Posts Tagged ‘street art’

Yesterday I was out near Dundas West and Dufferin to visit an art gallery, the Stephen Bulger Gallery, as they have a showing of photos of the Union Station renovation by Larry Towell.  I don’t have any photos from that exhibit, but it is on for another week if you’re interested.

a woman is looking at clothes on a rack that are for sale outside a store, chalk board syas You Babe, other people on the sidewalk, store in background is Elite Plumbing and Heating

Instead, I have photos from the walk that I took afterwards.  I started walking west on Dundas and south on Dufferin, looking for interesting doors, windows, and stores.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Of course, I was distracted (alleys!) along the way (graffiti!) but I have tried to stick to the architectural shots for this post.  Sort of.  In no particular order….

below: There was a car parked in front of this building so I cropped off the bottom.  The optical illusion covered the whole front of the building.  It’s definitely unique!

the front exterior wall of a building is decorated with a painting of 3D cubes arranged in an optical illusion

below: Two people walk past a forest of trees and shrubs.

lower part of a brick building has been covered with a mural that is orange background, and cut out (wood) flat green trees in various shapes. A real tree grows in front of it, a metal traffic box is painted with a scene of two people walking with the same orange background

below: Lisboa Hardware and Building Supplies with many household items on display outside – including barbecues, watering cans, and carpets. Old paintings linger on the tile wall.

The entrance to the Lisboa Hardware and building supply store with lots of household merchandise outside

below: A blue bike is parked in front of the french doors of the Black Dice Cafe.

a blue bike is parked outside the glass windows and door of the black dice cafe

below: A very typical two storey house in this part of Toronto.  This was the predominate style of architecture of residential buildings at a certain time – late 1800’s and early 1900’s I think (and maybe longer?).    I like the Canadian flag in the window and the new tree in the tiny front yard.

a girl on a bike rides past the entrance to an alley. Behind her is a two storey house in tan coloured siding, with darker tan trim, bay window, Canadian flad in the doorway,

below: On Dufferin Street, an increasingly common scene as glass towers pop up all over the city.  The west side of Dufferin Street, just north of Queen.

In the background, two large high rise buildings, modern, in the foreground, a row of older two storey houses

below: A similar scene on a smaller street nearby.

a row of two storey houses on a small street with a two aprtment blocks behind them.

below: Distractions in an alley – this one was a dead end (with the dead end behind me).  One of the disadvantages of having your garage in an alley like this is that getting your lawn mower from the garage to the yard involves a bit of a walk.    But look at all those doors and windows in buildings that look like they’ve been painted from the same palate.

a man walks a lawn mower down a short alley, garage doors on both sides of him as well as in front of him, back of houses behind the garages and taller apartment buildings behind that.

below: Another alley with a different character.  An open door covered with graffiti, balconies above the garages, and what is that?  – a TTC pole at the top of the stairs?

view down an alley,

below: The entranceway of an older brick low-rise apartment building on St. Clarens Ave.

The entrance to a three storey apartment building, with wood railings on fake balconies and some brick work too

below: Another distraction!  A crochet bombed pole beside a bright pink wall.

a utility pole is wrapped in crocheted squares in many colours, the house beside the pole is bright pink

below: I happened upon this cute little free library too –    so cute and whimsical with its big eyes keeping watch.   There has been some controversy about these in Toronto recently.  One owner of little library was ticketed for violating a city bylaw that disallows structures on a person’s property within 3.5 metres of a sidewalk.  It was ordered removed within 14 days or a $100 fine would be levied.   Yesterday City Hall decided not to pursue this.

a little free library in front of a green coloured house. Inside the window of the library are two large googly eyes

below: Nearby was another little free library with a little latched door.  It seems that here you can also pick up a pair of shoes along with a book!

white box on stilts, a little free library, trees and shrubs around it, a pair of shoes on the sidewalk in front of it.

below:  Did I find Toronto’s smallest house?

a car is parked in front of a very small one storey house that is between two large and taller houses,

below: Somewhere in the jungle is a front door or two!  A shared sidewalk to squabble over in the winter – who gets to shovel it.

two overgrown front yards with a sidewalk down the middle, a semi divided brick house in the background.

below:   Gates.  I’ve never understood the reason for little gates like these.  Back in their youth they probably looked quite trim and proper.  Now they are sagging and rusted and showing their age; perhaps that’s a reflection of their owners?  Not a complaint – a rusted gate has great photographic potential.

a fence across the front of two houses, each with their own sidewalk and gate.

