Posts Tagged ‘street art’

From the monochrome past to the coloured present – there’s a new mural on the corner of St. Clair West and Spring Grove painted by Christiano De Araujo.    Old black and white photos of the area and its people provide the background for a group of ten very modern and diverse people.

looking diagonally across the intersection of St. Clair West and Spring Grove Rd to a new mural that has just been finished on the side a building, painted by Christiano De Araujo.

painting of two young women, one blond and one withshort curly bright red hair, on top of painting of black and white vintage photos

painting of a black and white photo from 1930 of a woman holding a baby

below: The top photo is 1732 St. Clair West in 1911.

painting, in colour, of a group of people standing in front of paintings of some old monochrome historical pictures of the St. Clair area

below: On the top, very left corner, the black and white photo is a street scene – It’s St Clair Ave looking east from Prescott Avenue, under the railway bridge and beyond.  The bridge was built in 1931 and the photo was taken shortly after that.

new mural on the side of a 2 storey building, a series of vintage black and white photos of the area and people, with paintings of 8 modern people in colour

This is a StART (StreetARToronto) project

This is another “come along with me as I walk” blog.  Let me share some of the sights from Thursday’s walk which started at Ossington subway station and sort of followed Davenport south to Queen Street with a few diversions down alleys and side streets.

below: Ooops!  Dead end alleys too.  That’s one way to keep people out!

chainlink and barbed wire fence acorss the backyard of a house

below: A starry man (star face?) watches 007 below.   Street art in an alley.

street art in an alley - corner of a concrete block building, metal staircase as well, blue star with a man's face inside it, a racing car near the bottom with licence plate 007

below: More painting, this time Princess Leia and a strange red man with a latch in his ear.

street art in an alley - red man's head, with protruding lower jaw and two large yellow teeth, white eyes, on a door, black and white picture of Star Wars Princess Leia on the wall beside

below: If he’s aiming for the garbage bin, he’s missed.

street art in an alley - word radar on grey metal door, with screaming face below, on the wall beside is a moon shpaed figure, with arm out and seems to be holding something in its fingers but nothing there, garbage bins (real) below

below: ‘Always fresh bread!’ according to the mural on Nova Era bakery… but maybe you see the edge of the blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign peeking into the picture….

an old and fading mural on the side of an old bakery, showing two bakers, male, baking bread, with chef's hats and white aprons on

below:  … because a 12 storey condo may be moving in.  Retail is planned for the lower level but it may the same old same old glass and steel development with excessively high ceilings on the ground floor and zero street appeal.  Please prove me wrong!

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on the side of a building, under a window, beside a mural of a baker in chefs hat and white apron icing a three layer wedding cake

below: Across the street, is this empty storefront.  Two intriguing blackboards remain – the one on the left says Thank You! and leaves you lines to fill in with things you are thankful for.  On the right, a “Before I Die” board.   What are you thankful for? What would you like to do before you die?  The business once here didn’t die, they just moved around the corner to Bloor Street.

empty store front with a bike parked inside, a red wall beside the door way, dirty glass in front, reflections in the glass

below: A bit of local ‘colour’ complete with ‘colourful’ language.

the back of a cyclist stopped at the side of a street by a bus stop, and traffic light, a woman stands on the sidewalk with a large puffy pink scarf around her neck and a lot of belongings with her

below: This building is on the northeast corner of Bloor and Dovercourt.

old square brick building on the north east corner of Dovercourt and Bloor, apartments on top and stores on ground level

below: I haven’t been able to find out anything about Valentinos but I quite like the debonair rider with a rose between his teeth.

old faded mural of a man on horseback, with hat and cape, the word Valentinos is written near the top, most of the mural has been painted over and is now just green

below: Vintage photo of the Bloor and Dovercourt intersection.  No cars!

vintage coloured postcard of the intersection of Bloor and Dovercourt in Toronto, hydro poles, brick buildings, streetcar, woman crossing road, no cars

below: The red and white building in the postcard above is on the southeast corner of the intersection. It is now home to a Pizza Pizza. Most of it’s large windows have been covered over with large pictures.  The streetcar tracks on Bloor are long gone and Davies butcher shop is now a Starbucks.

