Posts Tagged ‘street art’

painting on a garage door, green with leaves and with the word chill written in cursive in white paint

Behind Dundas Street West near the Junction, there is alley with one old garage building that has been painted with street art.

old building with white side, a large drawing on it, other buildings in the lane

At one end, there is a black and white drawing of a faceless person in a baseball cap holding a very large cassette tape.   His/her shoe laces are undone.

side of a white building, small window near the top, drawing of a person holding a very large cassette tape

This is a view of the whole west side of the building.   All of the people are faceless.

black drawings on white, large street art covering the side of a building, faceless people, singer, microphone, man with arms folded,

street art on garage door, faceless man with hat on and arms folded, behind hime another faceless person, all are black line drawings, with some shading.

street art drawing in black of a person with baseball cap on, holding a microphone in one hand and pointing with the other hand

At the very end, a colourful rendition of the skull and cross bones.

old wood garage door with street art of a skull and cross bones in bright colours, yellow, pink, blue, and orange

into the sun, long shadows, looking towards an alley with an old building covered with street art

This is another “walk about” post; in fact, it is the product of two nearly identical walks a few months apart.

below: Standing at the corner of King and Spadina while TTC workmen clear the streetcar tracks of excess dirt and sand.

two young women standing on the corner of King & Spadina

below: Looking east along King Street.  The LCBO on the corner is now closed.

looking eastward along King St from Spadina, high rises, billboard, traffic, city,

below: Spadina, south of King.

construction on Spadina south of King, beside the red and white Petro Canada gas station

below: Looking through a parking lot on Wellington.

backs of buildings as seen through a parking lot on Wellington street

below: Looking south on Draper Street

looking south on Draper street to condos south of the tracks

below: The CN Tower from Draper Street

the CN tower as seen through a vacant lot on Draper street

below: Construction continues on the old Globe and Mail site south of Wellington and north of Front.

construction on the site of the old Globe and Mail building between Wellington and Front

below: A pink pig still celebrating Valentines Day.

a pink plastic pig on a porch, wearing heart shaped sunglasses and a necklace of heart shapes

below: Looking east along the tracks from Portland Street.  In November when I walked here, there were many movie trucks parked along Front Street.

looking east along the north side of the railway tracks from Portland Street towards downtown, cranes and construction site, high rises

below: The new condos on the north side of Front Street that face the railway tracks.

a line of glass and concrete condos on Front street that face the railway tracks, cars and trucks at construction site beside the tracks, below street level

pasteup graffiti on a yellow post, faces with eyes collage, by jeremy lynch

below: Crossing the Puente de Luz, Toronto’s yellow pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks.

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

looking eastward to the puente de luz bridge and the city skyline beyond, railway tracks, cranes, new buildings,

below: On the south side of the railway – the green building is the Library District condo.

fish eye lens view of side of green library condo building and the other across the street, Queens Wharf Rd

below: Bathurst Street at Fort York Blvd., with the overhang from the library which is on that corner.

overhang from the library roof, Bathurst street, south of tracks, condos, street,

below: Bathurst streetcar southbound.

TTC streetcar passes over Bathurst street bridge over the railway tracks, new condos in the background, crane

below: The grassy green mound that separates Fort York from the city…. with the city creeping up behind it.

edge of the grounds of fort york, green grass on hill, with new high risse condos in the distance

below: Orange bars across the eyes, graffiti

graffiti, three black and white photos of faces with orange streak painted through their eyes, pasteups on concrete

below: The Bentway, under the Gardiner Expressway (a previous post on the Bentway)

the bentway, the new development and park under the gardiner expressway, words on one of the concrete posts that says Welcome to the Bentway a shared space kind of place

