Graffiti is a term that used to have negative connotations, and today in some circles it still does. More commonly though today the words ‘street art’ have eased their way into the everyday vernacular and this carries a much different idea of what to expect, despite the two words being really the same thing. Canada is well known for being clean, especially in comparison to other countries like the litter filled streets of the UK. This means that the urban scrawls recognised as graffiti and the tidy and inviting streets of the great north cannot co-exist, which is why beautiful street art coats many walls here. Colourful, eye catching, photo-worthy pieces are all over Canada and very densely in its most urban area Toronto. Gaze at the artistry and skill of these creators who actually add to the appeal and aesthetics of the area instead of subtracting from it. The following are some of the best spots to snap a photo at some of the best truly free art Toronto has to offer.
Here you will spot a pastel coloured building with zig-zags of colour you simply can’t miss. The matte cool palette here is summery and bright and the design encourages you to get your shades out if you haven’t already. The building underneath the paint is instantly turned into a scene from a cartoon that brightens the day of any passersby. Dotted with different icons of sunglasses all over it, this mural is a perfect spot for a summery snap, but it also adds some bold colour to the skyline here.
This mural known as ‘make good’ is a startling piece of work. Found on Bloor street surrounded by a mass of terracotta, square windowed buildings that look pretty homogenous, this piece of eye grabbing work pulls your focus in an instant. If its not the deep blacks that form the negative space or the complex white artifacts that contrast with it, its most likely the mouth wateringly vibrant clash of colours that overlap in this cacophony of almost fluorescent hues. The somewhat abstract, part tribal piece that results brings a cosmically different feel from the bare streets and walls that surround it. This is one that you are going to want to both photograph and stare at for a long while.
Here near the park you will find a bunch of garage doors which as you may know are a commonly used canvas for urban artists. Amongst the bunch is a wonderfully made tribute to the Butlers garter snake which is now an endangered species. This amazing perspective forcing piece becomes a 3D illusion once you stand in the right spot. By making a bigger than life representation of this animal and by tracing its fading shadow across the floor, Canadian artist Birdo shed light on this important issue while providing the public with some gorgeous art all at the same time. Here you can enjoy the amazing patterns and popping colour of this piece while remembering to be friendly to the next snake you stumble across.