below: I walked past St. Michael Archangel Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church (on Delaware Ave) and a Portuguese Presbyterian Church (on Dovercourt).  Then I came across the Centennial Methodist Church.  It was built in 1906 and converted into residences in 2010.

front of Centennial Methodist church on Dovercourt, now apartments, red brick building with large round top windows

historical plaque for centennial methodist church on dovercourt road

CENTENNIAL METHODIST CHURCH, 1906, This Neo-Gothic inspired church replaced an earlier Centennial Methodist Church built on this site in 1891. Notable design elements include decorative stone trim, three central Tudor-arch windows, and flanking square towers topped with pyramidal steeples. It was renamed Centennial United Church in , after the creation of the United Church of Canada. In 1986, the Nisei congregation of the Toronto Japanese Church joined Centennial United to form Centennial Japanese Church. A residential redevelopment was completed in 2010.

 

below: A little farther south on Dovercourt I passed this for sale sign.   I stopped and took a photo of it because of the words in pink: “Laneway suite potential”.  Of course I had to check the lane to see if anyone had built suites back there.   Suites, according to the city of Toronto, are rooms built over garages and not stand alone residences.

for sale sign on the grass in front of a house

below: It is a neat and tidy lane but so far with no suites

Bill Cameron Lane

below: But I did see this mural there.

garage door covered with a mural of a boy walking in a birch forest in the snow with his dog following him

below: I also noticed that the backyards on both sides of the alley were very deep, wonderfully deep actually, especially for a city house.  You could probably sever it in two quite easily.

backyard, view from an alley

below: In fact, something like that has happened a bit farther south where someone took one house, renovated it, and added three more residences with additional access from the alley behind.   I notice that there are 4 water meters here as well as a gate that possibly provides access to the houses behind.

part of a modernized and renovated house with new houses built behind it

In case you’re curious, the four houses are all for sale.  The house in front is a semi and the asking price is $2,400,000.  For that you get 2992 square feet and 4 bedrooms.  The others are slightly smaller and slightly less expensive.

below: A rare large vacant lot

the side of a house on the other side of a large vacant lot

below: Norbregas Variety and Grocery.

Norbregas variety and grocery store, the ground floor of a house on a corner in a residential area, Dovercourt

below: And nearby, a cafe with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi signs

a deli, cafe, with old coca cola, coke, signs as well as pepsi signs. chairs and tables out front, large windows, two boys wakling past, on a corner in a residential area, old house

below: The streets around Dovercourt are all very nice with lots of large solid old houses and tall trees – in this case, a chestnut tree.

chestnut tree and large old houses on a street

below: I even spotted some wildlife!

two statues of small deer in the front yard of a house, one is lying down and looking at the other who is standing nearby, both are in the shade of a large tree

below: Northeast corner of College & Dovercourt

three storey red brick building on corner of college and dovercourt, northeast corner, stores on the lower leve, traffic lights, utility poles and streetcar wires

below: Letters embedded in the sidewalk where one of the branches of the Garrison Creek passes underground, just south of College Street.  The creek was buried more than a century ago.  In the early days, the creek was treated more like an open sewer than a river.  As the city developed, the stream was diverted into underground sewers (1880’s) and streets were built above it.   By 1920, almost a century ago, the stream was entirely diverted into the sewer system.

brass letters embedded in the sidewalk that say Garrison Creek, also a round metal medallion with the same words

below: The age of this car seemed to fit well with the buildings around it.

man stands beside on older car in a parking lot surrounded by old brick buildings

below: Some of Dr. Spock still remains.  He hasn’t been beamed up  yet.

