Posts Tagged ‘street art’

On the east side of 1533 Dundas West there is a large mural, partially obscured by trees but easily visible from the street. It was painted last year by Jieun June Kim, Pablo West and Giovanni Zamora as part of a cultural exchange between (Toronto) Canada and (Valparaiso) Chile.

large mural on the side of a building beside green space, with a couple of trees in front

It can also be seen at the new Dundas West Museum. This is an open air museum that features the murals and street art in the area  bounded by Lansdowne Avenue on the west, College Street on the north, Bathurst Street on the east and the Union Pearson Express railway tracks on the south.  They are brand new – their official launch was just this past week.   Check their website for more information about the murals and the artists who created them.

part of a mural by Jieun June Kim, Pablo West, and Giovanni Zamora, a male guitar player, with large brim hat, on background made of multicoloured cubes on point

part of a mural, two women musicians, a trumpet player and a violin player

violin player in mural along with woman playing a drum with her eys closed and head bent forward

a red and white Canadian flag printed on a sticker that says Toronto Canada that someone has added their tag to, stuck on a utility pole in an alley

Today’s wander down Graffiti Alley yielded more than just a few new paintings and bits of graffiti.  I also came across a group of students from da Vinci school who were there doing an assignment that involved filming each other giving rants in the alley.

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley

two girls checking a video on a phone, other people nearby, in graffiti alley

below: Nipsey Hussle memorial mural by Sum Artist

black and white mural portrait of a young man in a toque, signed sum artist

one boy is filming another as he talks in the alley, in front of a colourful mural

woman in red dress and red shoes, graffiti on an alley, on a wood fence that has been painted white

two stickers on a graffit covered metal utiity pole. one sticker is a black drone in a grey circle

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley - in front of Uber 5000's mural

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley in main part of alley

below: Smile!

graffiti, word smile

three girls working on a video in a corner of an alley, on is filming with a phone and one is talking and one is holding the paper with the words on it.

a poorly done blue faced woman with red hair, beside a doorway with a black, white, and red, geometric face

a boy in shorts and a baseball cap is filming another boy in blue fleece and camo pants as he is talking in front of a mural in graffiti alley

mural of a pink praying mantis on the right and some students in graffiti alley on the left

teacher, students, and other people in graffiti alley

black and white painting of a man's face, very large, part of a mural in an alley

Today’s encounter reminded me that I once encountered Rick Mercer in the alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program – photo from October 2011.

photo from 2011, Rick Mercer and film crew walking down Graffiti Alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program.

One last thing that I want to address here – maybe you could call it a rant of my own.  Except that it will be in pictures not words.  There’s something new in Graffiti Alley; it’s not unexpected but that doesn’t make it any easier, or better.   The old Stephenson Rental building is on its way down.

demolition sign on a metal fence in front of a graffiti covered wall

In fact, it’s mostly down.

only one corner remaining, demolition of building in graffiti alley, covered with street art

demolition of building in graffiti alley

and mostly sad

demolition of building in graffiti alley, remaining buildings in the background

I’ve called them blobs for lack of a better word. It’s almost as if someone’s conceptual art project was released into the wild.

three black and white photo paste ups that look like ameobas or primitive life forms on a concrete wall, outdoors,

below: These two blobs look a like amoebas, or other single cell life forms. Can’t you picture them swimming in a pool of muddy water?

two black and white photo paste ups that look like ameobas or primitive life forms on a concrete wall, outdoors,

below: There is definitely a “life form” quality to them. With a little imagination, the middle one looks like a chicken embryo inside an egg. In fact, all three could be embryonic.

three black and white photo paste ups that look like ameobas or primitive life forms on a concrete wall, outdoors,

below: Now the life forms have evolved a bit and developed tentacles or little stringy bits like a jellyfish has. They seem to be interacting.

seven black and white photo paste ups that look like ameobas or primitive life forms on a concrete wall, outdoors,

Have fun with them!
I found them on a wall on Runnymede Road just south of the CPR tracks at St. Clair.

UPDATE: These blobs are water photograms produced by ‘J’ . A photogram is an image made without a camera; objects (in this case, water) are placed directly on light sensitive paper. When a light is shone onto the objects, different shades of grey are produced depending on how much light reaches that paper surface. The more light, the blacker that area of the image becomes. White areas are produced by objects that allow no light to pass through.

