Posts Tagged ‘street art’

Late in November, work was started on a new mural in Graffiti Alley

below: Working on the facial details

a man on a ladder painting a mural in Graffiti Alley,

below: The work in progress.

one man with video camera filming another man painting a mural in Graffiti Alley

It is a memorial (and tribute) to Mike “Wunder” Kennedy who was active in Toronto’s street art community.  He was the one who coordinated the painting of the large murals around Broadview and Gerrard that featured the seven new wonders of the world.  You can find pictures of these murals in a blog post from September 2016 .

below: Mike’s portrait when it was partially finished.

middle section of a partially painted mural, in honour of Mike Kennedy, his portrait.

The mural was painted by Getso, Sight, Arms, Wales, Tenso2, Braes, and CTRJ

 

painting the Mike Kennedy tribute mural

tribute memorial mural to Mike Kennedy in Graffiti Alley

below: The finished portrait.

Mike Kennedy portrait

mural, white dog, with a row of spray paint cans in front

I like to think that Mike would be happy with the results.

big bright pink flowers, mural on a garage door by Blazeworks
above: Bright pink flowers by Blazeworks

I shared David French Lane with some garbage men, a bright green truck, and a lot of smelly garbage the other day. Luckily there were lots of murals to distract me from the smell!

a green GFL garbage truck in a lane as men pick up garbage on garbage day

below: The north end of David French Lane is at Barbara Barrett Lane, immediately south of Bloor.  Here, elicser painted a mural in his characteristic style that I have already blogged about.   It is also where there is a mural of a blue and white train.  I didn’t take any photos of it this time because it isn’t new and it wasn’t part of the Wall Expressions project.

corner where two alleys meet, a green P parking lot and a building with murals on two sides.

Quite a few of the garages in David French Lane had been painted sometime in the past.  Many had been tagged over or were in need of updating.  The ‘Wall Expressions – You are Here’ project provided the lane with a fresh coat of paint back in mid-September.

below: A large TTC bus drives into the alley by dudeman, surrounded by skulls of many colours.

a mural by dudeman, TTX bus, spadina sign, and lots of different coloured skulls

‘You are Here’ was the result of a collaboration between StreetARToronto, the Tranzac Club, the local community, and last but not least Team Spudbomb who organized the artists who participated.

below: More colours here too – lots of movement and energy too.   Mural painted by Chris Perez.

a garage covered with colour splotches

below: Almost didn’t get this shot – the garage door started opening as I stood there.  A geometric abstract mural by Andre Kan.   It reminds me of the chaos of roads in the city

geometric abstract mural in browns and red and blues, by andre

below: Another geometric design – this time by mediah.

geometric abstract mural in browns and greys, by mediah,

below: whales by wales, swimming in the lane

large mural with marine life theme, whale, blue background for water,

a row of garages with the doors painted with murals, garbage ready for pick up in front of them, in a lane, large tree too

below: Midtown cinema by ACK

mural on a garage, red and light brown text on the botto, grey tones picture of midtown cinema on the top part

below: A portrait of Ed Mirvish holding an iconic Honest Eds sign, painted by spud.

street art portrait of David Mirvish holding iconic Honest Eds signs

garage with two sides painted in street art, lane, backs of houses, no leaves on tree,

sides and front of garage with street art on them

below: Mural by fly vandals

mural on side of building, purple,

mural on garage

below: An apt phrase – ‘Be Here Now’ beside a fence of spudbombs.

a garage door with the words Be Here Now beside a fence painted with spud bombs, hand grenade shaped characters with eyes and smiling mouths

It’s early November and autumn is here – I think.   Some leaves, like on the locust and maple trees below, have turned colours and begun to fall but others remain green and on the tree.  After the warm than usual October that we were fortunate to have, the weather has turned to grey and damp and all too seasonally November.   Luckily, a heavier coat and a scarf is all that is required – so off we go!

