5 Must-See Street Art Locations in Toronto
1. Keele and Dundas West
Those who regularly take the Bloor-Yonge line on the TTC subway have no doubt spotted this edgy masterpiece located in the heart of the Junction. The Keele Wall first began getting adorned with paint by a group of artists in 1991, and the images have evolved since. The collective behind this mural is none other than the HSA Crew.
This mural is as artistic as it is political. Located at the underpass right next to Union station, the Indigenous inspired mural was put together for the Mother Earth Water Walk, a group of Anishinabe people who started their organization in 2003, to raise awareness for clean water. The water walk takes place every year, and the next one is scheduled for September 24th 2018 in Niagara Falls.
3. Graffiti Alley on Queen St and Augusta
Graffiti Alley is one of the most famous street art locations in Toronto, and for good reason. The collective Style in Progress has been frequenting the spot for fourteen years now, to promote urban art, fashion and dance. One the left we see a portrait of famous local street artist Mike Kennedy, who passed away in 2016 and was known for collaborating on many murals across the city, including Seven New Wonders of the World, located at Broadview and Gerrard. Graffiti Alley is also the spot comedian Rick Mercer has often used for his rants on his CBC show The Rick Mercer Report.
4. Equilibrium on Carlton and Jarvis
The symbolism of this tall mural speak for itself. Standing at twenty-three stories, it’s the largest piece of street artist San Miguel’s career. Collaborating with the STEPS Initiative, artist Okuda San Miguel states that “the gay flag is like my palette because all the colours together symbolize for me, the multi cultures, multi gender, everything.” And with a canvas this size, it’s hard to miss when you’re walking in the neighbourhood of Cabbagetown.
5. The Awakening on Lawrence & Caledonia Underpass
Sparking controversy with some North York residents after first being unveiled in 2015, The Awakening has many layers of meaning. Put together by the Essencia Art Collective, the mural shows the evolution of nature and the impact of capitalism and the environment. Some residents said the mural looked “scary” and shouldn’t be located in a residential neighbourhood. Love it or hate it, it grabs your attention. Hence why it tops our list.
What’s your favourite street art in Toronto? Do you think art should be for enjoyment, a tool for social change, or both? What makes street art different? Leave a comment to get the discussion flowing.