St. Clair and Yonge, looking northwest, construction hoardings, people crossing the street

below: On the right, James Dean.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but there are some pink letters on either side of his face.  On the left it says “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  On the right is says, “Live as if you will die today”.

a man stands at a bus shelter on St. Clair Ave, two large paintings on construction hoardings, by Daniel Mazzone, are behind him

below: She repeats.  This woman is at the two ends.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the colour of the pattern in the background.   On St. Clair it’s purple while it’s red on Yonge.   Superman is on her forehead and, in fact, most of the pieces that are used in this artwork are from Superman comics.

large maural by Daniel Mazzone, on construction hoardings, a woman's face and head, created by a collage of smaller images

below: Charlie Chaplin above the bus shelter.  Many of the images used to create the face are also pictures of Charlie Chaplin.

a man sits on a bench at a bus shelter on St. Clair, with a large collage picture of Charlie Chaplin behind him, created by Daniel Mazzone

below: Love sees no colour, with Michael Jackson above Yonge Street.

two murals by Daniel Mazzone, one of which is Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket, and the other is a woman in a cap blowing dandelions white puffy stuff, other flowers and butterflies too along with the words Love Sees No Colours.

below: “Looking for Beauty” by Daniel Mazzone.  Does she see any?  There are a few Supermans here too, especially in her face.  “Splow” is written in green on her neck.

mural above the sidewalk, as people walk by, Yonge Street street sign, traffic,

There’s a new mural in one of the Kensington alleys!  It was painted recently by Dave Setrakian.  It is also too long, and the alley too narrow, to get a good picture of the whole mural.

 

mural by Dave Setrakian in a Kensing alley

below: A parrot, an airplane and some Italian.

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, some passport stamps

below: An Immigration Canada stamp from the 29th of May 1986 beside an Italian flag just out of reach.

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, a hand holding a small flag, a blue passport stamp from Lester Pearson airport with the date 1986.05.29

below: Inspector Gadget appears on TV – a kids’ cartoon produced in the 1980’s.

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, a television set showing Ispector Gadget, a cartoon character from a 1990's kids program

below: A little yellow car with an Armenian flag in the back passenger window.

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, a large yellow car

below: A large palm tree grows here, along with a Kuwaiti passport stamp and Kuwaiti flag

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, a palm tree and a flag

part of a mural in a narrow alley in Kensington by Dave Setrakian, a parrot on a perch and an airplane, a blue and white scooter, motorbike, is parked beside the mural

This is another “come along with me as I walk” blog.  Let me share some of the sights from Thursday’s walk which started at Ossington subway station and sort of followed Davenport south to Queen Street with a few diversions down alleys and side streets.

below: Ooops!  Dead end alleys too.  That’s one way to keep people out!

chainlink and barbed wire fence acorss the backyard of a house

below: A starry man (star face?) watches 007 below.   Street art in an alley.

street art in an alley - corner of a concrete block building, metal staircase as well, blue star with a man's face inside it, a racing car near the bottom with licence plate 007

below: More painting, this time Princess Leia and a strange red man with a latch in his ear.

street art in an alley - red man's head, with protruding lower jaw and two large yellow teeth, white eyes, on a door, black and white picture of Star Wars Princess Leia on the wall beside

below: If he’s aiming for the garbage bin, he’s missed.

street art in an alley - word radar on grey metal door, with screaming face below, on the wall beside is a moon shpaed figure, with arm out and seems to be holding something in its fingers but nothing there, garbage bins (real) below

below: ‘Always fresh bread!’ according to the mural on Nova Era bakery… but maybe you see the edge of the blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign peeking into the picture….

an old and fading mural on the side of an old bakery, showing two bakers, male, baking bread, with chef's hats and white aprons on

below:  … because a 12 storey condo may be moving in.  Retail is planned for the lower level but it may the same old same old glass and steel development with excessively high ceilings on the ground floor and zero street appeal.  Please prove me wrong!

