Posts Tagged ‘alley’

looking down at the sidewalk, the words walk here are pressed into a grey stone brick.

below: ‘Greetings from Bloordale’, a painted Bell box by Faussy

painted bell box near east entrance to Dufferin station, Greetings from Bloordale, yellow background with pink and blue images on it

below: A mural on the exterior of the Russett Ave entrance to Dufferin subway station painted in 2017 by Ted Hamer and a group of students from the Toronto School of Arts ( Sonja Clarke, Stephanie Steele, and Maryam Sadeghpour).

 

mural on the exterior of west exit from Dufferin station by Ted Hamer, of a country scene, a fox, and some people walking

below: Another Bloordale mural, this one on the side of TL Variety on the northwest corner of Bloor and Emerson

intersection of Bloor and Margueretta looking towards corner of Bloor and Emerson with Bloodale mural on the side of a building on the northwest corner

TJ Variety store on Bloor, northwest corner of Emerson, a cyclist passing by

below: Mr. Sundown

little white graffiti ghost character with stick arms, Mr. Sundown

below: Weathered sign at Bloor Christian Fellowship

weathered sign beside Baptist church

below: Torn awning at Five Star Variety

torn blue awning above Five Star Variety

below: Walking past a vacant lot on Bloor (once was a used car lot)

a man walks by a vacant lot on Bloor street

below: On the east wall of the Bee Shop

bee mural on the east exterior wall of the Bee Shop on Bloor

below: The beehive of qualities and virtues

close up of part of the bee mural on the side wall of the bee shop. green woman, trees, bees, honeycomb, words, the beehive of qualities and virtues

below: mural in an alley

mural on a red brick building in a lane

below: Bloor & St. Helens, construction fence around the parking lot of Value Village

construction fence around Value Village parking lot on Bloor, with apartment building at Bloor and Dundas in the background

below: Vito’s Barbershop in bright yellow

vitos barbershop and other two storey buildings on Bloor

below: Northwest corner of Bloor and Lansdowne

24 hour hasty mart on an intersection of Bloor

below: On the fence, north side of Bloordale Collegiate a shared map project by Shel Kahn and DMG+.  Choose a ribbon and pin it on the map to show where you would like to be.

an interactive art installation involving maps, on a fence outside Bloordale Collegiate

below: Also on the fence at Bloordale Collegiate, empty milk bottles.  “The milk from these bottles fed my daughter.   What wisdom to nourish a child you love?  How to make this country sweeter to First Nations children?”

empty white milk bottles arranged on the fence beside Bloordale Collegiate

below: hearts and flowers in a laneway

blue spray paint heart on a wood utility pole in an alley, by a wooden fence with a flowering shrub

yellow flowers growing in the laneway, in front of a yellow and green garage and fence

below:  Pumpkins growing on a trellis over the frontyard.

pumpkins growing on a trellis above a front yard

below: Julie Dzerowicz is the Liberal MP (federal) for the Davenport riding. I am not sure of the meaning of this window except as a protest of some sort?

protest in window, Freedom is slavery, ignorance is

top of two storefronts, Economy fruit, and a pizza place

below:The kitten mural has been partially painted over and the store is now empty.

empty store on the corner, mural of cats has been tagged

below: It looks like its got a face of an apple, shrimp legs, and a pickle on its forehead.

big red faced, apple?, character, street art on a garage door

below: Butterfly mural

butterfly mural in an alley

graffiti on a white garage door of a character's head with bowtie and one hand waving, words that say lookin' sharp

below: Lakes, mountains, and trees in a somewhat Group of Seven looking mural.  It is difficult to see in this photo but written in blue in the bottom right corner is a poem, ‘Blasphemy’, by Lawren Harris that appears in his book, “In the Ward: His Urban Poetry and Paintings.  I have included the poem under this image.

ivy on a wall of a building, a mural on the other wall, facing an alley. lake and mountains and trees in the mural

“It is blasphemy
To be merely mortal
To wilt under the weight of the ages
To succumb to second hand living
To mumble of catch phrases
To praise far off ways things
And sneer at your neighbour’s clumsiness
To say nay, nay, and smile at aspirations, dreams, and visions.”

*****

More poetry, this time on a door.

Top:

When I remember a boat
it yaws at the mouth of an inlet
And that’s all
From my bedroom window
You could make out the gull-white trim
And from the shore
listen to its restless guests
No water splashes against the prow it splits calmly to both sides
One sail booms and dies down
No wildlife
No sense of my mother’s voice, far away
the supper prepared
Much too much time
#whenirememberaboat #mine

a white door on a concrete block wall in an alley with poetry written on it

Bottom:

The sad instability and inscrutability
Of this impossible universe
Felt more deeply in the skin with each passing maritime hour
Our souls’ absurd sobbing
Over unfamiliar ocean expanses with islands in the distance
Over distant coastlines of land not visited
Over the ports that grow clearer with their houses and people
As the ship approaches
#maritimeode #alvarodecampos #fernandopessoa

Alvaro de Campos (1895-1935) was a Portuguese poet who also wrote under the name Fernando Pessoa.

