The City In Colour

Toronto Graffiti

Toronto Graffiti

Yesterday I did that thing I sometimes do on my lunch break, you know, where I open up the “Map My Walk” app and take a stroll (at a nice pace) through the city, taking in the scenery as I go.  My route took me west along College St., south down Spadina Ave., east along D’Arcy St. before taking University Ave. north again for the final walk up College St. back to the hospital.  The total walk was 3.85km and I burned 268 calories (according to the app at least).   

IMG_6251Along the way, some colourful art work caught my eye.  Tucked among the buildings, in parking lots and alleyways, some of the best and brightest street art the city has to offer was on display!!  I obviously couldn’t help myself, and had to stop my walk for brief moments to record the work of those who beautify our city on a regular basis.  I’m not sure if everyone agrees with me on this topic, but I have to say I find beauty in this art.  I may not always understand the intended meaning, but it’s hard to deny the striking nature of the art itself.

IMG_6249This piece was partially obstructed by a parked church van, but I still had to capture it.  The colours were bright and cheerful and there was a direct reference to the city of Toronto in it.  If you look closely you can see the CN tower directly in the middle of the piece.  I’m not convinced that the piece is completely finished though, as there is a large white section of brick to the right of the piece as if someone had primed in preparation for more artwork to come.  Nonetheless I find it cheerful and striking.

IMG_6257Ok, I know this one is simply words on a wall.  BUT.  I love the colours.  The script isn’t as stylized as much of the graffiti I have seen (i.e.:  I can actually READ it lol).  Simple, bright and fun in my opinion.  So I will vote “like.”


Alright.  I have to admit.  I have no idea what this piece is supposed to say.  I also don’t care.  It simply caught my attention from the street and drew me in, so I took a pic.  I’m not usually a fan of the orange and brown colour combination (unless I’m hungry and looking for an A&W) but given the way the piece was put together I really do find it enjoyable to look at.

IMG_6266With this one?  For me?  It’s all about the colour.  I LOVE that acid green and I love that bright blue.  The fuchsia is just a bonus.  I think it looks so much better than a plain boring empty walk of off white siding don’t you??


Red/green/grey and FLAMINGOS!!!  How perfect is that?  Someone must have wanted to do a Canada/Miami mash up!!!  I think it’s just unexpected fun.  More please!!!


So, This may not be my most favourite of the pieces.  But you can’t deny that it is a pop of colour in an otherwise drab alleyway.  So in truth it would be hard to go wrong don’t you think?  I’m just glad that there are people willing to take the time to add some fun to the public spaces we all get to share!!!


Just two last photos.  Both colourful.  both unique.  Both caught my attention.  Sometimes I just find it amazing how well you can cover up the imperfections and age of a building with some colourful pain and patterns.  I honestly think that some of this graffiti artists have some skills that could translate into the world of design, and probably should be used not just as art but as functional design….

IMG_6268Yes, I know there is some garbage in this pic.  No, I was not going to get myself soiled just to “stage” a picture.  The goal here on these walks isn’t perfection, but rather the experience the surroundings in their natural presentation.  So maybe there is some garbage on Spading Ave.  So what?  The artwork still stands on it’s own and probably, by contrast, looks even better than it would have otherwise.  So enjoy the colour and form and ignore the unsightly trash, life gets better the sooner you master the ability to do so.

There you have my Monday lunchtime walk.  A bunch of bright art, 3.85km walked, 268 calories burnt.  Can’t complain about a lunch break that is as productive as that now can you?


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2 Responses to The City In Colour

  1. PJ says:

    Oh my god wow, I never knew graffiti could be so artistic and wonderful as you show with these pictures! I just thought that they were things that marked different gangs’ territory, but now I see them through a different light. Thanks. -Ray.
    P.S. The third one is French, it says ” This is not graffiti ” XD


    • Duane & Todd says:

      I’m glad you liked the post. I was pretty sure I understood that one, even with my rudimentary grasp of French. I was just afraid to post it in case I’d read it wrong. As my grandfather used to tell me…. “Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open the mouth and remove all doubt!” Lolol! Thanks for reading. I do have other photos of graffiti from other locations that I might post some other time. I really do find a lot of it can be quite artistic. Glad you feel the same now!


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