Snap-Happy on Queen

23 April 2017 – I’m still swooning around Toronto, noticing things with a keener eye now that I shall not be living here & therefore can no longer take them for granted.

During this walk along Queen St. West, for example — nothing capital-S Significant, but all quietly significant to me.

Garage art down Cayley Lane just south of Grange Park, for example …

the garage door bright & probably fairly recently painted, but just one component in a total “urban installation” that also includes a scrawled-upon fence, some older low-level brick attached homes, & a soaring new glass condo tower as well.

Back onto Queen, over to Peter St., and yes! that funny frieze of street art still decorates one top edge of the corner brick building that, at street level, has long housed the Peter Pan Bistro.

Another bit of familiar street art in this neighbourhood, over by Soho: the dead tree stump that Elicser turned into street-sculpture years ago, and still refreshes from time to time.

I always look for the latest version — and this time literally clap my hands in delight.  Construction is underway right next to the sidewalk, and each city tree is carefully boxed, to prevent damage.

So is Elicser’s “tree”!

I love it, I love it.

Eyes up, more high-level artwork, this one new to me.

Low-level now, and why do I show it to you?

It’s vandalized, dirty, & the relic of another technological time.

Well I don’t know, but it snags my attention even so, there’s something about a phone-shape sculpture to encase a phone, even if only the smallest fragments of the physical phone still exist.

Exuberance & jollity a bit farther west, over by Spadina. Not new, but always delightful.

It’s another mad exercise in geometry & spatial relationships, courtesy of Birdo.

I veer left (south, that is) into Rush Lane, aka Graffiti Alley; also aka Rant Alley, since this is where CBC-TV’s Rick Mercer famously films his rants. (South of Queen, parallel to Queen, roughly between Portland & Spadina, if you want to visit it yourself.)

Year over year, the artwork morphs & evolves, coming & going, some images untouched, others repainted, yet others palimpsest. I’ve been here lots, it is slightly different every time. And … or … what I happen to notice is slightly different every time.

I’ve seen this doorway Poser bunny before, of course, but today I take near-curatorial delight in its “installation”: neatly tucked into its own niche, framed all around by other murals, with a final visual/spatial punch from the indigo wheelies.

Queen St. again, and sidewalk signs. This one is out of date, but it startles me into hiccupping giggles, even so.

One more sign.

Not for a café, as you will immediately appreciate. It’s for a denim shop — what’s more, for the best denim shop in the city. Says the website. (Their Vancouver website makes the same claim.)

First, I pick up on the pun.

Then I pick up on the skinny jeans [sic] walking into frame, right on cue.

Leave a comment


  1. Surely you don’t only create, you also direct. Those jeans (sic) are just too opportune. I love the stippling of Birdo’s armadillo (?) and your conceit of Poser bunny as part of an installation. When do you leave these familiar haunts?

    • Skinny-jeans lady really was unplanned — in fact I as annoyed to have someone walk into the shot & promptly took another with no pedestrians in it. It was only later, looking at what I had, that I realized the pun, & decided to go with it. As for when I leave T.O.: 29 April.

  2. It has been wonderful and strange how your posts have been a connection to my own travels at times. I recognize something and then think, “Hey, Iceland Penny saw this too!” I will miss that. Thanks so much for all the micro worm-holes to locations that you have opened for me.

  3. Leave T.O.! Did you break this to us in an earlier post!!? Big sigh. So what lucky city do we get to learn about?

    • Yes, I broke the new a few posts ago. As of 1 May, I’m a resident of Vancouver — except that I’ll be travelling soon after, until almost the end of May. All of which will appear in this blog!

  4. Another fascinating post. I know your posts will be a great help when I visit Toronto. On another note, I like the “thanks for not eating your young” sign! I hope your move goes quickly and easily.😊

    • Hi, & thanks! The packing-up side of the move was excellent; now for the arriving side. Monday will tell the tale.

      • I wish you a happy move in day. If I were there I would bring over some food to welcome you to the neighborhood. As it is, I will send you best wishes and good weather!

  5. ericseidlitz

     /  27 April 2017

    Moving? You’re leaving Toronto? Oh my, why?


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    "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"

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