There’s an ongoing discussion / debate here in Toronto with regards to the graffiti and street art that peppers the city. It’s a discussion that polarises some, and unites others, dividing those that believe it’s art and those that believe it’s graffiti. To get even more complex, many, like me, believe there’s a distinction between street art and vandalism, both of which are usually considered to be graffiti. But I’m not here to debate – I’m here to show off some photos of bits that caught my eye.
There are certain parts of the city that have emerged more as a forum for art than for vandals, and it’s gotten the city’s attention. Most Torontonians are aware of Graffiti Alley, and many have visited. However, most visitors are completely unaware that there’s a centre of urban art right off Queen West.
Jason of Tour Guys and Toronto Urban Adventures leads private tours of Toronto’s Graffiti Alley, and for the last two years has led tours during Janes Walk. Last year I tagged along, and these are some of my favourite photos from the afternoon.
This last photo is said to be the only Banksy in Toronto. While it’s been tampered with, you can still see a bit of the rodent!
Graffiti Alley runs parallel to Queen Street West, half a block south, between about Peter St and Bathurst. It’s pretty safe, but maybe don’t wear flip flops, as there’s some debris on the ground. If you want a tour, get in touch with Jason at Tour Guys.