Garrison Crossing is actually two stainless steel bridges, both over railway tracks.   Both have spans of close to 50m.  In the middle is a peninsula of land that is in the process of being developed into condos and a park.  Almost 20 years ago there was a proposal to build a bridge here – to be opened in 2012 for the anniversary of the War of 1812.  Mayor Rob Ford was opposed to it (too much money) and the plans were shelved.  A change of mayor (and some help from developers) and a change of plan again.  Construction began in 2016.  It provides a much needed link between the two sides of the railway lands.

below: Southern span – walking north from Fort York

fisheye view of first garrison crossing bridge with new condos in the middle

below: City view from the new park in the middle, train tracks (difficult to see in this picture) on two sides of the triangle.

view from Garrison Crossing, in the middle, CN Tower and Toronto downtown skyline

below: Yellow construction fences still line the edge of the path through the middle section between the bridges.

yellow construction fences line the pathway through the middle of Garrison Crossing as it is not quite finished construction

below: People crossing the northern portion of Garrison Crossing (looking south).

people walking across the Garrison Crossing bridge with high rise condos behind them

below: Looking northwest from the second span of Garrison Crossing towards Strachan Avenue and beyond.

railway tracks north of Garrison crossing looking towards Strachan Ave

below: Garrison Crossing ends at Wellington Street close to Stanley Park

park, green space, baseball diamond with lights, and a row of bright coloured houses behind

a garage door completely covered in paint, street art in red, black and yellow

street art on a garage door including a large pair of white hands

street art on two metal boxes on the sidewalk, one is a zipper opening to reveal a brick wall

below: Found – one city snowplow parking lot, between the railway tracks and Wellington Street (at the end of Walnut Ave).

parking lot for red snowplows, city property, also a dome shaped storage for sand, condos in the background

below: Immediately to the east of the snowplows is the old brick building. It has its own access road from Wellington including a bridge with three arches.   The road is overgrown and blocked by a fence.  There is no sign by the road.

cars in a parking lot with an old boarded up brick building, 2 storeys. The building has a road and 3 arched bridge leading to the upper storey

below: It took some time on google but I finally found the answer to the building above.  Here it is in 1925, the year that it was built – the Wellington Destructor.  It was used until the 1970s when burning garbage was banned; it has been a heritage building since 2005.  I found the photo online on a CBC News webpage where there a great description of the building and its history,  along with some pictures of the interior.

old black and white photo of garbage incinerator built in 1925, Toronto, large brick building

below: And that brings us back to the Bathurst Street bridge over the railway tracks on the south side of Front Street.  Did you know that it’s officially called the Sir Isaac Brock Bridge?  It spent most of its life as the Bathurst Street Bridge until 2007 when it was renamed.

traffic at the intersection of Bathurst and Front. Brown metal bridge for Bathurst over the tracks, CN Tower and new condos in the background

below: It is a steel truss bridge that was built in 1903 (one of the oldest bridges in the city).  It’s first life was a railway bridge over the Humber Bridge but in 1916 it was disassembled, moved to Bathurst, and reassembled.

brown metal bridge, Bathurst street over the railway tracks,

below: Bathurst bridge, 1919, from the west (Lake Ontario is on the right hand side).

vintage black and white photo of railway tracks and bridge over Bathurst street, 1919, from Toronto City Archives

The view from the Municipal Abbatoir Building, looking southeast. The building with the water tower on top is the Matthews Blackwell meat packing company. On the left, you can see part of the cylindrical tower belonging to Consumers Gas Company

 

below: Someone has given this rusty guy some eyes!  He too is watching out for interesting stories.  He’s also thankful that you made it this far!  At least he can’t roll his eyes!

two large black and white googly eyes have been glued onto a rusty piece of metal on a fence

This incredibly intricate butterfly or moth by alfalfa faces Bathurst street.  The body of the butterfly makes the human face within the insect unmistakable .

a large street art piece of a butterfly with man's eyes on the wings, boy of butterfly looks like man's nose

On the south side of the same building is this captivating turquoise-skinnedcharacter painted by muisca.

character with turquoise face and yellow and orange hair and dress, by muisca, mural on the side of a building

On the north side of the building there is a driveway that leads to an alley.   There are murals on the side of the building as well as on other buildings and garages immediately adjacent.