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on the side of a building, under a window, beside a mural of a baker in chefs hat and white apron icing a three layer wedding cake

below: Across the street, is this empty storefront.  Two intriguing blackboards remain – the one on the left says Thank You! and leaves you lines to fill in with things you are thankful for.  On the right, a “Before I Die” board.   What are you thankful for? What would you like to do before you die?  The business once here didn’t die, they just moved around the corner to Bloor Street.

empty store front with a bike parked inside, a red wall beside the door way, dirty glass in front, reflections in the glass

below: A bit of local ‘colour’ complete with ‘colourful’ language.

the back of a cyclist stopped at the side of a street by a bus stop, and traffic light, a woman stands on the sidewalk with a large puffy pink scarf around her neck and a lot of belongings with her

below: This building is on the northeast corner of Bloor and Dovercourt.

old square brick building on the north east corner of Dovercourt and Bloor, apartments on top and stores on ground level

below: I haven’t been able to find out anything about Valentinos but I quite like the debonair rider with a rose between his teeth.

old faded mural of a man on horseback, with hat and cape, the word Valentinos is written near the top, most of the mural has been painted over and is now just green

below: Vintage photo of the Bloor and Dovercourt intersection.  No cars!

vintage coloured postcard of the intersection of Bloor and Dovercourt in Toronto, hydro poles, brick buildings, streetcar, woman crossing road, no cars

below: The red and white building in the postcard above is on the southeast corner of the intersection. It is now home to a Pizza Pizza. Most of it’s large windows have been covered over with large pictures.  The streetcar tracks on Bloor are long gone and Davies butcher shop is now a Starbucks.

below: I walked past St. Michael Archangel Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church (on Delaware Ave) and a Portuguese Presbyterian Church (on Dovercourt).  Then I came across the Centennial Methodist Church.  It was built in 1906 and converted into residences in 2010.

front of Centennial Methodist church on Dovercourt, now apartments, red brick building with large round top windows

historical plaque for centennial methodist church on dovercourt road

CENTENNIAL METHODIST CHURCH, 1906, This Neo-Gothic inspired church replaced an earlier Centennial Methodist Church built on this site in 1891. Notable design elements include decorative stone trim, three central Tudor-arch windows, and flanking square towers topped with pyramidal steeples. It was renamed Centennial United Church in , after the creation of the United Church of Canada. In 1986, the Nisei congregation of the Toronto Japanese Church joined Centennial United to form Centennial Japanese Church. A residential redevelopment was completed in 2010.

 

below: A little farther south on Dovercourt I passed this for sale sign.   I stopped and took a photo of it because of the words in pink: “Laneway suite potential”.  Of course I had to check the lane to see if anyone had built suites back there.   Suites, according to the city of Toronto, are rooms built over garages and not stand alone residences.

for sale sign on the grass in front of a house

below: It is a neat and tidy lane but so far with no suites

Bill Cameron Lane

below: But I did see this mural there.

garage door covered with a mural of a boy walking in a birch forest in the snow with his dog following him

below: I also noticed that the backyards on both sides of the alley were very deep, wonderfully deep actually, especially for a city house.  You could probably sever it in two quite easily.

backyard, view from an alley

below: In fact, something like that has happened a bit farther south where someone took one house, renovated it, and added three more residences with additional access from the alley behind.   I notice that there are 4 water meters here as well as a gate that possibly provides access to the houses behind.

part of a modernized and renovated house with new houses built behind it

In case you’re curious, the four houses are all for sale.  The house in front is a semi and the asking price is $2,400,000.  For that you get 2992 square feet and 4 bedrooms.  The others are slightly smaller and slightly less expensive.

below: A rare large vacant lot

the side of a house on the other side of a large vacant lot

below: Norbregas Variety and Grocery.

Norbregas variety and grocery store, the ground floor of a house on a corner in a residential area, Dovercourt

below: And nearby, a cafe with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi signs

a deli, cafe, with old coca cola, coke, signs as well as pepsi signs. chairs and tables out front, large windows, two boys wakling past, on a corner in a residential area, old house

below: The streets around Dovercourt are all very nice with lots of large solid old houses and tall trees – in this case, a chestnut tree.

chestnut tree and large old houses on a street

below: I even spotted some wildlife!

two statues of small deer in the front yard of a house, one is lying down and looking at the other who is standing nearby, both are in the shade of a large tree

below: Northeast corner of College & Dovercourt

three storey red brick building on corner of college and dovercourt, northeast corner, stores on the lower leve, traffic lights, utility poles and streetcar wires

below: Letters embedded in the sidewalk where one of the branches of the Garrison Creek passes underground, just south of College Street.  The creek was buried more than a century ago.  In the early days, the creek was treated more like an open sewer than a river.  As the city developed, the stream was diverted into underground sewers (1880’s) and streets were built above it.   By 1920, almost a century ago, the stream was entirely diverted into the sewer system.

