Posts Tagged ‘murals’

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

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.

Going east to Scarborough again….   You can find Highland Creek village at the east end of Old Kingston Road while the West Hill neighbourhood is at the other end of Old Kingston Road.  This short stretch of road winds down to the Highland Creek and then back up the hill on the other side.  It was bypassed when a new wider and higher bridge was built over the river.

scarborough blue and white street sign for old kingston road, highland creek

Although this area was one of the first parts of the city that was settled, there are still lots of signs of the rural nature of the area.

split cedar rail fence between autumn leaf covered sidewalk and trees

There are plenty of signs of changes too…. but there are no glass and steel highrise condos being built out here (in Highland Creek) where the developments are just as likely to be single family homes.

development imagining of housing in large picture beside a new development, large single family homes with large trees, with real trees and grass surrounding the picture

There is a mural on the side of one of the stores, it also happens to be beside the cemetery. This is Mural 8 in the Heritage Trail by Mural Routes. “Community Spirit in Early Highland Creek, Winter 1867” the building of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.   It was painted in the summer of 1994 by John Hood, Alexandra Hood, and Zeb Salmaniw.  For more information, see a previous blog post from 2017 Heritage Trail, mural 8

The tombstone in front of the mural is for Nelson Hawkins and his wife Susan Cornell who were married in 1877. Nelson was a farmer and he and Susan raised 6 children in the area (not all lived to adulthood).

part of a mural routes mural on the side of a building, beside a cemetery. some old tombstones, autumn scenery,

old small tombstone in a cemetery with a wall behind it, mural on wall of a woman sitting by grave stones in a cemetery

Also in the cemetery is a plaque to commemorate the life of Cpl. Michael William Simpson (1948-1974) who died in Syria while on a UN peacekeeping mission – all nine Canadians on UN Flight 51 died that day.

blue plaque in Highand Creek cemetery for cpl Michael William Simpson

below: Deer by the creek in “Creekside” designed by Emily Harrison and painted by a group of youth and local volunteers in 2014.

vehicles parked in front of a large mural of a forest scene with deer, a creek,

The Scarborough Historical Society website tells the story of William Knowles who purchased land in Highland Creek in October 1802 and moved his family from New Jersey. …  “Knowles was a blacksmith and built the Township’s first smithy, making the nails for the first frame barn in Scarborough and planting one of the first orchards. His son, Daniel, kept the first store in Highland Creek, was a Commissioner for the straightening of Kingston Road in 1837 and was a prominent member of the Scarborough, Markham and Pickering Wharf Company which did an excellent business in shipping grain, timber and cord wood from Port Union to Oswego, New York and other Lake Ontario ports.”

below: Shadows on the door of St. Josephs Church.   This Roman Catholic church first served the influx of Irish immigrants who started arriving at the time of potato famine in 1847.  It was the first RC community in Scarborough.

shadow of a large tree on the wall of a church, pattern of crosses in the brickwork, steps up to the door

front of St. Josephs Roman Catholic church, including steeple

The early history of these communities is dominated by families with roots in England, Scotland, and Ireland but like the rest of Toronto, it has become much more multicultural.

below: On a quiet corner in Highland Creek, Baitul Afiyat Mosque

Mosque in Highland Creek village

below: And another mosque under construction in West Hill

behind a black wrought iron gate, construction of a new mosque

below: A short walk through St. Margarets (Anglican) cemetery reveals a more multi-cultural side of the neighbourhood.   This is just a small sample of the diversity of surnames found there.

monument stones in St. Margarets cemetery in winter, two with veerasingham surname, a zimmerman, and a de nobrega

monument stones in St. Margarets cemetery in winter with surnames quail, thoss, and nikolic

a row of old cars and trucks parked beside a road
two old red trucks

below: Another Highland Creek mural.

part of a mural, a couple walking their dog beside a creek, with trees

mural in Highland Creek, painted grey brick wall, the front of a vintage red truck has come through the wall, pile of bricks beside, a young boy in blue cap and brown overalls sits with his dog in another hole in the wall

part of a mural, a parent raccoon and a young one peer out from a hole in a stone wall

part of a mural, a young girl in blue top and blue shorts, arms upraised, like she is asking to be picked up

below: Centennial Community Scarborough consists of the southeast corner of Scarborough and includes both Port Union and Highland Creek Village neighbourhoods.

