On the side of Fat Pasha Restaurant at the corner of Howland and Dupont there is a large mural of ten local Annex residents painted by Troy Lovegates.
Changes at Broadview and Eastern
This row of old two storey row houses has been vacant for years. Recently the developer that owns the properties provided a couple of Toronto artists the opportunity paint the exterior. This is the result.
If you look carefully, you can see that Nick Sweetman and Luvs (aka Moises) have painted the word CHANGE across the front of the buildings. As a theme for a mural on a redevelopment site in a city bursting at the seams with such sites, change seems very appropriate.
below: I’ve played with the colours a bit to highlight some of the letters. You should be able to see C, H, and A across this image.
But the mural is more than colour and letters. There are three animals featured here – pigeon, raccoon, and coyote – all of which have adapted to changes and now thrive in urban environments.
below: A blue pigeon
below: A pinkish marroonish reddish raccoon
below: A coyote with a dead leaf and new buds.
Funding provided by Streetcar Developments
below: The houses to the north….
Photos taken 25 May 2023
railways both underground and overhead
Just north of the falls, there is a railway bridge that crosses the Niagara River. On the American side of the river is the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. It is housed in the 1863 Customs House adjacent to the Amtrak station. Niagara Falls was the last stop of one the routes of the Underground Railway, a network of routes and safe houses used by enslaved Black Americans to escape to freedom. It was an established border crossing that was readily accessible via numerous transportation routes, including the Erie Canal. There was a well-established network of abolitionists and anti-slavery activists in western New York. It is estimated that between 30,000 and 40,000 freedom seekers settled in Canada.
below: “Enjoy this day that God has given us”, John Lewis (1940-2020) at the corner of Main and Depot in Niagara Falls NY. Lewis was a politician and civil rights activist. This mural was painted by Princessa Williams
below: “We rise by lifting others” by Ashley Kay. This mural honours Doris Jones who was the head of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority for 25 years. Painted in 2019.
below: Harriet Tubman and “A Light of Hope” by Madonna Pannell, 2019. This image references a crossing across the Niagara Suspension Bridge that Tubman made in 1856 with four freedom seekers. The bridge no longer exists but its remains can be seen from the Heritage Center.
below: “Historic Cataract House” by Imani Williamson. the Cataract Hotel was built on the banks of the Niagara River in 1825. It had a wait staff that was entirely African American and these Black waiters often led double lives as secret Underground Railroad agents.
below: “The time is always right to do what is right” by Muhammad Zaman. This is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr’s final sermon on 31st March 1968 at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. The calligraphy is in Bengali, Arabic, and English.
below: Saxophone player with words and music a mural by Edreys Wajed; a portrait of tenor saxophonist and jazz musician John “Spider” Martin.
below: Black Lives Matter, a mural by Ashley Kay and Tyshaun Tyson, 2020
below: Holding signs with slogans and phrases that became synonymous with Black Lives Matter, “Say their names” and “No Justice, No Peace”.
below: “The New Spirit of Niagara Falls” by Jonathan Rogers, 2019
below: Portrait of Calvin “Pop” Porter, a professional boxer, gym owner, and community leader by Jalen Law.
below: This long mural featuring portraits of a number of kids is the work of Sarah Zak.
below: Support All Women, a mural celebrating the empowerment of women, painted by Amira Moore.
below: Uhuru Love, aka Dr. Gloria Daniels Butler, was an artist, educator, and civil rights activist. She adopted the name Uhuru Love in 1965 – Swahili and English words meaning “freedom (is) love”. The mural was painted by Lashonda Davis.
below: “A Niagara Falls Love Story” by Tyshaun Tyson, 2019. Alice Hayes was an active member of the community (her biography is online) and her husband Charles B. Hayes was Niagara Falls first black physician when the couple arrived in the city in 1935.
below: Freedom seekers map, the routes to Niagara Falls. Painted by Natalia Suska, 2019
below: Channeling the energy from the falls to be put toward the pursuit of freedom. “The Niagara Movement” mural by Thomas Asklar and Matthew Conroy. The Niagara Movement was a black civil rights group founded in 1905 by W.E.B. Du Bois (pictured here) and William Monroe Trotter. It was named for the “mighty current” of change the group wanted to effect and took Niagara Falls as its symbol.
below: Aerosol Kingdom (aka Justin Suarez), “Girl with a Snail Earring”. 2021
below: A 2022 mural about Black history and the underground railroad in Niagara Falls in three scenes, painted by Abigail Lee Penfold.
More information: Niagara Falls Heritage Arts
Photos taken May 2023
South Avenue scenes
Murals and graffiti seen along South Ave in Rochester.
below: Conor Harrington Untitled (Fight Club Series)
below: Floating in a pink sky over a sea of imaginary snakes and fish
below: “You’re a Shining Star no matter who you are”. A jar full of shiny positivity by local artist Shawn Dunwoody.
below: A group of flowers with faces as their centers.
below: Maladjusted Mike is stuck on a pole. Apparently he’s from Seriously Disgusting Comics.
below: No room for Fascism
below: A pink Neptune-like sea creature ruling over his underwater worlds, by Bile, 2013
below: Part of Nova’s shapes and colours.
below: “LIFE in abundance comes only through great LOVE”
below: Whirls and swirls of colour in an abstract painting by Mike Ming, 2013
below: A fox and bunny by Mr. PVRT aka Justin Suarez
below: Adam Francey’s fantastic detailed mural with birds and faces and a couple of words – seek, understand.
below: “Big brother is watching you and he’s bored”.
below: Avocado face, by Stefan Fella
below: Walking white teddy bear
below: The old and the new – root beer and birds.
below: A large egret? (or shorebird of one kind or another) and frog. Do egrets eat frogs?