 

below: Fire damage that is now being repaired.  The neighbours seem to have built a thriving shrine (good luck charm?, religious offering?  is there a name for these?) beside their front door.

A row of houses where one is damaged from a recent fire.  Burned front door.  Windows have been boarded over, a skip for garbage isin front, workmen on the site

below: We have our share of ugly doors on ugly walls.

two white doors side by side on a dirty concrete block wall that someone has written the words In Toronto it's okay to hate transvestites

below: Have a seat

two grey wicker chairs in front of two adjacent white doors on a concrete wall. the building beside is orange

below:  On Dufferin Street between Dundas and Queen – Once upon a time this house was totally decorated in pink and white.  Some of it remains – the arch in front of the door as well as the fence at the side of the house.  Now it is bigger, squarer, and uglier.   Even the grominator graffiti on the wall can’t overcome the ‘boringness’ of the renovated structure.

sqaure two storey brick house under renovation, with pink and white metal fence around it. a grominator graffiti on the side

below: I don’t want to end this post on an ugly note, so here’s a cheerful bright yellow door!

yellow door on a rust house

You might recognize the building below – it’s the Cherry Street interlocking tower.  Along with the Scott Street and John Street towers, they housed the the electro-mechanical interlocking for the railway tracks.  Interlocking is an apparatus that prevents conflicting movements through an arrangement of tracks, in other words, it keeps the trains separated so there are no collisions.   It was back in 1931 that the track work for Union Station was completed and the Toronto Terminals Railway interlocking system became operational. The interlocking was installed by General Railway Signal Co. of Rochester NY and it was/is controlled from the three above mentioned towers. Apparently this 1931 interlocking system has operated reliably for 86 years and today it makes it possible for 235 passenger trains travel on these tracks every weekday.

 

small brick building with sloped roof, sign under window that says Cherry street, beside train tracks, two tall condos in the background

The intersection of Cherry and Lakeshore isn’t pretty.  The south end of Cherry passes under the railway tracks, 8 tracks wide, just before ending at Lakeshore Blvd which is under the Gardiner Expressway at that point.

cars stopped at a red light at the south end of Cherry street where it intersects with the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner, a red convertible is the first car at the light.

below: This is the view if you’re walking east on Lakeshore.  The ‘tunnel’ is Cherry Street as it goes under the railway tracks.  The three glass condo towers are part of the Distillery District.

intersection of lakeshore blvd and cherry street from the southeast, cherry street bridge for the tracks, 3 condos of the distillery district, some traffic, billboards, concrete

below: From above –  the best way to help you visualize the intersection.   The very bottom left corner is the north end of the Cherry Street bridge.   Cherry Street and the Lakeshore come together under the Gardiner Expressway before they split again with Cherry continuing south to the Portlands and the Lakeshore curving back under the Gardiner.

view from above, railway tracks, road, waterfront, Lake Ontario,

Also, the intersection can be confusing if you’re a cyclist or a pedestrian, especially if you are coming south on Cherry Street.    It’s one stretch where the undeveloped land under the Gardiner Expressway has been neglected in part because it is also a section of the city that is in limbo – is the Gardiner going to be taken down?  or will it be moved?  or will we debate it until it’s too late to do anything?   As city redevelopment spreads east, there is more interest in this area and in the Portlands adjacent to it.

two old faded street signs one says pedestrians use west sidewalk and the other says cyclists dismount to cross roadway

below: Looking west towards the city.  The Martin Goodman Trail runs along the south side of Lakeshore before turning south at Cherry towards the Portlands.  On the other side of Lakeshore is the Lower Don River Trail that parallels the Lakeshore before turning north at the Don River.   Both trails are part of the PanAm Path.

looking west along the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Rd, curve of the Gardiner as it passes over the bottom of Cherry Street, downtown skyline with CN tower, cyclists on the bike path on the south side of Lakeshore

The Panam Path was a legacy project from the 2015 Pan Am Games. The path is not completed yet but it starts at the south end of the Clairville Reservoir in the northwest part of the city. It follows the Humber River to Lake Ontario and then runs east to the Don River before heading inland a bit. Eventually it ends at the mouth of the Rouge River.  The path goes under many bridges and there is street art in quite a few of these spots.

below:  Some of the pillars and bents under the Gardiner just east of Cherry Street are the latest to be painted.  Finally some colour!

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway, cyclists in the distance, pillar with street art in the foreground

The first painting was done as part of an Art Spin event at the end of August.  Art Spin is a group that runs bicycle-led events/tours of art a few times a year.    The project is also a part of the STEPS Initiative that promotes public art in the city.

below: XYZ 2017 VAL JAM LUVS DRPN ___ DELUXO OGV  written on top of the snake before it had a tongue.

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway

 

Artists involved:
Daniela Rocha (muisca)
Fathima Mohiuddin (fatspatrol)
Stephanie Bellefleur (bellefleurhaus)
Meera Sethi
If I’ve left anyone out, please let me know

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - 3 horizontal paintings on the bents,

Some of the concrete in this area is slated for refurbishment so the affected pillars have been left clear for the moment.

painted pillars under an elevated expressway, murals

below: More bird motifs, this time by @fatspatrol

lifters under the gardiner, machinery for artists to reach higher spaces, murals

below: An owl at night, stars in the sky, and purple hills, mural by Muisca.

an owl with the night sky and stars, purplish mountains, part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway , a green snake with a long tongue on the vertical pillar on the right

below: A whimsical fun little purple creature with long arms.

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - drain under the Expressway has been painted light purple and made into a head. Drainpipes are the arms

mural on bents

below: Bullets transforming into birds taking flight.

mural by Meera Sethi, shades of turquoise, bullets on the bottom but transforming into birds as they rise

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - abstract in turquoise and other bright colours, triangles and lines and blobs

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - pillars are light blue with birdlike and feather-like patterns at the bottom of two pillars that are close to each other

policeman on horseback as seen through two pillars under the Gardiner expressway

 

 

At the corner of Roxton and Harbord, at what was once the New Moon Variety store, there is a large and colourful Clandestinos mural.  The store is now Riders Cycle so it is apt that the mural features a large cyclist, a dapper fox with bright red cycling gloves and a wicker basket full of flowers and carrots.

 

photo of the whole mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store,

A blue bird at the left flying in front of the garage door.

part of a larger mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store, a bluebird in flight painted on the garage door, yellow triangle of light behind it

The window now looks like it protrudes from the wall and is part of the mural.

part of a larger mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store, around the door and window and mailbox of the side entrance of the building,

Like all good cyclists, he has a light on his bike but this light is a miniature person with a powerful flashlight.

 

part of a larger mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store, main part of mural, a fox in jeans is riding a bike with a wicker basket in the front

buzzzzzzzzzzzzz

part of a larger mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store, a large bumble bee by the front window

Another blue bird in flight, this time at the righthand side of the mural.

part of a larger mural by Clandestinos (Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky) on the side of Riders bike store, a blue bird in flight with purplish coloured sky behind

Women in the Walls was/is a mural project where most of the painting was done on the last weekend in August. Twenty women participated to create murals in the alley behind the north side of Gerrard Street East near Craven, Rhodes and Woodfield. One van and one car were also painted.

below: Courtney Binns and Kerry Marie (kairo) work on their murals.

two women painting a mural, one mural each, one on the back of a building in an alley and the other on the side of the same building.

a woman sprays paint, light blue, onto the background of a mural that she's painting, blue, green and pinks that merge together with no defined lines or edges

street art painting of a fuzzy orange fox, lying on the ground by C V Binns

a woman is in the beginning stages of painting a mural portrait of a woman outside

below: Princess Nokia

portrait of a woman on a wall, a mural by kairo, long dark hair, a blue bow on the top of her head, some blocks of the concrete block wall are painted in shades of pink

below: Caitlin Taguiboa paints her mural starting with the black and white background that will turn into ripples and reflections on water.

woman spraing black on a black and white mural, standing beside a ladder, on a garage door in an alleyy paint

pink white and orange flowers by a black pool with with and pink reflections and ripples

below: Kim adds some blue to the background of her mural.

a woman is painting a street art mural

on a garage door, a painting by Kim, blue background, close up of two yellow women pilots in a green airplane

below: The deer mural was preserved (it’s been on this wall for a number of years).  You can just see the faint outlines of a salamander that @mmnador is creating.  That’s Kim working on her pilots (astronauts?) in the background.

two women painting murals, Kim is in the background painting on a garage door while another woman is outlining a picture of a chameleon on a wall

a dark purple salamander in a street art painting on a background of orange, yellow, and light blue polygonal shapes with 3 to 5 straight sides on a wall with a tree to the left

below: Rolling on the pink, background that is.  Anya Mielniczek’s latest mural is a woman’s face in shades of pink and green.

woman rolling paint to make pink background on a mural

street art mural of a woman's face in greens and blues on one side, moving to pink on the other, lots of black hair. red lips, yellow eyes

partially finished mural on black background in an alley, green stripes near the bottom, blue circles beside brown squiggles, milk x weed

below: Painting a tribute to Smokey the cat, by Stacey Kinder.

a woman is crouching beside a wall where she is painting a picture of a blue cat, on the wall beside her is a large black section that has just been painted in preparation for another mural

a woman with long blond hair, Stacey Kinder, is painting a picture of a blue cat on a wall,

finished mural of Smokey the blue cat, with a sunflower behind his head,

below: Up close to the central portion of a mural painted by Chief Ladybird and Auralast.

detail of center of mural of an indigenous woman with long braided hair and feathers

below:  The words in the stripes are “One Voice”.  There is a blue and a pink stripe that didn’t make it into the photo, on them is written “Powerful”.

part of a mural by chief ladybird and aura of an indigenous woman with a feather in her hair, in front of the sun and circles of colour, red and blue flowers on the outer layer of colour (light blue)

below: A shout out to Debbie who lent her car, Lightning, to the cause.  Here, a black stenciled dog adorns the back door panel – in memory of Harley.

side of a car that has been prepped, for painting partially painted with turquoise section and pink splotches, also a black stenciled dog, called Harley, by the back wheel,

below: Lightning is now fueled with flower power!

back of painted car, large flower and many colours in the background, a bumper sticker that says Honor Diversity

below: And the last, a van.  It was parked behind the Flying Pony while one side was painted by Erika James….

a woman is taping stencils onto the side of van. The stencils are of words, Don't worry you haven't hit your stride yet

below:  … and the other by Jieun June Kim.   When I went back later in the week to take pictures of the completed murals, the van wasn’t around.  If you see it, let me know!

a woman spray paints on the side of a van that is being covered with street art, masking tape to keep the spray paint in straight lines.

below: Hands and stylized florals

black background mural with stylized floral in bright colours, also a hand in the middle in many colours

part of a mural with magenta background, green arms reaching up from foliage and weeds at the bottom, hands open, revealing a large blue eye on each hand

This project was supported by StART program at StreetARToronto as well as Cultural Hotspot 2017.  The latter is a summer-long initiative whose aim is to encourage art, community, and culture in the east end of the city.

below: Monstawall by Monica Wickeler (aka monicaonthemoon), one of the principal organizers of the weekend.

small street art mural of many stylized abstract goofy faces in bright colours, on a wall.  a car is parked in front of it and some is reflected in the windshield

More of the bents holding up the road that passes over Underpass Park in Corktown are in the process of being painted.  Back in 2015, the bents and pillars on the west side of Lower River Street were painted as part of the Pan Am games preparations.   The latest mural project involves the bents closer to St. Lawrence Street.

below: Looking east towards Lower River Street, skateboarders in the park behind a mural by Chief Ladybird and Aura. In the background is a pink elephant by Christopher Ross.

people at Underpass Park, under the expressway, with pillars painted in murals, guys on skateboards,

Thirteen bents by seventeen artists have just been completed, or are in the process of being painted for this project.  The artists are:  Al Runt, Andrew Dexel, Annie Hamel, Aura, Chief Lady Bird, Carlos Delgado, FONKi, GAWD, Jill Stanton, Kalkidan Assefa (aka Drippin_soul), Lacey & Layla Art, Meaghan Claire Kehoe, OMEN,  Ness Lee,  Rob Matejka  Anya Mielniczek

a large blue face mural, horizontal, looking down at the park below

below: As Al Runt works on his mural, he is reflected in the mirrors above him.

a man is painting a mural on a concrete bent at Underpass park, up on a lift, he is reflected in the mirrors on the ceiling of the park, Al Runt

below: Some faces by Carlos Delgado

conrete pillar in Underpass park that has been painted with large orangish toned faces, by Carlos Delgado

below: A social gathering around the mural painted by Annie Hamel… although the youngest one seems to want to join the skateboarders instead.