stop sign at all way stop with a toronto road sign for Ivan Road, with top part that says Centennial Community

below: This is the intersection of Kingston Road with Military Trail and Morrish Road, looking southwest towards a wide bridge over the Highland Creek.  There is an entrance to Colonel Danforth Park on the other side of Kingston Road (off the left side of the photo) but getting there is very difficult.  In the background, right side of photo, are hoardings.   Construction has begun on two 8 storey buildings, Highland Commons.

intersection of Kingston Rd., Military Trail, and Morrish Rd, large wide roads, one sign, low traffic levels, sidewalks, no people

Military Trail is a remnant of Scarborough’s first “highway built in Scarborough in 1799 by American Colonel Asa Danforth Jr.  It was a highway to connect the new town of York (i.e. Toronto) to Kingston.  The story is that the finished road was considered substandard and Danforth didn’t get fully paid.   Or maybe it was a backlash against American entrepreneurs trying to make a quick profit in Upper Canada.  Whatever the truth was, Danforth returned to the USA shortly after.

Kingston Road became Hwy 2 and was the main route to Kingston until the 401 was completed in the 1960s.

below: High And Plaza.   Strip malls or strip plazas are still plentiful.  There is talk of an Eglinton East LRT and many TTC express buses serve the area but cars still rule.

sign in a strip mall in Highland Creek, listing and advertising the businesses there such as CIBC, Scarborough Bitcoin, a pharmacy, By the Lake Dental, The Kilt Pub,

below: Proposal for a 9 storey building with 143 residential units plus retail at street level.  City infill on major routes…. and no Greenbelt is affected.
blue and white development notice in front of a strip mall on Lawrence Ave East in West Hill

below: Sign in the window: “This store is operated by Sovereign People on Sovereign Land.  We are exercising our constitutional and inherent rights.”

iroquois cannabis store in a strip mall plaza in west hill

below: Wine and yoga! Note the poster in the window about Metrolinx LRT plans on Ellesmere (just to the north).

looking in the window of In the Spirit a yoga studio and wine lounge with the motto wellness meets wicked in joyful harmony
exterior, strip mall, outside Creek Coffee Company on a sunny day

below: Morningside Ave with its red bus lanes. Looking north towards Ellesmere

Morningside Ave., looking north, from north of Lawrence to Centennial College, and U of T Scarborough. The red lanes are for buses.

below: Another stretch of Morningside, closer to Kingston Road.  Certainly not designed with pedestrians in mind. It’s scene like this that give credence to Scarborough’s nickname Scarberia.

morningside avenue, north from kingston road, some apartment buildings and trees, 4 lanes of traffic

below: Looking northeast at Galloway Road and Lawrence

2 rows of townhouses at Galloway road and lawrence in West Hill, intersection of two major streets, lots of lanes of traffic

below: Melville Presbyterian Church on Old Kingston Road.  It was built in 1852.

Melville Presbyterian Church on Old Kingston Road, red brick building with black and white steeple, on a hill, winter time, snow,

below: Very few traces of old West Hill remain.  The village got its own post office in 1879 (prior to that it was part of Highland Creek).

old two storey brick house on a hill surrounded by large trees, in the snow

below: West Hill suburbia.  There must be thousands of houses like these 1960s bungalows in Toronto and the GTA.  This street could be in Richmond Hill, Willowdale, or Rexdale.  West Hill must have had a major growth spurt in the 1960s and 1970s.

suburban street in winter, single car garages and 1970s bungalows, some trees, one car parked on the street, driveways,

tall horizontal murals on the sides of apartment buildings at Overture Blvd, on Lawrence

below:  On the southeast corner of Morningside and Lawrence is a mural painted in 2018 by BEHIND the Lines in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough.

