Sunday, February 14, 2010

guided, illustrated city tours

Dufferin graffiti
It's been a little while since I've shared my view of Toronto, so here we are. First, it's Dufferin and Dupont, where there are some amazing graffiti murals. What I love, in particular, is the inexplicability of the subject matter. Woolly mammoth? West-coast native Sun mask? Why not.

Dufferin Mammoth with Sun

As we continue south towards Queen, we encounter the cyber-kitties. Secretly, I feel that the chrome cats would be a useful judge of character. Do you feel that robokitty is inherently awesome or a wanton destruction of private property? Maybe this should be a question on Faunalia's imaginary "Are you a soulless or soulful hipster?" quiz. I think Minouette would like a cyborg assistant, to help her with whatever mischief she gets up to in my absence.

cyberkitty & tags


So this wonderful mural has been on Queen West for a long time, and, Murphy's Law, when I finally get my act together and bring my camera to the mural, someone has placed an ugly 'Art Sale' sign in front of it. However, I confess that some of the art amused me, no matter how juvenile the humour.

fish graffiti mural

hand & fish

fish mural

graffiti and photos

yellow mitten

The entire Dufferin & Dundas Portuguese village area is painted in this colour scheme, which is great. The fact that I timed this 'drive-by' photograph exactly wrong, such that the sun-face is behind the street-light also amuses me.

dufferin & dundas

I love that this Koreantown mural is so similar in spirit to the Parkdale world map, except, now with more Korean food! Also, considering the stylized, low-resolution character of the world map, I love that the artist has clearly depicted the Great Lakes - because that's important.
maps, masks, food

globe with Korean food

little Korea mural

Cherry St amazes me, how it can always look simultaneously picturesque and desolate.
Cherry st

So apparently, The Distillery District is the largest, in-tact, region of Victorian industrial architecture, anywhere in North America. Hence, it is a boon to the movie industry. Cleverly, the City opted to fill it with art galleries and artists' studios, simulateneously preserving it, and supporting the arts. And yet, I never go there. It's not the most public-transit-friendly destination and I suspect it is filled with tourists (and yet, I think to myself, really? in February! What sort of ill-informed tourist comes to Toronto in FEBRUARY?). From a historical perspective, I find it intriguing that so much of Toronto-the-good was clearly occupied with making whiskey.



Gooderham & Worts

New to Queen W, an optimistic graffiti artist:
change pun

I love the plastic bag + chain link fence = mural equation. I believe this one, in Trinity-Bellwoods park reads, "Where is the Love?"

tennis court fence graffiti

view from park

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