‘Out and About – Windows of Time’ is a large mural by Christiano De Araujo that features scenes from the social history of Weston village. Unfortunately, the (painted) young man who is sitting on the sidewalk and playing a guitar is hidden by the (real) car parked in front of the mural.
January 23rd is Lunar New Year as we enter the Year of the Rabbit (except in Vietnam where apparently it’s the Year of the Cat).
below: Although this mural has nothing to do with rabbits (or cats), it is found in Toronto’s Chinatown. Three dragons cavorting on the wall on Oxford Street, painted by sightone in 2016.
below: Blue dragon guarding the door at number 5.
Nearby there is an alley where the Chinatown BIA has sponsored some murals with Asian themes.
below: A large koi, or carp, swimming towards a pink lotus flower.
below: “Flowers of the four seasons – Autumn Chrysanthemum” by rowdyradrat.
below: Another rowdyradrat painting – this one is “Flowers of the Four Seasons – Winter, Plum Blossoms” and it features Chinese plum blossoms.
There is a railway bridge that crosses Lansdowne Ave just south of Dundas West. Along the concrete wall on the east side of the underpass is a long stretch of murals painted last year by a group of muralists and street artists. This is “Community Built”.
below: At the south end of paintings…. Ducks and loons in the water; ducks in flight by Nick Sweetman. Most people will recognize the green-headed mallard; the duck with the big black and white head is a male hooded merganser. A female merganser has a similar crest on her head except that it is brown.
Next to the ducks there are people fishing and wading in a creek. This portion was painted by Elicser Elliott.
below: Under the tracks, abstract flowers in yellows and oranges by Chris Perez
below: Black hands and white hands reaching out, by Rowell Soller
below: Kedre Brown (left) and Artchild (right)
below: Scenes on light green by Andrea Manica – a dog, a bee, and a couple of strawberries – walking in heels with coat and hat – sitting on a yellow blanket – a tent, mushrooms, and playing ball.
below: As the years go by we’ll be able to date the artworks of 2020 to 2022 by the presence of masks. That’s assuming that we won’t be wearing them again…..
below: Que Rock
below: A few artists from Red Urban Nation Artists Collective had a section of the wall to paint
below: Part of the RUN Collective, is Ren Lonechild who painted the apes at the bottom of the stairs. Swooping and swirling around the apes and the stairs are ghostly creatures that are the work of Cedar Eve Peters
below: The view from the top of the stairs from Shirley Avenue
below: by Danielle Hyde
below: A mural with a message that the willow tree is nature’s aspirin. Willow bark contains salicin which is chemically similar to aspirin which also known as acetylsalicylic acid. The salicin chemical structure is shown in this mural by Keitha Keeshing-Tobias.
below: This project incorporated a previous public art installation on this site. Back in 1989 a number of small sculptures, or forms, by Dyan Marie were embedded into the wall of the underpass.
below: This is Leone McComas’s contribution to the ‘Community Built’ project
below: Alex Bacon painted dancers in hazy flowing shades of pink and orange.
below: Two murals.
below: Close up of the cyclist painted by Curtia Wright
below: Two brown figures by kaya joan
below: On the right – a blue woman reclines by a cluster of colourful houses. She’s got one hand on a pink lawn and her feet on a red lawn under a white-leafed tree. This mural was painted by Yasaman Mehrsa.
below: Close up view of the big regal cat by Planta Muisca as it sits on a blue mat by a bowl of papaya and a slice of lemon.
below: Welcome to Little Tibet … standing beside a white chicken by Caitlin Taguibao
below: People from the Little Tibet mural, by Kalsang Wangyal,
below: A mural by Tenzin Tsering on the right – a bonfire where “the flames of the bonfire represent the tradition of oral storytelling and act as a homage to the diverse and unique stories/voices of the people in Tkaronto.” (from her instagram page)
below: And what’s a Toronto mural if it doesn’t have a raccoon?
In the mural two pictures above, the painting on the left is the work of Jordan McKie (aka trip2thetop) The next few images are from that mural.
below: A dragon’s head at the north end of the underpass by June Kim.
below: Looking south
A Mural Routes project from 2021
June, Jordan McKie, Tenzin Tsering, Kalsang Wangyal (waz_graphics), Caitlin Taguibao, Planta Muisca, Yasaman Mehrsa, kaya joan, Curtia Wright, Alex Bacon, Leone McComas, Keitha Keeshig-Tobias Biizindam, Red Urban Nation Artists Collective (Drew Rickard, Danielle Hyde, Cedar Eve Peters, Ren Lonechild and Que Rock), Mo Thunder and Shawn Howe, Andrea Manica, Kedre Brown, ARTCHILD, Rowell Soller, Chris Perez, Elicser Elliott, Nick Sweetman.
Curator and community engagement facilitator: Bareket Kezwer
below: Hedgehog covered with thousands of protective spikes.
below: Playing baseball and keeping an eye on the bees
below: An encounter with a skunk
below: Playing with friends. Great dunk shot!
below: This robin has found very large worm
below: A blue dragonfly with translucent wings
below: A black squirrel and a grey squirrel and thousands of nuts!