mural at the corner of two walls, a person is peeling back a white curtain to reveal a planet and a phoenix with other things in the mural too, in front of an apartment building in Scarborough

mural in front of an apartment building at Morningside and Lawrence

below: Northwest corner of Morningside and Lawrence

intersection of Morningside and Lawrence, northwest corner, no frills grocery store, part of Morningsde commons retail

large deciduous tree with autumn gold and orange leaves towering over a fence with a street art throw up tag on it

below: garbage overflowing.  In the recent municipal elections there was a lot of talk about how something as simple as garbage collection was messed up in the city.  Although it is outsourced, it has always been problematic.  Bins get broken and never repaired.  Bins get filled and never emptied.  Now when I walk around I see how much of an issue this is.

overflowing city garbage container between sidewalk and street

below: Mayday SOS alert for a love emergency. Whoever scrawled this message probably had a more personal reason but I will use this image as my little prayer to the city. Do better. We can be more. The potential is there if we are willing to reach for it.

on a metal pole, a small painted white heart and three letters, S O and S.

This past Saturday’s walk started on a familiar corner, Bloor and Bathurst, but at a new place, Mallo Coffee.  I don’t always mention my coffee starts and stops but not all of them have wonderfully eccentric washrooms!  The wiggly strands of light were blue which gave the room an eerie blue glow.

part of washroom wall at Mallo Coffee shop, black and white paper with drawings, images, and words, with a blue neon (led?) light that curves around giving the room an eerie blue glow

Pre-COVID there was a proliferation of small independent coffee shops in the city.  It’s nice to see that many have survived and many new ones are opening up.  It’s not so nice to see the remains of those that didn’t make it.

covered windows of closed coffee shop, plywood in one pane, picture of pink and whtie coffee cup and chocolate chip muffin in another pane

From Bloor and Bathurst I walked generally east with a little south thrown in.  Is this The Annex? or Harbord Village?  Technically the quadrant to the southeast of Bloor and Bathurst is Harbord Village but I kept seeing street art referencing The Annex.

When you’ve been taking pictures in a city for more than 10 years, you end up walking the same streets and alleys.  Sometimes you find yourself with identical pictures.   Other times things have changed and there’s a new story to present.  For this blog post there is a bit of both.  Some of the murals that I saw in the lanes behind Bloor were new to me but there were many that I have blogged before.  Rather than show all of the previous murals, I have linked to older posts.

below: Part of “Meet me at the Magnolias” by Leslie Phelan

large mural on the side of store featuring magnolia flowers painted by Leslie Phelan

below: The back part of a larger Elicser Elliott mural on the side of Dirty Bird Chicken and Waffle restaurant on Bloor Street.  The full mural is featured in the blog post “feeling hungry?” from early in 2017.

part of an elicser elliott mural on dirty bird chicken and waffle, man in brown eating a very large sandwich on a plate, a smaller man with a drink in his hands

Bagpipe Lane runs behind the south side of Bloor for less than a block

below: A few simple designs

elicser elliott mural in background, 2 abstract minimalistic designs on a wall with air conditioners and other containers, one is red on pink and the other ooks like a green eye and eye lashes on orange paper

below:  Boris Badenov from the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” – who is he trying to blow up now?!

graffiti, black and white wheatpaste of Boris Badenov, cartoon character from Rocky and Bullwinkle show, about the throw a round black bomb, evil look on his face

Barbara Barrett Lane is the eastern continuation of Bagpipe Lane.   This is what you see when you first enter the lane from Borden Ave.

side of a two storey brick house with lower half covered in a mural with stylize street scene, houses, street, cars, green grass,

barbara barrett lane street scene mural

barbara barrett lane street scene mural

below: Nine years ago this was part of a mural that covered the back of buildings on Bloor Street.  You can see it, and other murals that were in Barbara Barrett Lane at the time, in a blog post from 2013.

part of an od mural, faded, headless man with brown vest, blue diamond motifs

There is a large mural by Elicser Elliott on Barbara Barrett Lane.  I have already posted quite a few pictures of it so rather than show more of the same, here is the link to the “elicser paints people” post.

