Not-Toronto Alley

31 August 2017 – No, no! You do not go looking for one city in another, judging the latter by how much it does, or doesn’t, resemble the former.

So I am slightly embarrassed to confess that this alley immediately reminds me of Toronto alleys that I have walked & loved.

But it is not Toronto.

It is Vancouver. Lower east side Vancouver (between W. Cordova & W. Hastings, and Richards & Homer).

Still, it is very reminiscent, is it not?

I am a tad nostalgic, as I watch this old fellow pause to light his cigarette and then slowly wander on his way.

A whole lotta paint on this walls. No wonder this aerosol can is lying flat, exhausted.

(The cat, of course, would not dream of slumping in exhaustion.)

Even a bare pole isn’t quite bare.

I haven’t seen this little red Angry-Mask before, but suspect it has been pinned to many other surfaces as well.

On the pavement beneath my feet, more art work.


Then there’s Peek-a-Boo, with Dumpster. (Vincent Van Gogh Division.)

And Peek-a-Boo, with Truck.

And Peek-a-Boo, with Shoulder.

I emerge.

And pretty soon, on the edge of Gastown, I’m enjoying a different vista entirely.

On the right, the 1910 Dominion Building, Vancouver’s first steel-framed high-rise (once the British Empire’s tallest building); on the left, and wonderfully sympathetic in its architecture, a market-price residential tower in the redeveloped Woodward’s complex.

Definitely not Toronto! Definitely Vancouver.


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  1. I was astonished to find Broken Hill, a town in the far west of NSW, reminiscent in its desert landscapes and sounds of the sea I left behind! I’m a bit taken with the grace and squiggles of the pavement art.

  2. here’s another fella having a smoke, this time on Church St in Tronno:

  3. Mary C

     /  4 September 2017

    I like the concept of peek-a-boo art pieces and I may steal it! Or rather, borrow, or perhaps use under licence? πŸ™‚ Glad you’re finding things that remind you of “the center of the universe”!

  4. I see connections between cities although I know you have a strong eye for street art…also cool video out this week from an artist on the bay of fundy and his street art on the wall of the bay…happy walking enjoy the new but sort of same πŸ€“πŸ˜€

    • Oh yes, connections – all I warn myself about is the temptation to judge one city in terms of how much it is, or isn’t, like another. We have to appreciate each for itself, even while doing our inevitable compare/contrast exercises. (Oooof, how pompous…)

      • Like etown 😜 perhaps nice to live in but not so much to visit πŸ€” at least that’s what “they” say ☺️

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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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