 

*****

More Bloordale doors

below: Pale green (seafoam green?) leaves and flower rising upwards at 1195. “Floral Impressions”, painted by Julia Prajza.

painted doorway at number 1190. Pale green leaves rising upwards on a pink and greenish blue background painted by Julia Prajza

below: A happy musical gate, “Joy in Little Things” by anastatica.art aka Anastasia Tarkhanova

a gate painted in orange, maroon, sand white by anastatica art

below: “Portals” was part of BIG on Bloor Festival at the end of July. Some residential doorways (six?) were painted like the two above as well as this one: “Shoals” by Andre Castro.

a door on Bloor Street painted in pink, blue, and white dabs

below: Martin Luther King surrounded by stained glass patterns and tiny beige tiles at 1179A

door alcove with small beige tiles, a black mailbox with number 11 on it, and an image of Martin Luther King and stained glass patterns on the door

******

Other graffiti and street art

below: Bell box painted by Gosia Komorski

bell box painted by gosia komorski, woman with teal face in profile, hair is black with circles of flowers and eyes

below: Truck with a pink blossom tree on the back and an orange bird on the side

truck with street art painted on it, a tree with pink blossoms on the back and a bird with large wings on the side

paste ups and paint on a wall, skulls, zonr,

below: Purple man

purple drawing of a man wearing a hat, on a yellow wall

below: Garfield trying to be incognito

graffiti slap, garfield the cat in a green costume

below: Vandalized words on a phone box

poster on a blue phone box that is torn and tagged, a woman on a bicycle is riding by

Just south of Bloor Street

below: Ghost sign that probably says Sweet Caporals, a former tobacco and cigarette brand

red brick wall with ghose sign for sweet caporals

below: Geoffrey the Giraffe takes a smoking break.

white wall back of store, truck loading zone with back of white truck and Geoffrey the Giraffe, Toys R Us symbol on the truck. Someone has graffiti black markered a smoking cigarette in his mouth

small tree beside parking lot with white wall behind

below: Remnants of another era – the final part of Zeller’s hangs on.

back entrance, open doors, of what used to be Zellers. Some of the letters of the name are still there, l e r s

below: Call mom

a wood utility pole with bottom part painted white. Written in pink letters, call mom. greenery around the pole

below: A crooked path

doors, back entrances to stores in mall, with crooked yellow railing and crooked patch in pavement

beige brick wall with beige metal door. sign on door says sprinkler room 7. rust marks on wall by overflow pipe

below: Happy face in green

a stump just above sidewalk level with a green happy face drawn on it

below: Maximum 20

back of Dufferin mall, laneway, single storey

one way sign pointing left on beige brick wall

below: A couple of the five short streets and alleys that come to a dead end behind the mall.

red house and a grey house on dead end street behind chainlink fence

an alley with garages on both sides, behind chainlink fence

below: Brockton stadium also backs onto the laneway behind the mall.

stairs to park and tall lights by the stadium, Brockton stadium

below: To the upper level of the stadium

concrete stairs from the back, to the upper level of stadium seating

graffiti on concrete walls, with yellow digger parked behind fence

two yellow half posts in a parking lot, one with happy face and one with crying eyes

top of photo is red brick wall, bottom of image is a weathered wood fence with words crack lizard written on it

Yonge and Dundas and thereabouts

below: Part of a large relief sculpture on the wall of the northwest entrance to Dundas subway station of life sized figures on their way –  Terra cotta artwork by William McElcheran from 2015.

part of relief sculpture at Dundas subway station, a man holds on to his hat as he hurries along

below: Ryerson Image Centre,

photographs of famous Canadians on the outer wall of Ryerson Image Center, with woman sitting on the concrete surrounding the reflecting pool by the entrance to R I C

There is a photography exhibit outside the Ryerson Image Centre showcasing three winners of the New Generation Photography Award, Chris Donovan, Dustin Bron, and Curtiss Randolph.

below: ‘Boy in the Window’ by Chris Donovan

a black and white photo by Chris Donovan with reflections of a boy in a window and street scene below, on display outside Ryerson Image Centre

below: A second, “Objects in Mirror” also by Chris Donovan

black and white photo of cars, Chris Donovan, on exhibit

below: ‘AC 2019’ by Dustin Brons

below: ‘Horizon 2017’ by Curtiss Randolph.  First in a short series involving a staged drama at this intersection.

a coloured photo of a corner of an intersection with a gas station on it, Horizons, houses, apartment building in background

below: The statue of Egerton Ryerson is gone.  There is graffiti on the walls where the statue once stood.

place where statue of Egerton Ryerson once stood, a single tree, graffiti on the walls of the building

below: On the Bond Street side of the Ryerson building is another photography exhibit.  This is Maximum Exposure 26, an annual exhibit of pictures by Ryerson’s School of Image Arts students.   There are 28 very diverse photos included here.

large collage pf photos on wall of Ryerson Image Centre, Maximum Exposure 26, work of graduating students

below: Food Pantry.  Take what you need; Donate what you can.

