Toronto’s Graffiti Alley
Toronto is an amazing mix of historic and creative. It’s one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world and is represented in the many diverse neighbourhoods. Being such an imaginative place it’s no surprise its home to some awesome street art. There’s even a whole laneway dedicated to street art, Toronto’s Graffiti Alley.
Located in the downtown core, Toronto’s Graffiti Alley is actually Rush Lane. Rush Lane is the laneway behind Queen Street West, running from Portland Street to Spadina Avenue. As soon as you enter the alley you’ll be struck by its vivid colours. It’s no surprise there are always photographers snapping away along the lane.
But be aware and remember, though the imagery and cool street art will distract you, it’s still an alley. Home to garbage, the occasional grossness and strange or random things. But it all seems to add to the flavour and atmosphere.
The graffiti is in a vast array of subject matter. There’s everything from cartoon characters to intense animals and classic graffiti to skillful portraits. There’s even an entire building covered in an underwater theme, using energetic hot pinks, electric blues and so many more colours. It was astounding to think of the amount of work that went into transforming this dull building into a candy for the eyes.
It was nostalgic to remember the names of some of my favourite childhood cartoons, like My Pet Monster and Tom and Jerry. And the photographer in me could not stop snapping away. Trying to capture the colours, the atmosphere and the contrasts of wow and eww was SO much fun. Even when we wandered down it the next day on our way to Union Station I was spotting new pieces everywhere that I’d missed the day before.
Looking to take a tour of Toronto’s magnificent street art? The Tour Guys offer a free tour, which is tip based, that will take you through Graffiti Alley. They’ll tell you about the art and the artists behind the pieces.
Other places to check out Toronto’s fantastic street art include; Kensington Market, Underpass Park, the Keele Wall, and Ossington Laneway.
Have you discovered Toronto’s Graffiti Alley yet?
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