brass letters embedded in the sidewalk that say Garrison Creek, also a round metal medallion with the same words

below: The age of this car seemed to fit well with the buildings around it.

man stands beside on older car in a parking lot surrounded by old brick buildings

below: Some of Dr. Spock still remains.  He hasn’t been beamed up  yet.

once a mural of Dr Spock, now tagged over although Spock's head is still visible

below: Part of a mural by elicser in a lane behind Dundas West

elicser painting of a man in a brown toque

below: Looking east along Dundas, from Dovercourt

view along Dundas to the east, and downtown Toronto, from Dovercourt Rd

below: A larger than life Pink Panther painted by Matt Gondek.  This is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Dovercourt, close to Skey Lane where his other murals are (see recent blog post on Skey Lane)

mural of pink panther sitting in a chair, large

below: She can still be found near Queen and Dovercourt (painted by Jarus)

mural by jarus in an alley, a woman looking over her shoulder

Just before Queen Street West there is an art galley called the David Kaye Gallery.

below: It may be difficult to see, but this cup is displayed in a glass case mounted on the wall. The back part of the cube is a mirror. For $12,500 it can be yours (but my arm is not included!).

a white tea cup on a black block inside a glass cube with a mirror at the back. on the cup, in black letters, are the words a cup is a cup

below: Both this piece, and the cup above, are part of “Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem” and are on display until the 23rd of September.

artwork by Leopold Foulem, a porcelain piece with gold figures on the sides like handles

I am going to end this blog post with a few pictures of some of the graffiti that I saw:

below: Red hearts on a yellow door.

a door painted yellow with three large red hearts on it

below: No more need for parliaments

a beige garage door with the words no more need for parliaments written on it

below: She’s a bit frayed at the edges and coming apart at the seams.

a hand drawn picture of a face, on paper, pasted on a fence

Skey Lane is near Dundas West and Dovercourt.

below: This is the side of a building in the lane.  Around the corner of the building, the horizontal lines continue and the word Bellwoods is incorporated into it.

black and with horizontal lines form the word Skey in large capital letters, on the side of a building in an alley

below: A fence is in the way which makes taking pictures of this mural a bit difficult but here is the north end of it. Mickey Mouse and his big white gloves is punching Bugs Bunny.  This is the work of Los Angeles artist Matt Dondek  (@gondekdraws) who calls himself a deconstructive popartist.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, mickey mouse with his big white gloves is punching bugs bunny whose mouth is wide open and tongue is out

below:  This is recognizable as being about the Simpsons.  It looks like a character from the Simpsons but which one?  Spikey hair like Maggie’s but in Marge’s colour.  A bit of brown hair like who?    Regardless of who he looks like, he surely represents the Simpsons.  He’s got a partially eaten donut in one hand and although you can’t see it in this pic, he’s got a Duff’s beer in the other.  This was a collaboration between Matt Gondek and Paul Jackson.

Simpsons parody mural by Jackson in a lane, man eating a donut and drinking Duffs beer.

below: The next sections of the wall are Calvin Hobbes themed and was painted by Sadar (@blazeworks) and Cepsr.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, calvin from Calvin and Hobbes cartoon

below: Spaceman Spliff

spaceman spliff in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley

below: An angry (or scheming?) Calvin and devious looking Hobbes with Cepsr written large in between them.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, calvin and hobbes and some text in between

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, along the wall of one side, mickey mouse, sylvester the cat, spaceman spliff, and calvin and hobbes

close up of the texture and some of the colours in a larger mural, abstract,

two line drawings, one is man's face in profile and the other is a creature with a large head and two legs with word bubble that says I'm human

looking north up Skey Lane to Smoke Signals, a barbecue restaurant on Dundas West, a man is walking by on the sidewalk

graffiti on a garage door, someone has written "pls get better at this" beside the scrawled graffiti

graffiti and paint drips in dark green, a pale pink 4

looking north up Skey lane, text street art on a garage door, a large tree, and shops on Dundas in the distance

