Street & Sidewalk

2 November 2015 – Honestly, it’s enough to make you think that whining pays off. (Not a view our mothers encouraged.) There I was, complaining to Chloe about not seeing any new street art lately — and now I’m inundated with the stuff.

Starting with a big splash of sidewalk art — a compass on the S/E corner of Danforth & Main, by Victor.

Victor's compass at Danforth & Main

I don’t need to see that hashtag ID: Victor is the city’s great champion of sidewalk (not street) art, especially along Danforth, his own ‘hood.

detail, same compass

I first saw his work the winter of 2011-12, while training for the Iceland trek — gloriously baroque letters of the alphabet, all swirls & sparkles, at various street corners along Danforth. Then I had the luck to see & talk with Victor himself, while he was doing a sidewalk logo for the Red Rocket Café.

I’ve been sorry to see those alphabet letters fade with time; happy recently to see them bright again. And very happy to see this new (I think) compass.

Another recent discovery — but only new-to-me — is the work covering both sides of the railway underpass on Dupont just west of Lansdowne. Various artists at work, judging by the styles (I see EGR’s signature, but don’t recognize others), but all with a consistent POV.

RR underpass, Dupont w of Lansdowne

That panel is on the north side; south side is same mood, but (I think) in a different hand.

south side, Dupont RR underpass

Later — having in the interim visited the Angell Gallery for another hit of contemporary art — I walk back along Dupont and get a closer look at some of the heads on the north side.

detail, Dupont RR underpass

I really like this! Icons gone modern …

I decide to walk up to St. Clair West, then head east & south again, wandering through lanes & alleys. I’m up for anything “street” — needn’t be street art, just has to be something in the streetscape that makes me blink & look again.

But who would expect such a reaction, on comfortably residential Rosemount Av., just south of St. Clair?

w. of 45 Rosemount, outside a school

Well, you’d look again too, wouldn’t you? Even if only to wonder, “What is that great house-shaped gob of green plastic doing, looming over the street?” At least, that’s what I wondered. Then I saw that the south side of the sloping roof (the side visible here) is a solar panel.

I still don’t know what it powers, but it did amuse me.

Later I’m in full alley-mode, zigzagging at random, going wherever a lineup of garages suggests there might be some street art on offer.

And I see quite a lot, I do — yet I’m most struck by two other bits of streetscape entirely.

One is, fair enough, graffiti. But it’s not by a name-brand artist, it’s not something you see repeated around town; it’s a one-off.

S/W St  Clair W & Alberta

And I am charmed.

A little later, plonking my way down several blocks of alley, lined both sides with garages, I swivel my head left & right, take in some very arresting garage door murals — and then stop flat.

I can’t figure out what’s going on with this otherwise boring white metal door.

rust detailing

At first I think, “Trompe-l’oeil? No detailing on this door at all, they’ve just painted it on?”

Then I think, “Or does the door have raised impressions, which they have outlined in ochre for a bit of drama?”

And then I see that it’s just rust. Rust eating away those raised impressions — but meanwhile, making the door its own minor work of art.

Back out to Bathurst Street for a while. I recross Dupont, keep heading south, & then roar with laughter at the tableau on the west side.

Bathurst s. of Dupont

“Normal Things”?

Walk on, walk on, and then I see that it is immediately north of Weird Things, a quirky antique shop. Good joke. (Good antique shop as well, I visited it on an earlier walk.)

I’m sticking to proper streets by now, still kinda-sorta refusing to take more shots of the signature images that some of our street artists paint all over town. (“What else can you do?” I moan, fretfully. “Surprise me!”)

And then, smack dab in the middle of a College St. parking lot, I break my embargo. Yes, it’s another Lovebot, and yes, it’s another Poser bunny. Each totally, absolutely, immediately identifiable. But I haven’t seen them like this before.

s. side College, w. of Spadina

So that’s fun.

You can tell I’m willing to be amused by all kinds of things, on this walk.

Including this official recognition of changing demographics in our downtown core. South of Dundas around Spadina was, once upon a time, very Scottish.

e. of Spadina, s. of College

Not now!

Follow-Up, with Factoids

  •  Jason of MuralForm commented on my 28 October post (New Art, Street Art), to say that the first few murals I show are by an artist called hemps. I’m grateful for the help with IDs, though I suspect Jason means the 3rd & 4th images — i.e. the first few real murals — not literally the first two.
  • Jason shared my enthusiasm for the Yonge & Gerrard condos, last image in that same post. I’ve found out a bit more since. These are the Aura towers, a mixed-use complex that, at 79 storeys, is Canada’s tallest (& largest) condominium residence. And that lighting effect? Vertical strips of LED lighting.


Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. bobgeor

     /  2 November 2015

    Normal things. So much grunginess.

  2. What a feast for the eyes!

    • I find I’m more intrigued now by unintentional “art” or juxtapositions that make an intriguing sight, than by a single planned piece of work. But lucky me, to have such choice, so I am not complaining. Thanks for your continuing, generous interest!

  3. That solar panel thingy would sure make a fancy high-class home for a bird!

    • I should have looked closer — it must have a purpose, but it wasn’t immediately obvious. Love the bird-house idea, though!

  4. Thank you for your such interesting blogs


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

  • Recent Posts

  • Walk, Talk, Rock… B.C.-style

  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 88,331 hits
  • Since 14 August 2014

    Flag Counter
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,632 other followers

%d bloggers like this: