The Show on Sherbourne

26 October 2016 – Sherbourne is not the spiffiest street in all Toronto, let’s admit it. Which makes bouncy new street art something to welcome.


For example, this broadside right at the Queen St. intersection. The artist seems to have a thing for Brazil (check the hat logo) …

N/E corner Sherbourne & Queen East

and most definitely has a thing for parrots.

Sherbourne & Queen

Here’s the hat-plus-insignia I was talking about. (Also artist credits — Smoky Bruno, Cens & Alveno — above the guy’s forefinger.) I assume this parrot likes having his head scratched, why wouldn’t he, but he’s not exactly melting with gratitude.

detail, same mural

I prefer the other parrot — tucked away behind metal railing at the north end of the mural, the Juliet of the Psittaciforme world, ready for her balcony scene.

"Juliet"herself, detail same mural

It may be that by now I have parrots on the brain. but I swear, I see one — or at least a hint of beak — in the cubist blocs on this metal door in an alley just down the street.

alley off Sherbourne, just n. of Richmond

But definitely no parrot in the mural at alley-end.

same alley

I’m contemplating the rather debauched Snow White when a baritone voice behind my right shoulder says “Hello?”  I answer his question mark with some cheerful street-art-groupie babble and, seeing him relax, then ask if he lives behind one of these alley doorways.

He smiles gently. “I own the building.”

Oh. But it turns out he also likes the murals, so we exchange a few aesthetic pleasantries before I rejoin Sherbourne St. and head north.

Where I find a great big Birdo, spread lavishly down a residential side wall.

w. side of Sherbourne, s. of Dundas

Birdo / Tenso, I should say, and if you do a joint search, you’ll discover they have combined talents in other locations as well.

Now, none of Birdo’s creatures are anatomically correct — what fun would that be? — but there’s definitely something bird-ish about this particular Birdo head. Though not parrot-ish, I’ll concede that.

detail, Birdo/Tenso mural

Nothing bird-ish at the west end of the mural. It’s a certified Whatever, and a perfect example of the species to boot.

detail, same mural

One last hit.

Nowhere near as elaborate, or skillful, as the others. But I am charmed, and — obviously still in thrall to some loopy wild-critter kingdom — I see the beast as a llama.

A polite little llama down from the altiplano, waiting patiently for someone to untether him from that tag, so he can go check out the street.

w. side Sherbourne, just s. of Queen

Well … maybe not a llama. Too small.

I know! He’s an alpaca.

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Leave a comment


  1. the first one is by brunosmoky, cens and alveno

    • I saw the “smoky” & thought it was proaby him, but didn’t know the other names. I’m going to correct the post now, so any future reader gets the info right away, but will honour your contribution in my next post.

  2. Rick H

     /  27 October 2016

    “Nothing bird-ish at the west end of the mural. It’s a certified Whatever, and a perfect example of the species to boot.”

    The yellow & black “thing” looks, to my eyes, like a close relative of the hornbill-esque bird in the previous photo, just at a nearer to straight beak on angle

  3. Wow I never fail to be amazed by the exceptional art found on the streets. Those guys are fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Another great stroll through street art. It’s all so vivid and polished and turns a nondescript streetscape in to something special. I love your encounter with the owner of one patch and the way you transform initial suspicion with “street-art groupie babble”. I love too your ID as “certified Whatever”: a lot of those in my ID world!

    • Yes that was an amusing encounter. As for my ‘certified Whatever, ‘ as you’ll see in my next post, a second-cousin-in-law (does that category exist?) has a better suggestion…

  5. Such great variety you found here. I really like the Birdo piece. Actually, I like them all! Toronto street art seems as varied as that in NYC.

  6. Mary C

     /  5 November 2016

    Wow! All stuff I haven’t seen.

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