a group of people is having a small party in Underpass park, standing around a concrete bent that has recently been painted with a mural by Annie Hamel

below: I’m not sure why they would choose this location for their photo shoot when they are covering the mural with a grey screen.

a photo shoot in underpass park, grey screen in front of a mural covered bent, a woman in workout clothes, men behind the camera

below:   A face in orange and purple tones by @drippin_soul aka Kalkidan Assefa

a mural of a woman's face in orange and purple tones, large, purple lips, on a concrete pillar, with young woman sitting in the park in the background

below: One side of the bent painted by Lacey & Layla Art

cars parked under a bent that has been painted with a wrinkly brown man's face wearing glasses

below: And the other.  The mural is accompanied by a Robert Browning quote: “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.”

urban open space under a bent that has been painted with a wrinkly brown man's face

below: At the far west end, a gruesome spike being plunged into a heart.

A concrete bent in an underpass that is a hand holding a large spike that is being plunged into a bleeding heart. Cars are parked underneath

The project is managed by Mural Routes and is part of the StreetARToronto Partnership Program in collaboration with the Corktown Residents and Business Association, the City of Toronto Parks Department, and Relay 2017 – Friends of the PanAm Path.

below: Just starting, background figures in white

a person stands on an elevated platform and looks at the white outline that they have made in preparation for painting the bent white, the beginnings of a mural

***

This is the fourth blog post about the murals at Underpass Park.  Others are:

First stage of the project (Pan Am games),  in two posts:
Underpass Park  July 2015
People Overhead  July 2015

The next stage were the pillars along the sidewalk on the west side of Lower River Street
New neighbours at Underpass Park, Oct 2016

 

 

“Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me”
(from ‘Cupid’ by Sam Cooke)

green background to a piece of graffiti that is black line drawing of cupid shooting an arrow. The target is a real tap in the wall that has been painted bright red

This has me thinking about taps and faucets as hearts.  Is there a metaphor to be found here?  “Pouring out your heart”, or maybe “Let your love flow”, or maybe just a little “love tap”?

below: Graffiti Alley has been love bombed.  Hearts and unicorns by @heart_bomb bring their colourful messages of love and togetherness to the lane.

graffiti on a door in an alley, pink and purple hearts with the words, you've got to let love rule, a piece by heart_bomb

graffiti on a laneway door, two unicorns, one yellow and one blue, looking at each other with a heart above them, words say: stronger together, a piece by heart_bomb

below: Nearby, elicser has a more philosophical take on love.

street art by elicser of a man holding (hugging) a child, in blacks and white, with words, sometimes it's like holding fire.

below: Keeping the message simple (even when love isn’t!).
I also love the three little monkeys at the bottom.

the word love in white block letters that are outlined in red, background is turquoise bubbles. below that are three brown pasteups of monkeys

And that’s why I love to keep going back to Graffiti Alley!

words painted on a sidewalk in blue, love all art

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of new pasteups of people – or at least they are new to me.  The first three are ones that I spotted in Graffiti Alley yesterday.   I am not sure if they are portraits of actual people.  You can see more of her work here on instagram.

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders. She is wearing a head scarf that is striped fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing a head scarf that is patterned fabric wound round her head. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

poster street art of a black woman's head and shoulders, 3/4 angle. She is wearing dreadlocks. The words on the poster say Diversity is Hope

The other series of portraits that I have seen are of musicians.  I do not know who the artist is.

below: Woody Guthrie with his fascist killing guitar.  He is on Queen West near Graffiti Alley.

black and white paste up of Woody Guthrie standing, holding onto his guitar that has the words This machine kills fascists, written on it.

below: Gord Downie outside number 28.  He is near Ossington and Dundas.

a black and white image of Gord Downie from Barenaked Ladies group, wearing his hat, outside a blue door at number 28

below: Joni Mitchell is also on Queen West.

a black and white pasteup of Joni Mitchell playing her guitar and singing

below: A younger Leonard Cohen

a black and white pasteup of an image of a male guitar player, young man, on a grey wall

The last person is just someone weird pasted onto a door.  I don’t think that he’s anyone in particular.   He seems to have a beard and a high collar but I could be wrong!

street art paste up of a man's head and shoulders, ugly, long beard, high collar, striped shirt

The next time you’re walking around downtown you can try people watching too!