autumn street scene with locust tree with yellow leaves, sidewalk, some dead leaves on the ground, grass still green, orange leaves on the tree in the background

below: I spotted these little rusted Coke and Sprite signs on a house on Christie street.   Like the autumn leaves, the weather has changed their colours and I especially like the pale turquoise that the Sprite bottle has become.  It nicely matches the trim on the neighbour’s house.

three old rusted advertising signs for coca cola and sprite, metal signs, upper level of a building

below: Another example of the effects of time on metal.  A little less rust here but there are some interesting shapes and forms created by the peeling paint.

metal corrugated metal wall, close up detail of peeling green paint and rust

below: Looking into a shop window to see a sad and lonely cat.  Sad eyes?  or are they eyes of a cat dreaming of the outside world and wishing it wasn’t relegated to a shelf of old and empty things.

looking into a window of an antique store, a porcelain cat, sitting upright, with sad look on its face, on a shelf with empty bottles and jugs

below: More old, but certainly not sad.   It’s a bright, shiny and obviously well-loved Chrysler.

an old orangish brown Chrysler car parked in a driveway, front facing the street,

below: Advice to heed.

red words painted on the side of a white building in an alley, words say - When you love someone, let them know

below: No wise words here – just scrawls and tags.  But isn’t the orange a fantastic colour for a wall?

orange stucco wall with graffiti on it.

below: Tiny! A teensie tiny little house with a lawn that’s sparse but neatly kept.  Once you start looking for these little treasures, you realize that there are quite a few of them in Toronto.  I wonder if anyone has documented them?

very small one storey house between two large houses, green lawns, sidewalk in front,

Warning – tangent ahead!  This reminds of a children’s story called “Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball” written by Florence Heide Parry.  It’s a story of two men living in two different houses.  Benjamin was a very big man living in a very small house while Barnaby was a very small man living in a big house.  The illustrations of Benjamin squeezing into his mini sized house were wonderful (by Sally Matthews).  Of course, to live happily ever after the two men trade houses.

“Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!”

below: Benjamin Budge sleeps ‘in’ his bedillustration by Sally Matthews of a picture of a large man sleeping half on the floor and half on his tiny bed in his tiny bedroom. From the children's book Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Small

below: Veering back to the subject of architecture… this style of apartment building was very common in the 1920’s.  Three storeys, no elevator and probably no parking but with charming little details in the brickwork.  If I remember correctly, this building is on Bathurst street just south of Dupont.

three storey brick apartment building with central white door entranceway

Little vegetable gardens in both back and front yards are very numerous here, probably because of the combination of the large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled here and the popularity of ‘urban farming’ – veggies instead of grass. Being November, there were only a few remnants of this year’s harvest – a few tomato plants here and some Swiss chard there.

below: One back yard still has all its wooden stakes standing on guard. A forest of stakes.

chain link fence in front of a large number of wooden stakes that were used in a vegetable garden earlier in the season, but now autumn so there are no plants

below: Another way to garden in the city!

patio outside a house is covered with plastics bins of different kinds, all of which have been turned into planters, autumn now so plants no longer alive but boxes and coolers and bins remain.

below: Xena the warrior princess still watches over Vermont Avenue. She’s faded a bit since I last took her picture two years ago. You can see her (and others) in Neighbourhood watch good guys that I posted in 2015.

altered neighbourhood watch sign, with a picture in the center,

 There are lots of lanes and alleys in Seaton village (this part of the city).   One of last year’s blog posts ‘same, same, but different‘ is about some of the lanes.  There is some street art in these alleys but not too much – here are a couple from yesterday’s visit.

below: Art follows life or is it vice verse?

red leaves on a vine growing in front of a white fence that had a mural of birdhouse and plants and flowers painted on it.

below: Flowers? Or just smudges on a pole?

smudges on a metal pole that look a bit like flowers

below: Playing basketball beside Toronto – a rather lopsided photo I’m afraid.

basketball hoop above a garage door that has a large map of Toronto, in blue and green painted on it.

