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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Graffiti: Good? Bad? Ugly?

You see a lot of graffiti in Toronto. I know it's not as bad as some American cities. In fact I have had some American friends ask me if it's done for t.v. shows or movies that are filmed here. The sad answer to that is no. There are a lot of people that feel the need to leave their mark every where. And in some cases I do mean that. I have taken a few pictures here and there of what some of them do. Most of the time I believe that the "tags" are ugly and have no artistic value what-so-ever.

So we'll start with the bad and ugly. With quite a few low level buildings all over the city you will find the vandals mark on walls that are a level or two above an adjacent roof.
Roof GraffitiRoof Graffiti
I think it's pointless. Most people don't look up anyway. So what do they get out of it? The worst part is that most businesses have to pay to get it removed or covered up. Both aren't cheap prospects either. Especially if you leave it you can be fined huge by the city. Doesn't matter that the business owner had no say in the tagging in the first place.
Little Portugal graffiti
Downtown it can be even crazier. All sorts of buildings, alley's, not to mention vehicles(don't have any pictures of those unfortunately). Most is garbage and dreck.
Graffiti Zone_PKE4271

Remember though, there is always an exception to every rule. The exception for this is a place called Graffiti Alley. It's located south of Queen street and runs from Portland St. to Spadina Ave. A lot of interesting artwork, colour, and design. There's so much to select from that I took over the weekend. I will just show a small sample of the ones that aren't marred or re-tagged.
Graffiti AlleyGraffiti AlleyGraffiti Alley
Actually I will leave the rest for times when I have nothing to write. Just one final picture though. I was in the neighbourhood last September(2008) where I took the fourth picture. I was looking through my stash and realized that I had taken another picture from almost the same spot. This time I was using my zoom lens and got a closer shot. I thought that I had mis-filed it somehow when uploading.
Only reason I know it's two different times is the exif data, and the realty sign on the wall. Any way, that's it for today. Enough for the walking. Time to rest these shank mares.
Paladin Phil


  1. Very interesting!

    I think I might be afraid to wander down Graffiti Alley alone, though: it looks kinda rough.

  2. Actually it's not that bad. It was very quiet with very little foot traffic on Saturday. Besides it's a stone throw from Queen street on the north, and Richmond on the south. As well I saw a lot of residences with entrances and gardens off the alley.