once a mural of Dr Spock, now tagged over although Spock's head is still visible

below: Part of a mural by elicser in a lane behind Dundas West

elicser painting of a man in a brown toque

below: Looking east along Dundas, from Dovercourt

view along Dundas to the east, and downtown Toronto, from Dovercourt Rd

below: A larger than life Pink Panther painted by Matt Gondek.  This is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Dovercourt, close to Skey Lane where his other murals are (see recent blog post on Skey Lane)

mural of pink panther sitting in a chair, large

below: She can still be found near Queen and Dovercourt (painted by Jarus)

mural by jarus in an alley, a woman looking over her shoulder

Just before Queen Street West there is an art galley called the David Kaye Gallery.

below: It may be difficult to see, but this cup is displayed in a glass case mounted on the wall. The back part of the cube is a mirror. For $12,500 it can be yours (but my arm is not included!).

a white tea cup on a black block inside a glass cube with a mirror at the back. on the cup, in black letters, are the words a cup is a cup

below: Both this piece, and the cup above, are part of “Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem” and are on display until the 23rd of September.

artwork by Leopold Foulem, a porcelain piece with gold figures on the sides like handles

I am going to end this blog post with a few pictures of some of the graffiti that I saw:

below: Red hearts on a yellow door.

a door painted yellow with three large red hearts on it

below: No more need for parliaments

a beige garage door with the words no more need for parliaments written on it

below: She’s a bit frayed at the edges and coming apart at the seams.

a hand drawn picture of a face, on paper, pasted on a fence

The summer of the heat continues into August.  It’s still hot and humid.   But it was also the long August weekend, Simcoe Day or something like that,  so there was lots happening around the city.

I went searching for breezes and I walked on the shady side of the street as much as possible, often as the drops of sweat ran down my back.  A few stops in air conditioned stores (indoor window shopping) and a cold drink break or two made the days bearable.  It helped that, as usual, there was lots to see!

below: Be curious … and stay curious.

on a graffiti covered wall, a stikman picture with the words be curious written across it in white

below: Jumping skate boarders at Dundas and Bathurst

two young men skate boarding, both jumping at the same time, arm in air,

below: Casimir Street mural on Dundas (near Bathurst)

a man cycles past a pale yellow house on Dundas St that has has a bright coloured mural across the bottom of it, text, in blues and pinks

below: Sitting by the pool

a man site on a bench, in silhouette, with an outdoor pool in the background with people sitting around it

below: A shady spot for reading.

a woman sits outside a coffee shop reading a book. the window of the coffee shop is open and there are 4 people sitting inside

below: A front yard full of tall yellow flowers

many tall yellow flowering plants in the front yard of a white house

below: Not everyone has a green thumb.  A rose is still a rose even in death.

outside a window with white window frame, on beige house, a plant pot with dead roses

below: An even sadder window sits behind a metal fence.  Plywood.  Waiting for demolition.

behind a metal fence, an old house with a boarded up window

below:  Sitting in the painted window, Graffiti Alley. It looked like they were filming a music video.  I’m not too sure what they thought of me (I didn’t think that I was disturbing them, long lens used).

graffiti alley, a group is shooting a music video, black man in on window sill lip synching the words while a woman films

below: A quiet spot for a cigarette.

a man with a yellow t shirt sits on a back step in an alley and smokes a cigarette

below: Red hot.

a man leans against the wall in a doorway of a building, the building is all red including the doors

below: An old mattress and head board lean against the side of a house.  Great juxtaposition here as the mural is called ‘Lust’

an old mattress and white head board lean against the wall, outside, of a house that has a large mural painted on it of legs with feet in bright red high heeled shoes

below: Jelly window on Queen West – What is a modern doughnut? Especially one spelled the old fashioned way? The store was closed, so it’s still a mystery.  Beautiful painting on the door.

front window of Jelly, a modern doughnut store on Queen West, small tree in front of it

below: Cycling in the jungle.  I say ‘jungle’ because I see the lion and think “King of the jungle” but lions don’t live in the jungle so maybe I need to rethink that caption.  Cyclist as prey?  Bikes on safari?

a bike is parked beside a mural with a lion on it

below: Prince is now at Kensington Market. A purple Prince.