 

mural that says you are here Annex

David French Lane runs south from Barbara Barrett Lane.

below: Near the north end of David French Lane is this black and white garage.  It is now partially covered with ivy and vines but it too also been around since 2013.  At that time many of the garages were already covered with street art but they have all been re-painted (see 2013 blog post, ‘graffiti on garages’)

ivy and vines with leaves in green, yellow, and red, hangs over a garage with a door that is black with white line drawings all over it

below: This mural on David French is very similar to the “street scene” mural on Barbara Barrett shown above.  I wish there was a signature of some sort on them!

street scene mural on david french lane

In 2017 there was a laneway paint project, “You Are Here” on David French Lane.  Once again, you can see images of most of the garages in a previous blog post.

below: Dudeman’s skulls and old TTC bus were part of that project.  Route 77B was a combination of the 77 Spadina bus and the 510 Spadina streetcar; it runs from Spadina station (on Bloor) south to Queens Quay before looping and returning north.

mural by Dudeman covering the front of a garage in an alley, lots of differenc=t coloured skulls, a TTC bus, signs for Spadina

below: A dog with a spiked collar by Christina Mazzulla.

street art on garage door, large dogs with spiked collars, big teeth, open mouth, pink tongues, painted by C mazzulla

alley view, mural on a garage door, back of three storey house, back yard

below: A blue eyed, black haired person with a tiger and a bluebird, all at 263.

painted garages in David French Lane, the one in the middle has a person with long black hair and blue eyes beside a tiger head in profile and a blue bird taking flight

below: Emily May Rose’s now iconic raccoons.  They hang out all over the city!

emily may rose raccoon mural an a garage in David French Lane

a mural on the outside of a wood garage, red x in the middle with other tag, text elements

below: “Fat bottomed girls … You make the rocking world go ’round”  Name that tune!

alley view, garages with street art and graffiti including a pink bum, with backs of houses and trees seen above the garages

in the foreground, black and white faded and peeled painting, with mural across the lane in the background which has a marine theme, large whale and other aquatic animals

Farther east there is another lane but with no name (Toronto is full of nameless lanes!).

black graffiti on a white garage door, black stencil of man upper body, some blobs and the words they live

alley view, line of garages with utility poles

below: Glorious old textures

an old wood garage door in an alley with old tags, faded paint, moss on roof, newer wood gate beside,

painting on a garage of a topless man holding up something very heavy across his back and shoulders, sort of like greek god atlas.

below: This may or not be something called Tomo

on a wood fence, painted white, with black line drawing of a large plump cat like figure with two ears that stand up, small eyes, whiskers, and 3 hearts on his tummy, a small rabbit sits on its head. red word tomo with question mark beside it

… and back to Mallo.  Until next time!

interior of Mallo Coffee shop, woman behind bar, bar with orange, turquoise and blue tiles, a young woman witting at a table, red model airplane hanging from ceiling,

Walking an old favorite, the upper section of Roncesvalles.

below: The old Roncesvalles Village mural with the 504 streetcar is still looking good….  Jac’s Milk convenience store at Wright.

Jac's Milk convenience store on Roncesvalles, with a large mural on the side wall, a TTC streetcar, text that says Roncesvalles village, people waiting for the streetcar

below: There is now a bright new mural for Roncesvalles. It was painted by Philip Cote and Jim Thierry Bravo. It’s title is: “The Original People Leading to the Eighth Fire”.

new indigenous theme mural for roncesvalles village, a large brown bear looks down at the text in the mural, a lone of fish and birds under the text, a row of rental bikes in front of the mural, an orange sun in a yellow sky

There are many symbols that have been incorporated into the mural.  The large brown animal at the top (over the window) is a wolf who was the companion of the first humans.  There is an article on the Roncesvalles BIA website that provides more information and insights into the mural’s stories and symbols.    Also, what used to be a pharmacy is now Early Bird & Worm – but the painting of the interior of an old pharmacy is still there, under the new black and white sign.

left hand side of new Roncesvalles mural with a large green fish, a blue bird, and a bear, on the side of a brick building

below: On the far right is a thunderbird, a co-creator of the world.

right hand side of mural painted by Philip Cote and Jim Thierry Bravo, indigenous symbols, thunderbird

below: It’s pumpkin season!