 

below: This tiger by luvsumone (aka Moises Frank) is on a garage door in the alley.

partially abstract painting of a tiger by luvsumone, xyz

below: If you follow the sound of many pigeons cooing you’ll find yourself in front of one of the garages that must have a pigeon loft on the upper storey.  The same garage has two pigeon murals.  This stylized pigeon who seems quite happy with his can of spray paint is on one side while the pigeon in the next image is on the garage door.

a stylized pigeon, painted on the side of a building, with a spray paint can by it's head

below: Stay fly pigeon, luvsumone, painted in 2017

a large painting of a pigeon on a garage door in an alley

below: Another of the alley murals.

4 garbage bins lined up beside a small building with a mural of a young woman with blank eyes above the bin

below: The north side of the building has three murals of people.  These eyes are part of a larger man’s face.

part of mural of man's face, two eyes and a nose,

below: A woman’s face seems to float on the brick wall.

a large woman's face painted on the side of a brick building

close up of a pair of blue lips painted as part of a mural of a woman's face

below: This wall has also become a memorial wall.

mural of young woman's face, looking straight ahead, eyes partially closed, arms crossed in front of her,

words written under a group of street art pieces, deluxe the 6, names of street artists

Just outside the street entrance to St. Clair subway station, there is a new large mural by birdo aka Jerry Rugg. It is on the side of 1 St. Clair East.  Leafless tree branches reach above the roofline of the station.    It looks like red and blue cube shapes are suspended from above.

street entrance to St. Clair subway station, some people walking towards it, a large mural on the building behind it

below:  Here is the full mural as seen from a bit farther back.  Now you can see that the wires and cubes are not linked at all.  The wires are those used by the St. Clair streetcar.   This part of the city is also known as Deer Park hence the deer at the top of the mural.
large mural by birdo, vertical, on the side of a building, with a realistic deer head at the top

There are construction hoardings in in front of 1 St. Clair East because the building is being renovated. Several images by birdo are on the hoardings. These are some of them:

Jerry Rugg, a la , birdo, paintings on construction hoardings, various abstract animal forms, owl, deer

below: It’s a flamingo, it’s an octopus, it’s a….?

birdo painting on hoardings at a construction site, flamingo head, toucan beak, and lots of cube and other geometric shapes

below: An owl’s face

birdo painting of an owl's face on construction hoardings, geometric shapes

As an aside re the name Deer Park…. according to Wikipedia, “The name dates from 1837, when the Heath family purchased 40 acres of land on the northwest corner of Yonge and St. Clair…and named it Deer Park. By the 1850s the neighbourhood included a racetrack, a school, and a hotel at which patrons could feed deer which roamed the Heaths’ property. The Heath property was subdivided in 1846 and was entirely sold off by 1874.”

graffiti covered door with turquoise painted words that say street life sweet life

There is an alley that runs behind the north side of Queen Street West, just west of Spadina.

mural and graffiti on a wall in an alley

The next few photos are of street art that isn’t new (and it may appear in earlier blog posts). There are usually cars parked here and today most of the parking spots were empty.

older mural on the back of a building in an alley

close up view of older mural on the back of a building in an alley

below: An older elicser mural

older mural by elicser of two men, one head is much larger than the one behind it

below: Uber5000 painting (and his iconic yellow bird) – the man, the bird, and the surveillance cameras.

an old uber5000 painting on a wall of a man in black baseball cap and glasses with a little yellow birdie on his shoulder, a no parking sign on top of man's hands

graffiti and paint covering on old window on graffiti covered wall in a lane

backs of stores on Queen West, covered with graffiti, a ladder to upper floor, brick buildings

below: This house has been empty for a long time. The doors and windows are now covered with plywood, providing a canvas for some graffiti and a surface for a few paste-ups.