Every once in a while, but not as often as I should, I go through old files and folders of pictures that I have taken.  Pictures that I have meant to use but never got around to it.  Today I found a series of photos from mid-February, back when there was snow on the ground.   In amongst them were some graffiti and street art shots from somewhere between Chinatown and Kensington and those are the ones that I chose to show you here.

terra cotta coloured wall with a black door. graffiti and tags in the door including a pasteup poster of two men. A red stencil of a maple leaf is on the wall

below: A tribute to Prince on a utility pole

graffiti featuring face of Prince, on a utility pole

below: Mural by @emstroart (aka Rei Misiri) and @kuyaspirit

large mural on the side of a red brick house

below: It’s seen better days.  A grubby and dirty dog in the water.

old picture of a white dog in a pond, with yellow background, painted on a wood fence. One board is broken, paint is peeling, fence is dirty

snowy alley with two ruts for wheels of cars, garages with graffiti on left side, small church near the end of the alley, large condo and CN Tower in the distance

below: Two grominator creatures- one of them is an historic figure (!?) beside a cat

a grominator mural on a white garage door in a lane

below: …. and the other has a happy friend

a grominator piece of graffiti and a pink smiley face monster, both on a brown garage door in an alley

snow covered lane with garages

below: A few hearts and a little star in a whirlwind of colour.

three tiny yellow hearts and a tiny yellow star drawn on a wall with colourful spray paint graffiti

below: Even the pole was included.

text street art on the lower level of a building in a lane

workmen on the side of a street, windter, snow, alley with a mural on the right,

a bike locked to a tree on a sidewalk in front of a mural on a building, snow,

This blog post is a result of a walk from last week, from Dundas and Jarvis to Jones and Gerrard – from downtown into Leslieville/Riverdale on a beautiful day for a walk.   As usual, I strayed onto a few alleys along the way.   The pictures below may or may not be in sequential order but it doesn’t matter, does it?

below: Although many of the buildings around it have been demolished, Filmores Hotel remains.  I’m not sure if that’s a comment on the ownership of the building, or its use.

Filmores Hotel with large sign above the hotel and a black and white sign over the front entrance, old brick building

Once upon a time, e.g. in 1916, Dundas Street only existed westward from Ossington.   There was no Dundas Street downtown or in the eastern part of the city.  After WW1, a collection of smaller streets were widened and joined together to form Dundas Street as far as Broadview.   That is why there are these curves in the street between George and Sherbourne.

construction on dundas street, a vacant lot where a building was demolished, construction equipment and a dump truck working at the site, old building beside

below: Maybe it was once someone’s large house?  Now it’s looking a little run down but it’s still home to George’s Pizza and George’s BBQ.  The one on the corner is Piassa Injera and Takeout which is Ethiopian.

a large old victorian brick building, once a large house now divided up, 3 restaurants at street level, Georges Pizza, Georges BBQ, and one in a foreign alphabet, Ethiopian restaurant Piassa Injera

below:  Looking back towards downtown and the wall of glass and steel that has been erected.

dundas street east, looking back towards downtown from Sherbourne street, new condos and highrises in steel and glass overwhelming the older shorter buildings on Dundas such as Filmores Hotel and Georges pizza

below: The True Love Cafe at the corner of Sherbourne and Dundas. It’s had a fresh coat of paint and the hearts on the exterior wall have been fixed up. Only the sign needs a little TLC.

the True Love Cafe on the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne, purple walls on exterior ground floor, large red awning over entrance,

a man with a cane in one hand, and pushing a bike with other walks down an alley. he also has a backpack on his back

below: The redevelopment of Regent Park continues.

reflections in hoardings that are covered with a picture of yellow curtains and brown wood, sidewalk beside the hoardings and a wood structure over the sidewalk

below: New buildings in Regent Park.

looking through the window of a building under construction, concrete walls, some black pipes, also in orange paint the word exit with an arrow


below:
I stopped for a drink at Daniels Spectrum where I came across an interesting exhibit…. A sample of some of the photographs on display at Daniels Spectrum. They are part of a project, #ShootForPeace, by Yasin Osman. Each features youth from Regent Park with the theme of the exhibit being family and how family can be defined.

6 black and white photos of people on a wall in a gallery, photos of Regent Park residents, by Yasim Osman

below: One of the stained glass windows from St. Bartholomews church, in memory of Sister Theresa, 1891-1988.  I’ve walked past this church many times but this was the first time that I went inside.   It is a small, quiet church with some nice stained glass.

stained glass window in St. Bartholomews church

below: Graffiti on a wall.

graffiti on a red brick wall that says Space is Fake

below: Walking her dog on the Don River trail.

looking down from a bridge, a woman walks her black dog along a path beside the Don River, also train tracks running parallel to the path and river

below: Looking north towards the Gerrard Street bridge.

brige over the Don River, earl spring, no snow or ice but no leaves yet on the trees, Don Valley Parkway, road, to the right of the river, looking north towards Gerrard street

below: Looking south along the Bayview Extension to the new development in the East Don Lands.

looking south on Bayview street from Dundas as it passes large metal hydro poles, also new development (condos) in East Don Lands, fire truck on road

below: Just east of the DVP a truck was offloading new cars including this black Rolls Royce.