Free food pantry, shelves with glass covered doors for food to exchange, it is almost empty

below: In the alley behind the Lutheran church and Ryerson.

alley behind Ryerson Image Centre with large murals of green bike and blue bike, also with a person asleep in the alley by the church

below: Peace, hearts and respect written on the green bike.

below: The old white building on the northeast corner of Victoria and Dundas is still there and the mural by Emily May Rose with its cute raccoons survives.  If only the real raccoons were as lovable!

below: Looking east on Dundas.  There is talk of renaming Dundas Street.

below: Yonge Dundas Square is now filled with hearts.  There are pink heart shaped seats to sit on and pink hearts on the ground too.  Each heart on the pavement has something about Toronto to love – street art,  endless streets to explore, the Jays, great architecture, always changing, and more.

a man stands beside his Christian religious display at Yonge Dundas square while he talks to two men about Jesus

below: Keep looking up!

Yonge Street, looking up at banners on metal poles, tops of some highrise buildings,
below: Another part of a large relief sculpture on the wall of Dundas subway station

 

Most people who visit Graffiti Alley don’t realize that there is another section of street art to the west.   Technically, Graffiti Alley is the lane behind the south side of Queen Street West between Spadina and Augusta.  The next section of the alley, from Augusta to Portland, is Rush Lane.   Unfortunately there is a large Loblaws/Winners that blocks the lane on the west side of Portland.

To access the next couple of blocks of laneway, you have to detour down to Richmond Street and turn right.  Public Lane is a few steps away from Richmond & Portland.

you look better in a moustache mural, with a man with a moustache, a movember mural

below: Public Lane turns to the left,  regardless of what the arrow says.

Public Lane, that curves to the left

below: Between here and Bathurst Street, a lot of street art has disappeared as redevelopment of Richmond has progressed.  The large black building on the right has its garage entrance from the lane so watch for cars when you’re back there.

back of top part of rowhouses, seen from a lane

below: A few circles of colour on a grey wall, a reminder that there was once street art here.

a grey wall with a window, some coloured circles painted on the window

below: Beyond Bathurst there is a long stretch of laneway. A lot of the paintings here are older and some may have already appeared in this blog.

a person walks away from the camera, down an alley, with garages on both sides, with graffiti and street art them

below: A 2020 mural by Elicser Elliot

metal stairs in front of a large mural by elicser elliott of a policeman controlling a crowd

below: Huey Newton by elicser

Huey Newton mural by elicser on the end of a wall, a mural beside it with a buxom woman in tight clothes

mans face painted by elicser in a doorway

mans face, with hands holding a mask over his mouth and nose, painted by elicser in a doorway

below: Feelings Boi and a pink daisy from Life©

stickers on a pole, a daisy in pin, a feelings boi, beside a wood fence and gate with stencil graffiti of a man's face in a white oval framed in black

below: Woodstock love

little yellow Woodstock with black sunglassses stands above a black stencil on white of a girls head, a love heart is there too

downtown alley with street art

cardboard boxes stored against a wall with a mural of a woman from the back view

part of a mural, a couple, she has wavy hair pinned to the top of her head,

below: By luvsomone

mural of two black men

below: Yosemite Sam is now boxed in.

mural of cartoon character Yosemite Sam, on a wall at the end of a driveway, with trash cans and other stuff in front of it

row of garages in an alley with graffiti and street art on them

below: A resting UBER 5000 yellow birdie.  Or is that a yoga mat?!

uber 5000 yellow birdie mural, lying on a black surface, feet in air, red background

below: This little unicorn has always been a favorite of mine.  Definitely an oldie now.

part of elicser mural of a man with a small beard in red hoodie, holding a small unicorn in his hand

below: Collaboration between luvsomone, vuducats/Christina Mazzulla

mural of a woman with large bead necklace and rose coloured sunglasses, beside of dog in shades of blue and purple,

window and window box in a building with street art on the walls, dead plants in the planter

a pickup truck drives down an alley

mural on a garage door, womans face in blue and purple

below: Mural by Rodwell Soller

mural by rodwell soller, a mans face with eyes closed, calligraphy

gate, and back of stores on Queen

below: Happy face skulls

garages in a lane with graffiti and street art on them

stickers on a pole with garages in the background, laneway,

 

scarborough toronto street sign, Sandown Lane, Cliffside

Sandown Lane runs behind the buildings on the north side of Kingston Road, west of Midland Avenue in Scarborough.

back of a store & apartment, in an alley, building is brick painted pink, stairs to upper level doors, snow on the ground

I was walking here because I was on the lookout for a series of murals by B.C. Johnson that have been painted over the past few years.

murals on a wood fence between two properties, in an alley, woodland animal theme, a deer, a moose,

B.C. Johnson is the person responsible for first painting the rainbow arch beside the Don Valley Parkway – way back in the 1970’s.  I blogged about the Moccasin Trail, which leads to the arch, last year.  Just in case you’ve never seen it, here it is from last fall:

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

Back to Sandown Lane….