white garage door with some of the rectangles painted in turquoise, orange and purple, with swirls under the rectanagles that look like G's

semi circle covering bottom half of garage door, looks like bald head with a few curly hairs growing upwards from the scalp

mural on an exterior wall outside Kos restaurant on Bathurst Street, the mural is in the front of the restaurant by the patio, no one sitting outside, blue umbrellas are down.

below: Herringbone pattern made from bricks.

chevron pattern (herring bone pattern) of bricks on a driveway, some autumn leaves on the bricks

below: A rather forlorn looking bench and seat outside the laundromat.

front of a laundromat. blue sign that says coin laundry, an old bench and an old chair sitting outside by the front door. two windows through which you can see the washing machines

below: A newspaper rack decorated with a garland of fake ivy.  Insert fake news reference here ….

a newspaper rack outside a corner convenience store, the newspapers (there aren't many) are held down with bricks, the rack is decorated with a fake ivy garland

an old chair on a porch, side view.

looking through a park to a street with a blue house and a red house, cars parked in front, autumn leaves,

below: Today I’m going to end on a dangerous note.  Keep walking and Stay safe!

construction site with a danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to life

black and white realistic drawing of a sneering woman with a hat on looking out of a window on the second storey of a brick building.

What did we see on Sunday was we walked along Roncesvalles?  There’s lots to look at here, it’s worth a stroll.  We decided to keep our eyes open for little details, the ones easily missed.  This blog post is a collection of some of the smaller graffiti we found.

below: Drooling is a sign of affection not of infection…. warning, I’ll probably not take this advice to heart if you start drooling in my face.

sticker on a black wall, black writing on white, drooling is a sign of affection not of infection, drawing of a man's head drooling

below: The Uber 5000 little yellow birdie has big dreams, perhaps even supreme dreams.

two stickers on the side of Bell telephone booth one just has the word supreme and the other is an uber 5000 yellow birdie holding two words in red letters,

below: Dreaming’s done, time to eat.   Even birds get hungry.

an uber 5000 yellow birdie sticker on the back of a street sign, he's holding a knife and fork

below: I can’t decipher the writing over the head – cracklyaid? cracklyard? crackbyard? So we have a mystery artist who drew a cute green alligator with something in his hand and something green on his head.

a sticker on the side of a grey metal box, a green alligator like character, walking on two legs, with a green head on top (two heads), drawn on white background that had words printed on it.

below: Look! Urban Ninja Squadron has put on a shirt and tie.  He’s looking almost respectable in those glasses but he can’t fool us, that pooh hat gives him away!

a large tbonez pasteup of an urban ninja squadron character, head and shoulders, but wearing a shirt and tie and blue rimmed glasses, also a brown pooh hat on his head.

below: Ah! Now this is more like the Urban Ninja Squadron that I know.   Here he is taking flight with the help of a drone (droning on?).  Beside him (and running away?) is a little guy from slole.

two pasteups on a plywood board on hoardings, one is an urban ninja squadron character holding onto a drone in flight and the other is a simplistic man with a frowny face, an its all over character, both are in black and whtie

below: Many stickers and paste-ups from slole (slole-slaps) have appeared around Roncesvalles.   Here is one on a bench.  The pumpkin head seems appropriate for the season.  “It’s all over” appears on most of his/her work.

sticker on a bench, it's all over, with pumpkin head

A few more from “it’s all over”.  (Does the title of this blog post) make a bit more sense now?

two it's all over stickers on a poster on a wall. one sitcker is a blue circle and the other is a girl with a green face and glasses looking towards the sky

stencil, black on white, pasteup, black man in silhouette with his arms out, with words that say Enimem believes it's all over, slole

a small pink square sticker with a stick drawing of a man's head and shoulders, with words that say It's all over

below: What? The Toronto Sun is all over?  

on the side of a red Toronto Sun newspaper box is a large paste up by slole of a person in grey hoodie with a pumpkin head, holding some papers,

And now this blog post is all over too.

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