a brand new black Bentley car being unloaded from a truck

below: Same car, looking east towards Dons Milk store

new rolls royce parked on the side of a street after being unloaded from a truck

below: Waiting for summer

a faded red canoe leans against a wood fence in a backyard

In the early 1950s, the City of Toronto began a new road project to extend Dundas eastwards from Broadview to Kingston Road to serve as a new four-lane traffic arterial, intended as an alternative to Gerrard and Queen. Nine streets were widened to form the new Dundas street and in some cases, alleyways were used to connect these streets, and this is clearly visible as garages and backyards continue to front on to Dundas near Jones Avenue.

row of garages facing onto the street, backs of houses and a very large tree

open garage door with a window at the back of the garage, other garage beside it has closed door, can also see back of the two houses

a blue bike leans against a chainlink fence, behind it is a piece of street art that says happy days are here again, with painting of a man walking

Dundas Street is a major thoroughfare in the city – there aren’t many family homes that front onto it.    Jones, other hand, is a residential street.  The houses are an eclectic mix, most of which are fairly modest – or less.

an open gate leading to an entrance, a few stairs up to a porch

below: Flat roofs on small, narrow rowhouses with tiny front yards.

two storey row houses with flat roofs,

below: Half white and half yellow.

a semi-divided house, one side white and the other side yellow

porches on houses

below: Once upon a time, Toronto street signs were these blue and white metal signs that were attached to the buildings on the corners.  They are hard to read from the street!  Beginning in the 1950’s they were replaced with the signs that we are more accustomed to seeing.  There are still quite a few of these old ones spread out around the city in older neighbourhoods.   It is rare to find a house with two signs.

two old Toronto street signs, blue metal, attached to a house at Jones Ave and Sproat Ave

below: An ad for W.N. McEachern & Sons Ltd. that appeared in the Toronto Star on 26 April 1912 (online source).   They developed a few areas in the east part of Toronto including Eastmount Park which was between Danforth and Gerrard on the east side of Jones.

newspaper ad from 1912 in the Toronto Star

row houses in brown, white, and grey

below: Near the corner of Jones and Gerrard, surprise, surprise, a hole in the ground.

a construction site, a hole in the ground, with backs of houses behind the find surrounding it

below: Before I end this post, one last cute little white house tucked in between two larger brick residences.

a tiny, narrow, two storey house beside a larger brick house

Safe walking everyone!

below: Sometimes I love fences!

a medium sized black dog stands behind a chain link fence beside a white pickup truck

a red truck parked in an alley with a lot of stuff beside it

large painting of a face, street art, yellowish skin, small moustache and beard, glasses, eyes looking straight ahead

Hope Wall on Spadina Ave., near Kensington Market.

wall, plywood hoardings, covered with paint and graffiti as a Hope Wall, in memory of Andre Alexander who was killed when hit by a car. painting of his face, plus large space for people to write messages, on Spadina near Kensington Market,

below: Messages written on the wall for Andre Alexander, aka Hip Pop Art who died in October 2018.

messages written on a wall

a man sleeping on the sidewalk in front of a wall covered with street art, graffiti and art in memory of Andre Alexander who was an artist who worked in Kensington

wall and doorway painted purple, a black man's face in greys on one side of the entranceway, other graffiti too

 

large mural on the side of a building, bus shelter and stop to the side with people waiting. Mural is by Nick Sweetman and features many bees and flowers, very large bees

On the southwest corner of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West, on the side of Supercoffee, is another large, colourful Nick Sweetman pollinators mural.  It features 6 different types of bees commonly found in Toronto.

below: Honey bee (apis mellifera)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee

below: Bumble bee (bombus affinis)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee on top of a purple coneflower

below: Mason bee (osmia conjuncta)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a blue bee

below: Carpenter bee (xylocopa virginica)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee on a purple flower

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, corner of supercoffee building, several bees and many flowers

below: Green Sweat bee (augochloropsis metallica)

in a mural of bees, a small green bee, a sweat bee,

below: Leafcutter bee (megachile latimanus)

large painting of a bee on a flower, part of a mural, leaf cutter bee

The mural was commissioned by the Mount Dennis BIA with help from the City of Toronto’s Mural Street Art Program as well as Metrolinx.

a sign that describes Nick Sweetman's mural of bees and pollinators in Mt Dennis

“This mural features an urban skyscape beneath which a vibrant world of bees feeding on pollen comes to life. It explores the intersection between human-made spaces and natural forces, and encourages consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants. Toronto is one of the most biodiverse area in the world for bees, with over 300 species found in the city and surrounding area. River corridors like the Humber River and Black Creek flourish with wild flowers and native plants – important habitat for native pollinators. Plants are catalysts for the energy all animals depend on and bees are crucial to all flowering plants’ reproduction. “