Roncesvalles fruit market store with produce on display outside, pumpkins and sunflowers

view in a store window, gold and black and white pumpkins, picture of a woman in a frame

looking in the window of Good Neighbour store on Roncesvalles

old black sign with red peeling letters that say we scoop kawartha dairy ice cream, some letters missing

a man anad a woman talking and looking at a phone while standing on sidewalk by bicycles parked there, across street from White Corner Variety Store, new condos behind the store, Roncy, Roncesvalles

3 store fronts on Roncesvalles, Thai restaurant, Amma Roti place, and

below: Relax and Recover

two garages in a lane, ivy covering a lot of the nearest one, the word relax painted on the door, on the second garage, two large eyes above the door, and a white heart on the door with the word recover written in the middle of it

below: An oldie – a grominator on a concrete wall in an alley

street art on a cement block garage in an alley, a black and white grominator on one side and an abstract of swirls and wavy shapes in multi colours on the other

below: Bike parked in front of a painted door.

a black goccia bike parked in front of a door with multi color painting, abstract, on it

below: A defaced 33wallflower33 slap on the back of the traffic sign.

33 wallflower slap on back of traffic sign, two children in period clothing, sidewalk scene beside the sign

below: Opossums eat about 5000 ticks per season – now you know!

metal sidewalk box that has been painted with a picture of a possum along with some facts about the animal

samples of store merchandise on a door, a mat that says everyone welcome, a canvas bag with an image of an old TTC streetcar, a pink bag with a black stenciled womans face on it

turquoise and gold sign in the window of a door along with a lace curtain, sign says closed

parts of an old green sofa discarded and left by a bus shelter

In an alley near Dovercourt and Queen West in Toronto are two unique garage door murals.

below: ‘Elephancy’ by Zirco Fish – It’s an elephant but it’s not. Tusks like an elephant and the ears seem to be big a floppy. But the mouth is like a beak and the eyes are certainly not those of an elephant. A crazy fantastical creature, the product of someone’s imagination.

a street art mural on a garage door, rust coloured wood garage. Image looks like an elephant

mural on a grage door, another garage door that has been tagged, graffiti on a fence, the back of a house, in a lane.

below: ‘Scrat Attack’ by Zirco Fish.

mural of a cat head, in memory of Scrat, painted by James Zirco Fisher, on a garage door in an alley. Green wood single car garage with number 108 above the door

This post also appears in my street art blog, Eyes on the Street

The TTC subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals.

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. a man holds out his hand to blue faced person, a round yellow sun in the sky

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. fish swimming in watery blues around central medallions with images

below: The artist, Philip Cote, described the story behind this image on the ArtworxTO website (see link); like all cultures, the Anishinaabe have an origin story.  In the beginning there was just Spirit. “And that spirit decided to send signals out into the universe and waited for a response. And when no response happened that spirit called the signals back and said, “As you come back to me, create light in the universe”. And at that moment they had light and dark in the universe. And that is the beginning of the Anishinaabe cosmology. Everything for Anishinaabe is made of light and dark. Everything we look at has a spirit, everything, the ground, the rocks, the sand, the trees, the birds, the plants, everything is… and even our sun and our Mother Earth and the moon, they all have a spirit.”

connecting with the spirit, beginning of the universe, philip cote mural, old mill subway station bridge

connecting with thousands of galaxies in the universe

The blues of the water, the Humber River, were painted by Kwest. Water is the Underworld in Ahishinaabe cosmology and the Guardians of this Underworld are the fish. Another artist, Jarus aka (Emmanuel Jarus), painted the fish.

Most of the paintings have a well defined circle. This is the boundary between water and earth, between the spirit world and the physical world. But there are connections between the two worlds – all living things are connected and we are all connected to the Spirit World.