an old brick two storey semi detached house with green mansard roof is boarded up and empty

below: Urban ninja squadron is on the phone.  Tacim Collective (from Milan Italy) is also represented here as is Paris BKC (Brass Knuckles Crew), and sketchrat.

paper paste ups on plywood covering a window

paper paste ups on plywood covering a door

below: There used to be a collection of these “blueprint” pieces (maybe four of them?).  This is the last remaining one.

blue and white blueprint graffiti with large red and yellow text scrawl below it, on a wall in an alley

walls in alley covered with graffiti

below: The lane ends in a mess at a chainlink fence that surrounds a vacant lot on Spadina.

messy alley with car parked, trash bins, barrels, graffiti, air conditioners, back walls,

below: Hidden away just beyond the fence is a face by Phillip Saunders.

behind a chain link fence, viewed from a laneway, a face street art painting by Phillip Saunders

At the corner of Beatrice and Dundas West there is a new mural by Elicser of a couple building with blocks, or more accurately, playing with Tetris shapes.

full mural on the side of a house, a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall

part of a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall - woman in blue jeans and white sleeveless top

part of a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall - heavy man in a long sleeved green hoodie

below: He may be blue but he’s smiling.

below: Preening and posing or just walking past.  Saturday afternoon in Graffiti Alley.

people in graffiti alley, walking, posing for photos, murals, art,

a man spray paints a street art piece in an alley, small red step stool ladder with some cans of spray paint

mual in alley with skull with gold halo

back of a building, in an alley, covered with street art. On top is a large white orek in white, green garbage bins in front

below:  It comes with words, a quote from Al Capone: “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun, then you can with a kind word alone”.   A mural by Madmaxxoner

mural in an alley doorway, portrait of Al Capone in shades of grey, wearing a fedora, accompanied by words

below: A series of urban ninja squadron stickers on a pole

urban ninja squadron stickers on a post

below: A grey face on a door, part of a mural by elicser

elicser mural on a wall including a door that is painted with a large face in grey tones

below: Square face with a four pointed crown, drawn on orange

on an orange background, a black line drawing of a square face with four point crown on head and 4 vertical lines as teeth

a bright orange mini cooper is parked with another car in a small parking lot with two murals, one by hello kirsten and a large portrait by janus

large text street art in silver with blue and red highlights

below: So we meet alley drinking in fact(?) at 2 pm on a Teusday (sic Tuesday) it’s cool(?) and I have a half size bottle of wine some of us are in love and some us can’t be.  We break off spinning in all directions and haven’t stopped since.  And on top of it all is a paranoid sticker in his pink briefs.  Make of it what you will.

a small sticker with paranoid written on it as well as a graffiti that is all words

below: Posing at the end of the alley

three people taking selfies at the Portland Street end of graffiti alley

below: Set-up for a selfie

a man has set up a tripod to take a selfie of him positioned between two large faces painted in an alley

below: More of someone else’s selfie, this one in the partial darkness.

side view, man posing in a doorway in graffiti alley, top part of him is in dark shadow

below: Smoke break

an older man in a fedora sits on a ledge covered with street art as he smokes a cigarette

below: An uber5000 painting of blue cat painting a yellow birdie with a predatory camera bearing down on them.

street art by uber5000, a yellow birdie, a blue cat and a characterization of a camera as a face with large mouth and sharp teeth, also with long tongue sticking out. words say gimme a break clik clik clik

below: We are all human by Kaun

below: More sharpie words, this time about the atomic power of prayer.   Oh dear, I googled it and it’s a thing.

words written in sharpie on green and yellow graffiti

below: Paper paste-up telling us to eat more or proclaiming the presence of eatmore?

Also referred to as the “Blues Mural”.