The people in the mural scenes were painted by Elicser Elliott while Nick Sweetman painted the animals.
Photos were taken December 2022
“Almonds and Wine” was a short (5 minute) animated film by Arnie Lipsey. It is the retelling of a Yiddish folk song about a wedding of a couple from Eastern Europe. In the film the newlyweds emigrate to Canada and become part of Toronto’s Jewish community. In turn, their children grow up, marry, and have their own children.
Using scenes from the film, a mosaic mural was created that now lines a section of sidewalk on Bathurst Street. It was designed to look like a strip of film with black lines between the frames as well as the sprockets along the edges.
Mosaic Artist: Cristina Delago. The mural was completed in 2010.
This post also appears in As I Walk Toronto blog.
Photos taken November 2022
In an alley near Dovercourt and Queen West in Toronto are two garage door murals unlike any others.
below: ‘Elephancy’ by Zirco Fish – It’s an elephant but it’s not. Tusks like an elephant and the ears seem to be big a floppy. But the mouth is like a beak and the eyes are certainly not those of an elephant. A crazy fantastical creature, the product of someone’s imagination.
below: ‘Scrat Attack’ by Zirco Fish.
New Dawn is the name given to the latest laneway street art mural painting project. It is a celebration of the 10th anniversary of StreetARToronto.
The alley runs parallel to Queen Street West (just west of Ossington); it crosses Brookfield and Fennings streets.
This post also appears on the As I Walk Toronto blog.
In Toronto, subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals.
below: The artist, Philip Cote, described the story behind this image on the ArtworxTO website (see link); like all cultures, the Anishinaabe have an origin story. In the beginning there was just Spirit. “And that spirit decided to send signals out into the universe and waited for a response. And when no response happened that spirit called the signals back and said, “As you come back to me, create light in the universe”. And at that moment they had light and dark in the universe. And that is the beginning of the Anishinaabe cosmology. Everything for Anishinaabe is made of light and dark. Everything we look at has a spirit, everything, the ground, the rocks, the sand, the trees, the birds, the plants, everything is… and even our sun and our Mother Earth and the moon, they all have a spirit.”
The blues of the water, the Humber River, were painted by Kwest. Water is the Underworld in Ahishinaabe cosmology and the Guardians of this Underworld are the fish. Another artist, Jarus aka (Emmanuel Jarus), painted the fish.
Most of the paintings have a well defined circle. This is the boundary between water and earth, between the spirit world and the physical world. But there are connections between the two worlds – all living things are connected and we are all connected to the Spirit World.
…. of downtown Toronto.
Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky have painted another large colourful mural. This one features two women, a baltimore oriole, and many flowers.
below: Close up of the bird, a baltimore oriole
below: Adorned with leaves, flowers, and fruit – blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Lots of cherry blossoms and another bird too.
There is a large mural (40′ x 50′) in downtown Toronto on the west wall of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Front Street East. It was painted by Quentin Commanda, aka Que Rock.
below: Commanda’s “Artist Statement” – see below the picture to read the transcription.
This mural is meant to be a visual healing experience. The seven rings around Grandfather Sun represent the seven Grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe people: Wisdom, Love, Humility, Respect, Honesty, Courage, and Truth. There are many layers of sacred geometry patterns on the mural.
The skyline includes the medicine-wheel teachings, Grandmother Moon and the 13 grandmother clan systems. The turtle shell represents North America’s creation story, the 13 full moons per year, and the seven grandfather teachings.
The entire mural also represents the original Peace Treaty of the Six Nations on Turtle Island (North America). The story of the Six Nations Treaty starts with the original five Nations of Turtle Island: the Plant Nation, the Insect Nation, the Bird Nation, the Fish Nation, and the Animal Nation. All five Nations had to agree to let the Human Nation live here on Mother Earth. All five Nations agreed to be humanity’s teachers and the Human Nation was invited to share the land.
The Human Nation was given instructions on how to live on Mother Earth, walk gentle on Mother Earth, learn one new thing every day, and share with one another. These are some of the original instructions given to the Anishinaabe people. The bear represents a Medicine Clan. The Mukwa (bear) is a healer, it is the only animal who communicates with all Six Nations.
The bottom panel represents my story from the past, present, and future. The first character with the microphone is the future and present me. The second character represents my past as a native child with my dog Miangun and the path of healing I have taken to decolonize myself back to the Anishinaabe child I was born to be.
My mother is a residential school survivor and so was my father. I am no different than the 215 children found in Kamloops, B.C. I survived to tell you this story and share my experiences. My community is still here and so am I.
The Artist is from Nbiising or Nipissing First Nation, his traditional name is Manitou Nemeen (Spirit Dancing) and he is from the Miangun Dodem (Wolf Clan).
The orange background on the mural represents the missing/murdered Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.
The mural was commissioned by TO Live