B C Johnson mural of an old car surrounded by sunflowers in an alley

below: A deer with large antlers, a man fishing.

two garage doors side by side in an alley with murals painted on them, a deer with antlers on the left and a man fishing in a river on the right

below: Sunflowers and butterflies by the gate on a (real) door.

sunflowers and butterflies on a summer day, and a gate made of birch branches, a mural in an alley by Bc johnson

brown metal door on concrete block wall, pink planters with fake sunflowers in them, a bench with snow on it beside the door too

a blue pickup truck with one tire missing, parked in a vacant lot, in front of a farmyard scene mural with fields and a pond

mural, front of an old rusty car with a white chicken standing on one fender

chairs and round table outside, in back of building, in an alley, also patio umbrella, folded up

from the outside, a window in a concrete block wall, window is full of books, sign spray painted on wall that says no parking, will tow

below: Waterfalls

two murals in a lane, waterfall theme for both of them, the work of B C johnson

a woodlands theme mural on a wood fence between two properties in a lane, a tree trunk in the mural matches the large tree behind the fence

an old rust coloured Lincoln Town Car parked in an alley, garage doors behind it are covered in murals by bc johnson

small mural with butterflies and flowers in an entrance to a passageway, some orange and white cones in front of the mural

below: That’s an inventive way to advertise your handyman business!

an advertisement for a handyman, a large hand up in a tree with a paintbrush

three panels on a wood fence in a laneway with murals on them, animal them, tiger in the center, also an elephant, snow in front of the fence, the back of houses behind

double car garage in an alley with murals painted on them, owl theme,

table and chairs behind a building in an alley

While I was in the area, I walked back along Kingston Road.

in the median, Kingston Road, a sign that says Cliffside Village, red brick apartment building behind

I have walked this portion of Kingston Road before.  There are many large Mural Routes paintings of historic Scarborough scenes.  They can be seen in the 2017 blog post, Cliffside murals, so I won’t repeat them here except for this one photo:  ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.

mural routes mural on Kingston Rd, historic scene, schooner Onondaga

below: Back in 2017 this was a sushi restaurant and it was covered on all four sides by ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ painted by B.C. Johnson the year previously.  Some of the scenes from that mural can be same in the same Cliffside blog post linked to above.

empty restaurant, benazi, on a corner lot, murals on the buildings behind it

entrance to a store 2258, with a painting of an old airplane over the door

wooden fence around a patio, with two old paintings that are faded and peeled so you can't tell what they were pictures of, in the background, an empty blue metal frame that once held a sign for a store

a red wall in front of a building, mailboxes on it, 8 mailboxes, also two buzzers under a sign that says Supt Bob

below: Tara Inn, the Irish Pub, beside the Banglabazar Supermarket.

looking across Kingston Road to a stip mall with an Irish pub and the Banglabazar store,

storefront on kingston Road in Cliffside, barber shop, closed because of covid, faded pictures of mens heads show casing hair styles in the window,

looking in the window of a shoe repair business with a for sale sign in the window

looking in a store window, a large picture of a woman looking back out, with a sign on the window re opeings and closings for covid 19

looking in the window of a store, a mirror with an ornate silver colour frame, Christmas bells attached to it with ribbons and greenery

below: St Pauls United Church, near the west end of Sandown Lane.

front of St. Pauls United Church in Cliffside Scarborough, narrow green steeple, round glass entranceway, stairs leading from the sidewalk to the church

below: A Roman Catholic church, Saint Theresa, Shine of the Little Flower at Midland and Kingston Road.   The church was built in 1966 to replace a smaller one, also built in a Spanish style, from 1933. The Church was dedicated as a Shrine in honour of St Therese of Lisieux, a saint who had been canonized in 1925.

white church at Midland and Kingston Road, Saint Theresa Parish, Shrine of the Little flowers, red cermaic tile roof, arched doorways and windows

UPDATE:

Two developments on Kingston Road will impact this stretch of the lane.  First, an 8 storey mixed use building at 2448-2450 (the Cat Hospital) as well as a slightly shorter 6 storey mixed use development at 2380-2382 (a vacant lot, Wongs Martial Arts).   Both developments have had their site plans approved at city council.