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus

First nations mural on concrete pillars holding up subway bridge over the Humber River, featuring a turtle shaped animal with a bear head, with its mouth open hunting for fish

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus, Anishnaabe spirit world and underworld theme, a male and a female figure, holding hands

Philip Cote mural with Jarus and Kwest, an otter swims in the water, looking down under the surface

These pictures also appear on another blog, Eyes on the Streets

… and Graffiti Alley

stencil graffiti, words that say met u in toronto written twice in a circle around a happy face, yellow on black, sprayed on a brick wall in Graffiti Alley

in Graffiti Alley, on a door, a big pink heart with love written in cursive through the middle of it

below: Northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

northeast corner of Spadina and Queen in a snow flurry,

early morning, storefronts on Queen West, fruit market, empty store, lots of cardboard boxes on sidewalk waiting for trash pickup

below: Mannequins on orange

mannequins in Joe Fresh window, orange background, kids clothes

sidewalk scene on Queen West, bus shelter with Queen West advert, green P parking sign, some stores,

below: Queen Street westbound approaching Bathurst

TTC streetcar westbound on Queen West approaching Bathurst, snow falling, other cars waiting for red light,

below: It’s always nice to see that there’s at least one Lovebot still hanging out in Graffiti Alley.

in Graffiti Alley, a lovebot pasteup up hgh, love bot and a bunch of balloons

below: On the door, a jumblefacefoto collage

jumblefacefoto collage paper pasteup on door in graffiti alley in the middle of a text throw up street art

below: Reach out and touch someone

Bell phone booth covered with stickers, plus a fake bony hand holding onto the receiver, in Graffiti Alley

below: Open your eyes

brick wall with paper pasteup graffiti, open your eyes, a jumblefacefoto

below: Are you smiling?  Are you happy?

old KFC building, empty, with graffiti painted on wood leaning against the building, black letters on white that say In a passive society smiles are not the faces of happy people R "2022"

TTC streetcar at Queen and Spadina, in the snow

an older couple walking on sidewalk on Queen West waiting for greenlight at Bathurst by taccorito restaurant

below: Southeast corner, Queen & Niagara

early morning, yellow lights on in plant store on Queen West, a woman walking past,

below: Same intersection slightly later in the morning and from a slightly different angle

people on the sidewalk at queen west and niagara, traffic lights, woman pushing stroller, Japanese mural in the background, chive plant store in the foreground

two storefronts in old brick building, Queen West, Park Avenue Cleaners and Shanti Baba

photograph on exterior of store, group of people standing together, number 789 Queen West is next door

t bonez urban ninja squadron paste up of him in yoga pose

mural of a naked upper body with arms up and flowers around the head with words turn off your mind

below: Windigo Army piece

street art painting of an indigenous man with long black braid, wrapped in a white and black blanket, with yellow and red aura around him

below: A little orange character pasted to a pole; the work of kode_dipz aka Kyara Cabrera Fong

kode 905 slap graffiti little orange character with green face and tummy, on a pole

below: Because of the construction of a new condo at Richmond and Augusta there has been scaffolding in a section of Graffiti Alley. The other day some of it was being dismantled. This woman is more visible now but some of the bars remain.

mural of a woman with a cloth covering her head, behind scaffolding bar,

below: Life©️ one eyed red daisy supersized

black and orange traffic pylons beside the entrance to Graffiti Alley with a red one eyed daisy painting by life co beside it, then a row of paintings on hoardings

graffiti and street art on plywood hoardings that got switched around

4 faces found in different pieces of street art, all cartoonish, including a one eyed pink monster with oozing body,

below: Part of UBER5000’s Toronto mural.

large uber5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti alley, lower portion of it, behind chainlink fence

below: By luvs – a woman and her dog, with duplicate vision

part of a mural by luvs of a woman's head and a bulldog beside her, duplicate eyes and sunglasses that she's looking over, on a garage door in rush lane

two women walking their dogs in a snow storm on Spadina

from inside, a man walks past window of Le Gourmand bakery cafe on Spadina

below: A properly worn mask…..

window of flashback vintage, a mannequin in brown jacket and blue dress, mask needed sign on door

a collection of dolls in a store window with yellow metal grille in front

What is creepier?  Dolls or mannequins?

two images of mannequins in a window, one in pink and the other in red with red hair, both with large bows in their hair

below: Poetaia wants to know what you’re up to, wink, wink.