At Bloor and Brunswick, by the entrance to Leah Cohen Lane there is a new mural that pays homage to Brunswick House whose walls it is painted on.    The three storey brick building dates from 1907 but there was  a “Brunswick House” pub/hotel on this site from 1876 to 2016.  It is now a drug store.

whole mural part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, with bikes in front of it, by Leah Cohen Lane

The mural was painted by @drippin_soul aka Kalkidan Assefa and @komiolaf aka Komi Olaf

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, female singer holding a yellow microphone

At one point in history, one of Toronto’s most popular venues for jazz and blues was Albert Hall which was upstairs at the Brunswick House.

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, drummer with drum set and big puffy black hair

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin,

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, hand of keyboard player with yellow ring with a heart on it

I didn’t know it at the time I took the photos, but apparently the piano keys are fitted with NFC chips.  If you visit the mural,  you can use your Android phone to interact with the mural to learn more about the blues, the building, and the people who played there.

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, accordion player wearing a hat

part of a mural, the band of story tellers, a group of musicians all with blue skin, bass player wearing a hat

With support from the City of Toronto and the Bloor Annex BIA

Follow the pointy fingers!

4 black and white stencils of hand and fingers pointing, on the sidewalk, pointing towards a mural on a wall

In a Kensington alley just north of Dundas there are several new faces.

two large faces painted side by side in an alley

below: A very bright face by Curtia Wright

large face mural on an exterior wall in an alley, in bright fluorescent oranges and blues, wearing a large floppy hat

below: An up close look at ‘Lovely’ by ahayahisone (aka Philip A. Saunders, or P.S.)

close up of a face in a mosaic like style with shapes of different colours making up the skin, green eyes, red lips, by Philip A. Saunders, called Lovely

below: A portrait of Philip Saunders by luvsumone (aka Moises Frank)

portrait of a man in shades of brown, orange and purple, with a hat, by luvsomone, a mural in an alley

A Poser bunny face and a companion mini happy face too

a black on silver poser bunny painting on a wood fence in an alley, a little happy face is in the top left corner of the picture

Bonjour from the future

black woman's head in space helmet of clear glass, futuristic clothing around her neck, Jamaican flag painted on her collar, purple lips

This one looks very much like it’s another P.S. painting.

male head in many different colours

Not as bright, but still surviving in the lane, are a couple of older faces

faded, on an old wood fence is a profile picture of a woman that is faded, the wood grain comes through very clearly, some peeling paint on the edges

on a fence that is vertical slats of wood, a portrait of a woman in blue

Mario sticks his head above text graffiti that says flyguy

head of Mario from the Nintendo game peaks over the text graffiti

“Keep yo head out the clouds” to which someone has responded.  At first I thought the response was “Nah, Rock that cloud.” but on closer inspection I see that I am wrong.  I like my answer better!

wood fence painted red with yellow words that say Keep yo head out the clouds, with a couple of white clouds, one with green eyes and a nose and mouth

on a wood fence, a drawing in white pencil of a man in a tie, beside him are the words cloudy daze.  above him are two clouds

506 is the number of the Carlton streetcar which runs from High Park in the west to Main Street subway station in the east.  The older cars still run on this route and one advantage of these older streetcars is that they have windows that open.  This makes it easy to take pictures while travelling; yesterday I went eastward from Yonge as far as Coxwell, sometimes on the streetcar and sometimes on foot.

below: Pointing the camera out the window, D & J Mart Convenience store at the corner of Gerrard & Sackville.

picture taken out the window of a streetcar on Gerrard, an older 2 storey brick building with retail on the lower level, two large old wood hydro poles

below: A new curvy building rises up on the corner of Carlton and Church.  The older building on the left with the R U on the top is the old Maple Leaf Gardens, now part of Ryerson University as well as a large Loblaws.

new highrise building under construction beside the old brick building that was Maple Leaf Gardens on Carlton street.

below: People, striped hoardings, and closed sidewalks.

people walking past painted hoardings in front of a construction site, painted in stripes

below: Waiting outside Jenny’s at the corner of Parliament and Gerrard where the streetcar makes another turn.

a young man stands beside a stroller outside Jenny's Convenience store on Parliament street, large red and white sign with kit kat logo on it twice - once at each end

below: Another convenience store on a corner on Gerrard.  This time there is also a construction site in the picture!  Are there more construction sites than variety stores or vice versa in this city?

from the streetcar window, a food mart on the corner and construction across the street from it.

people sitting on a TTC street car, three people, two women and a man.

below: Looking south on Broadview at Gerrard.