 

A mild January turned into a frigid February but that shouldn’t slow us down should it?  So I bundled up and drove to Mimico to meet a friend – what? we haven’t seen each other for over a year?  2020 has taken its toll.   At least it’s easier wearing masks in cold weather!

Toronto street sign for Mimico village, Melrose street,, on the same pole is a banner above it that says happy holidays

below: Two murals by Jim Bravo. On the right, “Down Creek Way” 2012. On the left, “Morning Ice Harvest” 2014. Both are part of the Lakeshore Arts Project

two historical murals on the side of a building, one is boys ice fishing and the other is people swimming in the creek

below: A watery mural with a large duck bottom as it paddles by on the side of Birds and Beans Coffee Shop. Another Lakeshore Arts Project; it was designed by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson and painted with the help of a crew of youth & community members coordinated by Paula McDines.

picture of a mural as seen from across a park, street scene as well. snow, winter,

below: Mural on the side of Calibreze Pizza on Lakeshore Blvd.

mural on the side of a two storey brick store on Lakeshore in Mimico, sign says Calibreze Pizza.

mural on the side of a building, cars parked in front of it

mural

The northern boundary is the Gardiner Expressway.  Here, stairs from the street running parallel to the Gardiner up to Royal York Road before it becomes a bridge over the expressway.

concrete retaining wall beside Royal York Rd, with stairs going up to road level, also a small tree

below: Signs on the outside

signs on the door of Jimmys coffee shop, wear a mask, wear it right, and other covid notices

below: … and old photos on the inside.  Jimmys Coffee, Royal York Road.  Hanging out inside was verboten but a few minutes of warmth was appreciated.

large photograph on a coffee shop wall of a welcome to mimico sign beside an old phone booth with someone inside it

inside Jimmys coffee, a sign on the bar that says our resolution drink more coffee damn it

below: Who can resist a unicorn poop cookie?

cookies for sale at a coffee shop, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies with pink sprinkles called unicorn poop cookies

below: Signs of Covid.  Prior to the most recent lockdown there was talk about “big box stores” being allowed to stay open while smaller businesses had to close.  At the moment, even “big box stores” are closed.

window of a tattoo shop, rattan blinds closed, painted on window is sign that says big box tattoo, wolves throne, can we open now?

below: Bag full of work.

traffic box on sidewalk painted as back of a person in a red and white striped shirt with a backpack on. outside of backpack are words bag full of work, Red van on road, and houses behind that, snow on the ground,

below: Moooooove me….  I’m tired of getting splattered with slush when cars get too close!

back cow sculpture, lifelike, beside the street, in front of a butcher shop in Mimico.

small blue boat on a trailer parked by garage in an alley behind multiplex houses 3 storeys high, red brick.

below: A cold and wet seat.

a chair in the driveway by an alley, in the snow, cars, chainlink fence behind the chair.

sign beside the red doors of Crossroads Christian fellowship church that says All welcome Sunday service and bible studies cancelled

below: Just out of the picture, and making a lot of noise, was the same dog that’s in this picture.

glass door and windows of storefront with signs and pictures. picture of a small dog,

below: Tibetan prayer flags adorn the fence. Each colour represents an element; white symbolizes air, red is fire., green is water, yellow is earth, and blue is wind. They also represent directions – North, South, East, West and Center. As the flags flutter in the wind, they emit positive spiritual vibrations enabling the wind to carry away the prayers and wishes. As the prayers drift away, the colours fade.

colourful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags strung outside a store

two three storey apartment buildings side by side

houses on a residential street

four motorcycles under individual covers and parked outside in the snow

old square white building on Royal York Road, now a flower shop,

below: Mimico is home to a large GO facility, the Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility.  It didn’t look too inviting!  It might be worth some research so that on a warmer, sunnier day we could go exploring.

outer wall of Willowbrook GO facility in Mimico. Large walls,

below: It’s difficult to see, but the door on the left has a “women” sign on it.   His and hers.

two white port a potties beside a parked truck container back part

What had started as a sunny morning, turned into a grey low-light so we headed to the lake to see if we could find more sun, or at least better light.

below: Part of Humber College Lakeshore Campus.   These buildings were built in the late 1880s as “cottages”, part of the Mimico Asylum (later known as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital).   Almost a hundred years later the site was shut down.  At that time, there were 280 patients, down from a peak of 1,390 in 1950.

from a distance, Humber college brick buildings, lakeshore campus, snow and bare trees

below: The site was leased to Humber in 1991 and since then these four buildings have been completely renovated to suit Humber’s needs.