a poster with the picture of Prince on it, on a pole, up high beside sign saying Kensington Market

below: Graffiti in Kensington. Frowning while watching them fight. Little black figures with rifles. Are they angels that are shooting back or devils?

graffiti, black stencils of men with rifles and angles with rifles, shooting at each other, about 20 to 25 of them on a wall beside a brown frowning face drawn on yellow

below: More violence. What happens when you pull this pin?

small black stencil of a hand grenade on a fence, the top of the grenade is a girl's head in profile, with a ponytail

below: It’s wedding season which mean wedding photo season.  Picture perfect.

a bride adjusts the groom's collar, long white dress with lacey sleeves and veil tied back on the bride. groom is in a blue suit

below: Or maybe even wondering why?  (I hope not!)

a bed of flowers in a garden, red and white begonias. The red flowers make the shape of a question mark. In the background are a bride in a white dress and a groom having their wedding photos taken.

below: Honest graffiti

behind a green hedge is a wall with graffiti on it

below: Blue wall in rectangles of glass.

three two storey houses on a street with a tall building behind with blue windows, mostly glass

below: Missing a black glove anyone? Tucked behind the wire.

a black glove has been left on some wires by a wall with street art on it

below: Lots of wires.

a utility pole with a lot of wires coming out from the top of it in front of a pale grey wall with a window that is reflecting the blue sky

below: Reflections and lots of stuff including the painted lady in the House of Energy, Augusta Avenue.  Life.

window of a store in Kensington market area, mannequin sitting cross legged that has been painted

below:  Death. How many skulls in the window?

skulls and other things in a shop window, with a bike parked outside

below: Lots of smiles

two faces, black line painted on a white background, smiling faces,

I’ll be smiling more once the temperatures cool. I think that it’s been hot long enough that I can complain about it – perhaps even long for winter? How Canadian of me!  In the meantime, as long as there is shade I’ll keep walking (and sweating!).

below: Waiting for the green light.

a group of scantily clad black women wait to cross University Ave

More words!

below: You’re awesome!

large white letter across a roof line that say you're awesome

below: Embrace peculiarity

side a garage plus wood fence beside it painted with abstractr shapes in reds and oranges, with the words embrace peculiarity written in blue cursive writing

below: Love will win 🙂

on the side of a grey metal box, written in black, with a smiley face under the words, love will win

below: I love you!

graffiti on a brick wall, red heart with words I love you, instead of the word love there is a white heart

below: A mural with a pink skate boarding raccoon with a hockey stick and a Blue Jays baseball cap.  Also words of encouragement (or at least that’s how I’m going to interpret them today), Keep Pushin.  It’s actually an ad for Kadence World, a store that is opening up on Ossington, a place where art, music, and skate boarding all converge.

large yellow letters that say keep Pushin, on a mural with a pink raccoon wearing a blue jays baseball cap, looking at a wrist watch with a dollar sign on the face,

below: And last, a final Buh Bye

yellow stencil on a sidewalk, in cursive writing, buh bye

A new mural in town,
Equilibrium, by Okuda San Miguel, aka Okudart

below: As seen from Sherbourne street.  It’s tall!  23 storeys tall in fact.  Not just a new mural but also a new landmark.

a man walks up Sherbourne street, on the sidewalk, past a vacant lot, in the background is the back of some older brick buildings and beyond that is a tall building with a mural on it, equilibrium by okudart

below: As seen from Allan Gardens.

Allan Gardens conservatory with its glass dome roof in the foreground, tall buildings in the background. The side of one of the background buildings has a colourful mural on it with a rainbow striped background

below: It’s painted on the side of the Parkside student residence (once the Primrose Hotel) on the SW corner of Jarvis and Carlton streets.   It looks finished although the ropes and lifts are still in place.  No one was painting when I walked past this afternoon.  The artist, Okudart, has already signed the piece.

car stopped at street light at Carlton and Jarvis. Behind the car is a very tall mural, bright colours, geometric shapes, some human like figures too, with blue conical noses, equilibrium by okudart

below: The very top portion.  A blue conical beak and feathery wings on a female human like figure who is sitting on three large heads.