sticker graffiti on a wood utility pole that says What are your plans for the weekend?

below: Peeling paper makes the gold words difficult to read

grid of painted paper on top of street art, peeling at edges

below: There’s a yellow eye and possibly a blue one too?

paper collage face with yellow eye,slightly peeling at the edges

two mailboxes on a black door, 555 is salmon colour and 557 is black

two stickers on a metal pole on the topis a picture of a man's head with word think and on bottom is t bonez with finger over mouth as in saying shhh shush

small sticker graffiti on pole

small black and white sticker graffiti on pole, picture of man in a mask holding shoulders of a woman

mannequin in a window wearing a shiny yellow sai and holding a heart shaped evening purse with shiny beads on it

 The alley and parking lot behind the south side of Gerrard Street between Rhodes Avenue and Craven Road has a lot of street art.  Most of it was described back in November 2015 in a post titled:
Udlaakut, good morning (Inuit for good morning).

below: Mural by Timmy Drift aka Tim Schjins

mural of many faces with big mouths and white teeth

murals on the back of businesses on Gerrard street, beside a snowy parking lot,

below: A newer painting is this Alley Cats mural which is over 14′ high and is the work of Swizzle Studios (aka Rob Elliott and Andrew Horne)

large mural in a Little India alley, three white cats looking up at a yellow bird on a ledge

below: Jim Bravo and Ema Ciobanico (2020) painted murals with Little India Bazaar themes over two buildings – one on the NE corner of Gerrard and Ashdale and the other across Gerrard on the SE corner.

at the intersection of Gerrard and Ashdale, two buildings across the street from each other, both with Little India murals by Jim Bravo

below: On the northeast corner of Gerrard and Ashdale is the west wall of Kohinoor Foods – people with balloons, flags, and lotus flowers.

mural by Jim Bravo on the wall of Kohinoor Foods on Gerrard East

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

below: Visual noise and friends, slaps in an alley.

stickers and pasteups on a white wall. Urban ninja squadron t bonez on one knee with a large missle launcher on one shoulder

below: I have blogged about this mural before – Four-D by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson at Gerrard and Woodfield, 2013.

below: An elephant above the vape shop

mural of an elephant on the upper level of a store

below: Mr. Monopoly tries to run away with the loot (by kransky)

street traffic, or Bell, box with a running Mr. Monopoly

below: Another mural!  This one was painted by Catherine Cachia

little india bia sponsored mural on the side of a building

below: Two of a series of different coloured ‘banners’ that have cut out images in them.

green and pink banners in Little India

below: Buddha seems to be happy to hang around here.

buddah statue outside a store window

metal chairs and tables stacked against storefronts on sidewalk in Little India

painted planters on the sidewalk on Gerrard St., in the winter with some snow

below: “We’re all in this together”  Still Covid days.

door at 1299, with signs in the window, We're all in this together

signs in the window of a door of a store in Little India

looking through the clear side of a bus shelter at Coxwell Ave., looking west along Gerrard St.

below: Northeast corner of Coxwell and Gerrard/Eastwood

pink two storey building on the northeast corner of Coxwell and Eastwood, with construction in front, Coffee Time on the lower level is closed and windows papered over

below: Halal Meat Shop at Glenside

Halal Meat store on Gerrard

below: Lazy Daisy’s Cafe has been temporarily closed since Christmas while they “transform”.

doorway to Lazy Daisy coffee shop, closed with sign on door

below: Mural at the Black Pony (formerly the Flying Pony)

exterior of Flying Pony Cafe, with snow covered patio furniture and mural that says You're Here

gold and cololurful little statues in a store window

red saris and male clothing with gold and beads decorating it

looking in the front window of a bead store

in a window, a green, red and white flag with beaded shapes hanging in front

old sign at 1301 Gerrard East, sidewalk in winter,

yellow sign on gate of Buddhist temple that says sorry we're closed until further notice

below: Looking west along Gerrard at Greenwood.

people sitting in bus shelter, winter, at corner of Gerrard East and Greenwood, looking west along Gerrard, Daisy Mary and Pizza Pizza as well