Humber college brick buildings, lakeshore campus, snow and bare trees

below: Humber College is surrounded on three sides by Colonel Sam Smith park and one of the features of the park is an outdoor skating loop.  This year, online registration is needed for a time slot at all rinks – unless you’re lucky enough to arrive when others have cancelled or have been unable to show up.  (As an aside – they have a washroom for weary walkers in need!)

people at skating rink, outdoors. one is secutiy and others are waiting their turn to use the ice. pink letters on sidewalk that denote place for those with reservations to line up

two kids skating, one is pushing the other who is holding onto a blue plastic support

Another feature of the park are the waterfront trails along the shores of Lake Ontario.

two canada geese in the water, up close

below: Comfy sofa at the ready?

many mallards and canada geese in the water, trees on the shore, an old sofa is perched among the trees, facing the water, winter, snow,

mallard ducks with their heads down,m on Lake Ontario

ice and icicles on a fallen log on the rocks beside Lake Ontario, some snow and bare trees in the background

frozen pond with snow and bare trees

Toronto skyline from Colonel Sam Smith park, lake ontario in between

winter scene, beside Lake Ontario, bench in park facing the water, some bare trees around it

We never did find more light that morning.  But if you’re in the mood for hot chocolate bombs or other sweet goodies we might have found the place for you!

photographer taking a picture of a store window, masks, baking things, red hearts,

below: As I was driving home after the walk, I came across this scene:

a zamboni on the back of a tow truck, travlling on a toronto street

 

Recently I was in the area east of Danforth and Main when I had one of those moments where I stop and say to myself “I’ve been here before”.   I recognized some of the street art in the lane  (see Alleyway of Dreams, 2016).  For this blog post, I have started with the artwork that I didn’t remember on the assumption that it is newer.   The murals that remain from 2016 all seem to be in good shape.

below: A collage of pictures called “Against All Odds” in the shape of a map.

collage of pictures and images on an exterior cement wall

below: On the same wall as the above is this mural of a swan.  My apolgies to Alika, Angela, Dylan, Molly, Serval, Bandi, Ludo and Weal (?) whose names I chopped off.  To the right of the swan, and behind a parked car is a piece by Mediah.

mural of a swan with a list of names to the left and a piece by mediah to the right

below: A hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower.

mural of a hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower

garages in an alley with garage doors that have been painted with street art, the garage in front has a light greens side door with two birds sitting on a braanch painted on it

Love birds of a different colour

street art painting of two birds sitting on a branch, a yellow bird and a blue bird with a white head.

below: There had been a fire in the back of a furniture store not long before I walked the alley this summer.

rubble, the result of a fire, sits in a pile behind a store in an alley, part of a chair sits on top

below: A black cat in the moonlight, sitting on some very curly branches.  This row of fences was painted in 2016.

mural on a fence in an alley, a black sitting on a tree branch with curly branches, moonlight behind the cat

below: This blue pug was here previously but the rabbit that was once beside it seems to have disappeared.

mural in mostly blue of a pug's face, dog with red tongue and brownish eyes, on wood
mural of a tiger's face on a garage door

below: The blue rhinoceros with the whimsical horn hasn’t moved either.

mural of rhino head and horn on a garage door in an alley, rhinoceros

below: Stay Out is still sprayed on the old wood door but now it has a new lock.  The blue 666 is also an addition.

old wood door beside metal garage door, outside, in an alley, large words spray painted on door that say stay out 666

large green plastic bag on the ground filled with wood palletts, in an alley, in front of a garage door with street art on it

below: “Bee Haven” from 2014.  One of the earliest bee/pollinator murals in the city.

mural of a hand holding a plant growing in a flower pot, plus bees,

bee with blue body and bum in a mural

hand holding a flower pot that is cracked because the root of the plant is growing, in a mural

below: Signatures.  The mural was painted by Elie J. Saad, Sarah Van Dusen, and Curtia Wright with help from Community Centre 55 kids.

back of a store on Danforth with apartments above

 

This blog post is a result of a walk down the alley behind Bloor Street West between Dundas West and Keele where the lane runs between the back of the stores and buildings on Bloor and the subway tracks.  Some of the street art in this lane can be seen from the subway and some of it I have shown in the past.   Whether it’s because of Covid or because I was lucky that day, there were very few cars parked in the lane.

a carved pumpkin on a table behind a building

black and white mural from Movie Arts Decor featuring stars from some movies - Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho,

mural with woman's face

highrise apartment building in the background with a concrete building with lower level covered by street art in the foreground, people walking in the alley behind the concrete building

a mural on the back of the hockey store, hockey skates on hydro wires

mural of hockey goalie on the back porch of the hockey store, other murals on the buildings beside, including one that says bomba end

below: I can see you, reflected back

part of a uber5000 mural of a person wearing red glasses, also reflected in the windshield of the car that is parked beside the wall

below: Another part of the Uber5000 mural.  Everybody is a winner!!