very top part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Just a bit lower on the mural – more beaks but this time they look like carrots.  A black and white globe with a mouth in Africa.  One blue eye in the Atlantic Ocean and one orange eye in Asia.   Is that a man on the left?

middle section of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Under the globe another female figure with a blue nose.  Nude but discreetly so.

lower portion of equilibrium by okudart

The background of the mural consists of large rainbow coloured stripes on top and black on the bottom.  These were painted by local artists before Okudart finished the piece.

below: Street level

street level part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: The church across the street does not have stained glass windows.  The colours are reflections from the mural.

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

The mural was part of the STEPS Initiative Program and it also involved StART (StreetARToronto), the owners of the residence, and a number of other partners.

July is still hot and still humid.  Not complaining though – it’s just part of my excuse as to why I haven’t posted much recently.  Yesterday morning I managed to get myself out the door around 7:30 so I could walk comfortably – without drowning in sweat.

below: Getting ready to walk.

looking out the window of a Starbucks, backwards writing on the window, a dog tied to a tree, a bike,

I followed the morning light but still trying to stay away from places that are too familiar.   The following pictures are in no particular order.

below: With hands on hips, in an alley near Queen & John.

a woman walks down an alley, away from the camera, metal fire escape staircase is above her, brick buildings beside her

below: Vincent Van Gogh has taken up a position on Dundas Street across from the AGO.  This 8′ x 8′ sculpture sits in front of the Mayberry Fine Art gallery.  It is the work of Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard who recently had an exhibit at that gallery. Fafard has other works in the city – he is the artist that produced “The Pasture” which is the seven life-sized bronze cows outside TD Centre.  I don’t have a photo of the cows for this blog post, but if you don’t know the piece (or want to see it again), here is a link to an article about them.

large square blue and yellow artwork that looks like the face of Vincent Van Gogh in front of a building with pillars and front steps. A young woman is walking by

below: A large flower in an alley doorway.

painting of a large flower on a door in an alley

below: Beside the flower is a black and blue butterfly.

spray paint street art mural of a blue and black butterfly

below: A heart bursting with colour on Cayley Lane.

garage and garage door painted in mural with a red heart in the center, surrounded by pink, purple and blue triangles

below: Black face, white face. What emoji face are these?

graffiti on wall and on wood pole, both are faces with mouth and two round eyes

below: Harriet Boulton Smith is the ceremonial name for the section of John Street between Queen Street West and Stephanie Street.  Harriet Smith was the last owner of “The Grange” and Grange Park.  When she died in 1910, she left her home and seven acres of land to the Art Museum of Toronto (AMT).  The site is now the home of the Art Gallery of Ontario.  She also bequeathed the family art collection to the AMT.    This section of John Street was once the driveway to the Grange.

Toronto street sign for John Street, also called Harriet Boulton Smith Way

below: He lost his head in the lane.

a headless cardboard cut out of a Toronto Blue Jay baseball player, in a doorway, in a lane.

below: Taking the bathroom stall with him.  The toilet paper holder is empty though.

a man carries a metal divider from a bathroom, with toilet paper roll holder still attached, carrying it on his shoulder

below: One of my favorite windows.  Sunday was the day of the French vs Croatia soccer/football World Cup game and there was a group of France supporters gathering on Peter Street to watch the game.  Apparently the party after the game, celebrating France’s victory, spilled out onto the street afterwards but unfortunately I missed it.

the window of Nickys coffee shop, on red brick wall, with two women walking past, both are carrying French flags

below: Old rusty metal barrels and butterflies.

a tree grows behind old rusty metal barrels and a wall painted blue with little butterflies painted on it.

below: The ice cream “mane” is still there.  I frequently walk down an alley and wonder if I’ve ever been this way before… and then I spot an old friend and recognize where I am.  That was the case when I spotted the ice cream guy (mane?  why mane?).  I think he dates from 2014.

