Art and the Alleyways

alleyway south of queen st west


Do I have you thinking that this post is going to be about some new band fronted by a guy called Arthur, or Art for short? haha, too funny, right? Wrong? Oh ok.

Today I'm actually going to show a very small bit of an interesting back alley in Toronto, known as Graffiti Alley, but correctly identified on maps as Rush Lane. Running behind the buildings on the south side of Queen Street West, from Portland Street to Spadina, the whole length of the lane is about a quarter of a mile long (or almost half of a kilometer) and it is totally covered, on both sides of the alley, with extraordinary street art. The paintings also extend up to Queen Street between the buildings in many spots too, such as the Playing Cards piece which is on the side of a building.

While street art, and particularly tagging, is not legal in the city, an exception has been made in this alley, where beautiful paintings are not only allowed to be created on the back walls of the shops and apartments along there, they are welcomed.

And from what I understand, when a piece of graffiti is more like a painting, there is a pact among other graffiti artists and taggers to leave the art alone, and not deface it or paint over it.

As I said, my photos are just a tiny snippit of the full length of the street, and cover the length from Portland to one building west of Augusta. But it goes on and on and is really the most colourful place I've seen in the whole city.

fish painting queen st w alley


mouse painting queen st w alley


paintings queen st w alley


painted windows alley queen st w


stencil queen st west alley


But not every painting is a winner, and some could stand to be painted over. What do you think ... Should the one in the middle have remained in the 'cropped out' folder? Noses must be very difficult to draw with a can of spray paint though. And the crown is pretty good.

paintings queen st w alley 2



Thanks for dropping over.
xo loulou
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4 Responses to Art and the Alleyways

  1. Julie says:

    oh wow, that is so stunning, each piece is something worth stopping to look at. I’m a big fan of street art done well! Some artists did great stuff on the Dundas West Rail path, too.

  2. Hollie says:

    I like all of it. I really do. If I had the money, I would hire some of those artist to come paint the outside of my trailer!

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