uber5000 mural in an alley, everybody is a winner, yellow birdies sitting around a table, one is reading a paper, and two are playing cards

below: An old elicser mural

an old elicser mural with people

back of two storey brick building with a small paved space behind it, a table and benches are near the building, street art on both sides of the small space (the buildings on either sode)

a mural, turkey head, wearing red three pointed crown, with wildstyle graffiti across the bottom

TTC subway tracks running parallel to a lane

below: Float away in the 416

small sticker of a black drawing of a man floating on somethings round in the water, with 416 on his T shirt, his feet in the water, a ghetto blaster beside him

the back of two adjacent buildings on Bloor West, one has a set of stone steps leading down that are overgrown with grass and weeds, some graffiti on the back of the buildings

words scrawled on a concrete wall by a parking lot. eat the rich, kill a billionaire, fuck landlords,

street art on the back of the midas building, parking lot behind Keele subway station

below: Mary prays in a small garden at the end of a backyard along the subway tracks.

at the back of backyard in a small garden, behind chainlink fence, a white small statue of mary holding rosary beads

a driveway with a garage in the back, open door on the garage

a G M C truck is parked in a gravel driveway between two buildings, in the background is a couple of rows of houses and a tall apartment building behind that

old blue oil drums beside a blue wall with graffiti words that say thumbs up and guns down

row of stores and cafes on Danforth, covered with street art, the Only Cafe,

My walk the other day started with a coffee and a croissant from Broadview Espresso, just north of the Danforth. It was a bit chilly and damp to be eating & drinking outside but that’s the way of the world at the moment, at least in Toronto. At least walking helps keep you warm! Anyhow, just outside the coffee shop was a sidewalk unicorn painted by whatsvictorupto. There was one on each of the 4 corners of the intersection of Broadview and Pretoria. Here are two of them.

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a blue unicorn surrounded by 4 blue hearts, all on a pink background, the work of whatsvictorupto

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a brown unicorn head and neck with white mane and horn on a green background

whether you’re walking

upper part of a mural on the Danforth of a man walking on a map of the area, around two windows of the building on which it is painted.

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

on the side of a Chinese restaurant, a mural of a woman on a bike. She's holding the handle bars but her legs are straight out behind her. She's wearing a red dress and has long black hair. There are three signs on the restaurant, First, Indian Hakka Chinese Food, second, 7 dim sum, and third, we deliver

there’s always something to see along the Danforth or behind in its alleys.

a utility pole on the street decorated for Greektown, in blue and white vertical stripes and an oval with the words Greektown on the Danforth along with a Roman column

There are windows to look in

two shelves with head mannequins, wearing different wigs, covid masks, hats, and halloween masks

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

below: Multilingual covid signs on the window of the Greek grocery – where shelves with oregano, tomato paste, pasta, coffee beans, grape juice, eggplant, and candy are all display.

the window of a Greek grocery store, with food, also signs re covid rules in Greek. for sale, oregano, Nescafe coffee, tomato paste,

There is more street art and graffiti to find, sometimes at your feet

below: Grounded Together, A painting by Caitlin Taguibao on the sidewalk

a painting on the sidewalk, a circle with words grounded together, pictures of women with plants and flowers, a dog chasing a bird.

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

large dark blue stencil of a skull in profile on a blue newspaper box. There is also a sticker that says end white supremacy

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

below: End White supremacy above, and now a poster re stats in Toronto “Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police”. Source: from the Human Rights Commission, 2018.

a poster on a metal utility pole with a graphi to illustrate how black people are more likely to be shot and or killed by the Toronto police

In this case, wake up and see the climate crisis. A faded bee on pink juxtaposed with the black, red, and white butterfly painted on the street box.

2 posters on a utility pole plus a painted street box behind. One poster says climate crisis wake up disobey. The other poster has a pink bee

below: I get the no peeing part. I suspect that those aren’t eggs and this is a warning? or a threat?

wood fence, exterior light, and a sign, picture of man peeing with a red line through it, below that is picture of a pair of scissors and two eggs.

And then there is artwork of a different kind – on the front of St. Irene Chrisovalantoy Greek Orthodox Church built in 1974

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls, with a Greek flag flying between the two of them

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls,

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

Even on a grey day there are colours to be found, not just in the artwork and stained glass windows, but in the nature around us.

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

autumn coloured vine leaves cover a wall that has street art painted on it

below: This tree dominates with its abundance of red leaves. You may have also spotted the murals in the background.

Felstead Park, a tree with a lot of red leaves on it, as well as on the ground below it, dominates the picture

below: These are the murals in the second Butterfly Laneway project (2018). Check this link (metamorphosis in the lane) to see all the murals.

trees in autumn colours, with butterfly murals on the garages beyond the park

below: One of the murals is carefully put aside while work is done on the back of this house.

a house, seen from the back, being renovated, backyard is also being fixed up, fence between house and park has been removed, but garage door with mural on it has been preserved

below: More renovations. Apparently, people staying home because of covid = a boom in home renovations. Both Home Depot and Lowes reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2020, both were more than expected.