Broadview looking south from Gerrard with utility poles and lots of wires, people crossing the street, some traffic, the clears with the sign with a red cross on it

below:  The 506 streetcar passes through Chinatown East (the area around Broadview & Gerrard) where many of the old houses are also businesses.

older houses turned into businesses on the ground floor, two semis with Chinese businesses, one is Ly Ly beauty salon

below: The southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard now has an A & W restaurant which seems like an intruder in an otherwise Chinese/Asian section of town.

looking at the southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard with a large A and W restaurant on the corner. Beyond that, the other stores and restaurants are Chinese

below: At the intersection of Gerrard and Carlaw, where the railway passes over the roads, the walls have been freshly painted.  The north wall is a series of abstract shapes and colours like this.

a person in an electric wheelchair, or motorized scooter, passes by a wall that is covered with street art, traveling on the sidewalk

below: The new painting incorporates the older art that was there. In the center of the newly painted rectangles are two grey shapes, these are originals.  They are part of a 1996 installation by Dereck Revington called ‘Blue Fire’.  There is still a plaque that describes these aluminum pieces as “a constellation of five paired aluminum fragments etched with traces of a poem by Robin Blaser and suspended from the entrances to the underpass”.   Strange grey shapes (flames?) on dirty white concrete.  Regardless of what you think of the concept, the reality is that it was drab.

part of a railway overpass has been painted with street art

below: Lead artist Kirsten McCrea (also known as Hello Kirsten) and her assistants, Victoria Day & Julian Palma, have certainly brightened up the space!  The south wall is a series of frames pictures of hands holding flowers.   As seen from across the street ….

railway underpass street art, seen throughthe supporting concrete arches, paintings of hands holding flowers, framed

below: … and from close up

a dark brown hand holding a sprig of small light purple flowers

below: And lastly, the end support wall of the overpass where the flowers and the stylized shapes come together.

painting on a concrete pillar of a railway overpass, a rose with leaves, stem, and thornes, a collage of abstract shapes and

below: Store signs near Pape including the bilingual Italy Hair Design – but not in Italian!

store fronts on Gerrard including one that is painted bright green, signs over the doors including the Italy hair design store with sign in English and Chinese

below: With remnants of the past such as string of pennants faded to grey….

old three storey brick building with big bay windows on the upper two floors. Ground floor is a store or restaurant with bright red door and yellow metal bars over the windows

below: … or an old street sign still attached to the building.

side of an old brick building with stone features, an old street sign on the building Gerrard Street, now a law office with signs in the windows

below: After Greenwood, the 506 streetcar passes through Little India before it turns north on Coxwell.

food and containers on a table outside a store, with pink and green floral table cloth

below:  In the late afternoon and evening, Little India is much more lively.  Many shops sell food on the street – roasted corn on the cob (a pile is ready to cook on the green table here) as well as south Asian foods.   To the right of the corn is a bundle of sugar cane.

Mumbai Paan shop on Gerrard Street in Little India with a barbeque on the sidewalk, a bucket of corn and a pile of sugar cane

These few kilometres on a streetcar route have opened a small but fairly typical cross section of the city starting with the newer, taller, shinier center.  There’s quite a bit of multiculturalism, some history, and some colourful new art.   It’s a story that plays out all over the city in many similar yet different forms.  Familiar but unique.

 

below: Searching for a story? 😇

three people looking into the sun. Two are shielding their eyes with their hands, wearing sunglases, looking slightly upwards as if searching for something.