street art painting in a laneway of a man in white uniform and hat, holding popsicle in one hand and ice cream cone in the other, words say ice cream mane

below: Same alley as the ice cream man, perhaps the same vintage originally?  The white swirls and the ‘love’ came after I think.

old street art, paint fading, of a blue man's face, and the word love

below: 24 hour public parking on the large sign, private parking on the small pink one but no one’s parking there anyhow.

parking lot, white wall behind, parking lot attendant booth covered in signs, 24 hour public parking, private parking,

below: Pasteups on plywood hoardings.  A love love love lovebot and a blessed urban ninja squadron amongst others.

paste ups on plywood hoardings,

below: Reflections

reflections of City TV building in a puddle

below: Large mural behind Queen Street West (south side) featuring queens of different sorts – cards, chess and people at the minimum.  “Queen Street West” designed and painted by Christiano De Araujo near the end of 2017.

large mural on the side of a building in an alley, theme is Queen Street west, queen of hearts heart, musicians,

below: Looking south on Soho Street towards Queen.  On the right is the new Mountain Equipment Coop store under construction.

looking down street towards Queen Street West

below: Street art in the greenery

street art in an alley

below: Lines. Electrical lines.  Horizontal lines of the stairs.  Vertical lines of the buildings.

metal staircase on upper level, street lights, electrical wires,

below: The next two photos are of a large mural on the back of a new building.  The first picture shows the figures on the right hand side of the mural.  Figures in action.

below: The Umbra building is clad with vertical lines made from a material that takes on different colours depending on the light.

building, umbra store, vertical lines on exterior of a material that changes colour depending on the light

below: Who is she?

below: Bent metal bracket

bent metal bracket on a white (painted) wood utility pool

Today, Monday, the sky looks stormy.  Perhaps a good thunderstorm will take away the humidity.  Whatever the weather, I’ll be back soon!

construction site, with posters on the hoardings, tall white, grey, and red building in the background.

Almost two years ago I wrote about the murals and street art on Bulwer street.   Somethings have changed and some of the murals have disappeared.  For instance, the area bounded by Bulwer, Soho and Queen streets is now a construction site instead of a parking lot.   I walked here yesterday, a holiday Monday, and discovered that there were no parked cars blocking views of the street art.  I also discovered a tour group stopping to talk about something on the street but I was too far away to hear what they were talking about (something about bricks on the buildings?)

below: An unobstructed view of the David Suzuki and Atlantic salmon mural by Kevin Ledo, painted in 2016 as part of the “Love Letters to the Great Lakes” mural project.

david Suzuki and the atlantic salmon mural by Kevin Ledo, a very large 24 foot by 64 foot mural, large head of David Suzuki

below: The mural, a collaboration between Elicser and Indigo, hasn’t fared as well.  As you can see, the bottom portion has sadly been tagged over.

large mural by elicser of kids, bottom part has been covered with three large tags.

upper part of a mural by elicser showing a boy in an orange t shirt holding a small green sprouting plant in his hands.

view of the back of stores and residences on Queen street as seen from the street behind, street art and graffiti on the old garages, tree, large buildings in the background.

below: Part of a mural by horus.

part of a larger mural, green swirls, a fish with big teeth

below: A 2017 creation by sightone, breakin’ atoms, a memorial to Vandel.

text graffiti by sightone, pinks and purples and red

below: A collection of items attached to the schoolyard fence.  Metal pans and a shoe form?

old metal pans attached to a chainlink fence at a school

 

below: The CN Tower, a metal staircase, and some graffiti.  The back building looks very old, especially the windows.

back of old brick buildings, some graffiti, orange metal stair case, CN TOwer in the background

below: Another bit of “old” is this Toronto Hydro building with its very high fence and gate.  Is it still in use?

chainlin fence and gate around on old two storey brick building that was part of Toronto Hydro

old no parking sign, rusty, on fence in front of old Toronto Hydro building

One last little bit – this stikman is still here – weathered but still standing.  Once upon a time he was covered with a circuit board design but that layer has peeled away.   Aging but ageless.

an old stikman on a wall by a door with a rusty hinge