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Toronto’s Graffiti Alley


Graffiti Alley in the Queen Street West area of Toronto runs along Rush Lane for several blocks and is a delight to photograph. 

Graffiti was not seen as an acceptable art form in the city. During my architectural studies, we were taught that graffiti was a sign of vandalism and destructive to neighbourhoods. However, once legalized this area became significant to the city. In fact, in 2011, the StART program provided funding and approval for these public murals and graffiti art.

The local businesses have embraced its expression and are pleased with the adornment. Each marking along the path tells a story, and your interpretation can be as unique as the art itself. 

I am drawn to the bright colours that bring out the architectural surfaces on the buildings. Over the years, I have returned to photograph the area and have found that additional graffiti has been added, covering some of the existing murals I originally captured.  When I travel to other Cities, I enjoy looking at their urban art. The artists may be using this medium as a voice for social change or a community desire. Whichever it may be, it does reveal the culture and often the politics of the current environment.  

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in purchasing any of Rita’s photography you will find her contact information on the right sidebar.

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