2 houses side by side, one with pale blue siding on upper floor, the other with yellow siding, both with porches in the front, the one n the right is being renovated and has a bin out the front

old car and old garage in front of a large new modern house

below: The unusual roofline and trim on these two houses caught my eye. I also love the fact that they are attached yet have a distinct character of their own. Brick vs stone, little peaked roof over the door vs. green and white metal awning, rectangular window vs bay window. Like identical twins trying to be their own person.

two adjacent houses with barn like rooflines, one in brick and the other in stone,

Danforth subway line, Donlands station. Ten years ago, it was decided that Donlands station needed a second exit and that it would be on the corner of Strathmore and Donlands, One building, 17 and 19 Dewhurst would have to be torn down to make way for the new exit. 19 Dewhurst was sold to the city in 2018 and just last year the property at 17 Dewhurst was expropriated.

through a chainlink gate, front yard is square concrete patio stones, yellow front door

front yward is overgrown, white railing on porch, dark porch and front door

Across the street at 14 Dewhurst, the old Temple Baptist Church (1925) is being redeveloped as condos, the Sunday School Lofts.

large old brick church, Temple Baptist church, is being redeveloped as residences, plus an addition added to one side of it

The home remodeling business may be doing well but the restaurants are hurting. As of the end of October, indoor dining in Toronto was prohibited.

below: Abyssinia restaurant. One of the many different ethnic restaurants along the Danforth. Although it is still referred to as Greektown, and the Greek influence is still strong, you can eat a wide range of foods from different cultures. As you move east along the Danforth, there is a strong African (especially Ethiopian) presence.

a man pushes a stroller along the sidewalk past a store and the Abyssinia restaurant on the Danforth

below: Did you know that gourmet cinnamon rolls was a thing? Did I run across the street to buy one? (Almost!!).

a woman walks past Cinnaholic, a store selling gourmet cinnamon rolls

below: The northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands. You can choose between halal chicken and pizza, or dim sum.

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

Other little graffiti stickers, posters, and paste-ups:

below: Another flying bicycle

stencil on paper on a utility pole, in orange and black, a girl riding a bike, with wings on her back

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

2 graffiti stickers on a Canada Post box, the top ones says gewn snail, the bottom one is an abstract drawing in black and white

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

below: Checkerboard sneaker and a big tooth-ed skull by mr. Toon.

two stickers. the bottom one is a skull by mr. toon and the top one is a no laces, slip on sneaker in black and white checks

below: The paper is torn but it is: “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara (I saw one exactly the same in Kensington last summer).

paper pasteup on a metal pole, top is a skull looking down, bottom is a man looking up, with words

below: With a car parked in its mouth

dripping paint in blue and red on a wall with a hole in it, two eyes drawn above the rectangular hole. A car is parked on the other side of hte wall and shows through the hole

below: Does the blue haired woman know whats lurking behind her?

two wig mannequin heads in a store window. the one in front has pale turquoise hair, the one in the back has black hair.

Happy November – let’s keep walking and see what we can see along the way…. and in case you need help…!

display of eye glasses in the window of a store

Almost two years ago, inthe fall of 2018, a group of artists brightened up Luttrell Loop Lane with some murals.  Luttrell Loop Lane is on Danforth, just west of Victoria Park.

below: A marvelous blue portrait by luvsomone

in blue tones, on a garage door, a portrait by luvsomone of a face with closed eyes

below: A partially hidden face in a mural by Anya Mielniczek

partially hidden by bushes and plants, a face street art mural by anya mielniczek

below: Unveiled

revealed, when branches moved away, partially hidden by bushes and plants, a face street art mural by anya mielniczek

a mural on a garage door by anya mielniczek of a face

below: The imagination of Al Runt and the characters that it produces is on display in this mural.

part of an Al Runt mural on a fence, orange background with lots of his typical characters in bright colours

mural of a large white bird, swan?, heron?, stork?, with wings in position as if about to fly, large yellow flowers

below: The garage at the corner gets four murals.  On the garage door is a moon over a little house by Jieun June Kim.  Beside it, Bomi has painted a mural using linear shapes (for lack of a better word to describe it).

at the intersection of a street and an alley, a garage with street art on all sides facing road, with four different murals on it

below: The whimsical and funny raccoons of Emily May Rose help with the gardening.

a raccoon mural, raccoon with watering can, gardening and looking after plants

teal raccoon in a mural looking at a plant growing in a white planter

mural on a garage door of purplish figures, looks very first nations-like

below: A skateboarder on her way to somewhere important, by Kim Therese Dolan

mural on a yellow fence of a person on a skateboard with a bag in one hand, by kim therese dolan

sign on a yellow wood fence that says beware of dog, a black squirrel is sitting on top of the fence

This project was supported by The Laneway Project