Photos taken May 2023
history on the streets
While walking around the Byward Market in Ottawa, I saw a lot of traffic control boxes at intersections that were wrapped with old black and white photos. This is the result of The Capital History Project, a collaborative effort between Carleton University, the Workers History Museum, and the city of Ottawa. These boxes first appeared 2017 and they are/were all over the city. I am not sure how many there still are …. but here are a few of them….
below: Petigorsky’s shoe repair. Mr. Oscar Petigorsky in front of the store that he and his wife Nina ran, 1930s. The store was at 289 Dalhousie Street.
below: The sign on the side of the horse drawn wagon says “”Tea and Coffee Warehouse, W. Cunningham, Grocer, Wine Merchant”
below: “Ottawa band Modern Rock Quartet at Cafe Le Hibou”, photo by Dave Sproul circa 1970. MRQ was formed in 1967 and over the next few years they played with many top rock groups of the era. According to Wikipedia, their first live performance was at the Prime Minister’s official residence – that would be Pierre Trudeau.
below: Sam’s? Buy & Sell
For a complete story of these boxes, see the Capital History website. There you will find an interactive map showing the location of all the boxes.
Photos taken May 2023
on the funeral home wall
In the Byward Market area of Ottawa, you can find a collection of large mural as you look across a parking lot on Dalhousie Street. They stretch along the wall of a funeral home on St. Patrick Street.
below: The darker end of the murals is signed by three. They are Juan Carlos Noria, The Laporte Brothers (Phil and Dom Laporte) and the Higher Ups.
below: Apples and currants in the corner
below: The other part of the wall is for the birds so to speak. The blackbird (raven?) on the left was painted by DRPN (Drippin’ Soul).
below: This is a closer look at the head of the bird on the righthand side. It is the work of Mique Michelle, an artist who work often features feathery birds (or other animals)
below: A large mural by Dom Laporte featuring a Locomotive 2037 pulling a long freight train. The history of Smiths Falls was always closely tied to the railways. In February 1859 the first train arrived in town – on the B & O (Brockville & Ottawa) railway, pulled by a wood burning locomotive. In the 1880’s B & O was amalgamated into the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway)network. a few years later a second rail line, the Canadian Northern, came to town.
below: Smiths Falls railway station with its distinctive turret – built in 1912 for the Canadian Northern line on their Toronto to Ottawa route. It is now a National Historic site.
below: High above the street on scaffolding, working to “renovate” the lawyer’s office – a twist on the historic mural. Ryan, Knott & Dixon would probably be quite happy with the facelift that Craig Campbell and Chris Addy have given their brick building.
below: An older mural painted on wood and then attached to the wall. A winter scene on a downtown street.
waiting for the rain to pass
I found myself stuck for a few minutes without an umbrella when the rain started. Luckily there was space under the arch at the entrance to Passage de la Bonne Graine
below: A little portrait by Sohan Street above a torn and defaced group photo of four men. The latter is signed in the bottom corner as Docteur something but because the paper is ripped, the rest of the name is lost.
below: A “Go Vegan” message from Angel Crow
below: A black stencil portrait by NJO972 aka William Njo, woman in glasses
below: A very small black and white cat encased in a glass helmet sits beside a seahorse (or hippocampe) with blue bubbles, drawn by Agathon.
below: More evidence of the effects of time on graffiti… torn feathers and missing body parts. A cute yellow rubber duckie though!
below: Oh well……
Tunnganarniq: An Inuit word that means fostering good spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive. It is also the title of this large mural painted by Inuit youth artists from Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) along with the Embassy of Imagination in partnership with Ottawa School of Art. It was completed in 2017.
below: At the head of the whale.
below: Tusked orange walrus
below: A tusked orange walrus swims along side.
below: At the tail end
ᕼᐊᓕ ᔫᓯᐱ- Harry Josephee,
ᑭᐊᕙᓐ ᕿᒥᕐᐱᒃ- Kevin Qimirpik,
ᔮᓂᔅ ᕿᒥᕐᐱᒃ – Janice Qimirpik,
ᓯᑯᓕᐊ ᐋᑕᒥ – Christine Adamie,
Photos taken April 2023
rue Candie eye candy
below: by David Selor, a sorry fox you might say
below: Two copies of Frieda Kahlo on what looks like Mexican export stamps
below: At number 1 rue Candie there is a small collection of paper pieces.
below: Riding with the butterfly and swinging along side are the little people. These are some of the “petit peuple de l’ombre” created by wall.lilo
below: More butterflies! A beautiful blue butterfly made with leaves on blue photosensitive paper as well as another wall.lilo butterfly
below: La geule du bois becomes The hangover when translated into English even though a more literal version might be the mouth of wood.
below: “Je t’aime un peu partout” or “I love you everywhere” (Nevoul Art)
Photos taken March 2023