Or more specifically, #womxnpaintto recent laneway project

I had heard about this event but I was away in mid-August which was the week that it occurred.  I knew that it was on a lane off McCaul but I couldn’t remember where.  McCaul isn’t that long so I started walking north at Queen.  At Dundas, this is what I saw:

below: The edge of a mural by Emily May Rose beckons you to come and take a closer look.

a mural by Emily May Rose of figures of woman on a black background on the side of a building, a fence runs parallel to it, entrance ways to buildings

I knew that I was in the right place when I saw the word (is it a word?)  #womxnpaintto painted on the ground.  So I followed the little yellow arrow and walked behind the buildings to a lane running east/west behind Dundas Street.

below: The mural is higher than the fence by quite a bit so as I walked beside the fence I was able to take this picture.

part of a mural by Emily May Rose of dancing female figures on a black background

below: Three murals on a double garage.  On the right is a woman with blue and orange rays by @dbetty13 (aka Désiré Betty).  The other woman, the one with the wild turquoise hair was painted by toest (aka Sarah Gilmore).  On the side of the building, partially obscured by the car is a mural painted by @nightarcade (aka Sarah Cannon).

An alley way with a double garage and a car parked beside it, high rise buildings behind it, a young man walking past it. Each door is painted with a mural of a woman's head, one by Desire Betty (dbetty13) and the other by Sarah Gilmore, or toest. On the side of the garage is another mural, this one by nightarcade, Sarah Cannon,

below: An attempt to get a closer look at the side of the garage (with St. Patricks RC church in the background).

part of a mural by nightarcade, Sarah Cannon, black background, large pink wild rose, striped mushrooms, and lots of green leaves

below: A fence with some murals –  starting at the end with ” What You Do is Magic” by Shelby McLeod.  Magic hands perhaps.

below: Next, six figures by Wenting Li

below: A tiny crown on long red hair, a bathing tattooed woman by Natalie Very B

part of a mural by natalieveryb, in red and white, a woman, with long red hair, eyes closed, in black water, with red leaves

below: The white words on the black building behind the painted fence wasn’t part of the project.  The quote is from the Electric Prunes and it says “I had too much to dream last night.”

fence with murals painted on it, large buildings behind it,

a gold coloured van is parked beside a fence that has three murals painted on it, in an alley

old two storey brick building in a lane with upper window and lower single door. Door has a street art piece on it as does whole lower level, a garage on either side of it each with the door covered in a new mural

below: According to the door, Everything is political.  Lauren Pirie painted the mural beside the door.

a white door with words that say Everything is political, also a large mural painted beside the door, two figures amongst pink, yellow and pale blue curly vines and leaves, abtract

below: Flowers painted by @thepaintedlime (aka Tennille Dowers)

a painting by @thepainted lime, lime, on a garage door, flowers on a dark background,

below: A swampy street art piece by Diana Lynn VanderMeulen

three murals in a lane

a grey car is parked in front of a double garage, each door has a mural painted on it

below: Long dark blue hair on a pale blue profile painted by Gosia Komorski

a mural on a garage door of a pale blue woman in profile, with long flowing dark blue hair, symbols and concentric designs in her hair around her face

small street art painting on the side of a building, woman with long swirly pink and purple hair, eyes closed, stylized

below: Many active women cover the front of this garage; painted by Erin McCluskey

garage front covered with a mural by Erin McCluskey, black background, then figures of women in pink, yellow and pale blue, dancing, playing, flying, jumping,

below: @laceyandlaylaart (Lacey Jane and Layla Folkmann) painted this large face, wrinkles and all

a large face of an older person, eyes, nose, mouth and wrinkles, covers the whole front of a garafe, in prange, blues, and purple, the work of Lacey & Layla,

laneway in toronto with some garages with murals on them, tall buildings in background, utility poles and wires,

below: Grow through what you go through by, with love by @bkez  (Bareket Kezwer) and @_muisca_

mural in pink and pale blue, with some greenand yellow flowers. Large words that say Grow through what you go through.

below: Herons and geese cover a garage, painted by Andrea Manica and Caitlin Taguibao

alley mural on a garage, herons and geese,

I’ve been able to put some names to some artwork.  A list of all the other women:  Cindy Scaife, Curtia Wright, Delazed, Jacquie Comrie, Jei Escalante, Monica Wickeler, MSKA, and Aura & Chief Ladybird.

This project was supported by StreetARToronto and Mural Routes

part of a mural, two orange geese on a door, black and orange, alley