From cool, hip depictions of what is important to the city of Toronto to abstract graffiti, to murals with incredible detail and hidden messages, Toronto’s street art is world-class and totally worth an Instagram photo (or two, or three!). And what makes Toronto’s thriving street art scene even better is the fact that it showcases artists and artwork from not only here in Toronto but also from around the world. Here are 10 Toronto murals to check out.
The Spot: Toronto Wall
Address: 101 Spadina Avenue, south side of Strange Love Coffee
Anything that depicts Toronto’s name is a sure bet to be Insta-worthy, and this slightly trippy variation might have you do a double take before you can fully read out the name. It also happens to be right next to a hot coffee spot in the city, Strange Love, so grab a latte to have on hand for that photo in front of the sign.
The Spot: Calii Wings
Address: 367 King Street West
These angel wings are not just a Toronto phenomenon. Street artist Colette Miller has painted her heavenly designs on walls in LA, Washington, DC, Kenya, Taiwan, Australia and more, making her a globally-known artist with her Global Angel Wings Project. The fact that Toronto has its own set of legit wings (that are also the first ones in Canada) puts it rightfully in the ranks of other cool-vibes spots.
The Spot: Make Good Mural
Address: Studio 835 at 835 Bloor Street West
At the corner of Bloor and Shaw Streets is the Make Good Mural on the wall of Studio 835. Crafted by 416Gallery Owner and artist Jimmy Chiale, this mural has become a city favourite for the bold lines, bright colours and vibrancy it brings to the neighbourhood. If you’re digging the vibe of this mural, be sure to check out Chiale’s other work at Tequila Bookworm.
The Spot: Sunglasses Mural
Address: 768 Queen Street West (west side facing Bellwoods Avenue)
Keep walking along Queen Street West and near Tecumseth, you’ll find this mural that will have you dreaming of warm, sunny days. Bring along your own shades and pose it up in front of this pastel-hued wall dotted with rows of sunnies.
The Spot: Toronto Tribute
Address: 169 Rush Lane (between Rush Lane and Richmond Street, just east of Portland)
If any mural summed up the city of Toronto, it has to be this one by Uber5000. The huge mural has so many elements in it that just capture the essence of Toronto — from The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie in his infamous Jaws t-shirt to landmarks, those pesky city racoons, and yes, even our once notorious mayor Rob Ford.
The Spot: Kensington Market
Address: 283 Augusta Avenue (Kensington Market Car located at the corner of Oxford Street and Augusta Ave. More street art can be found walking south on Augusta Avenue)
While walking through Kensington Market, you can’t escape the free spirit of this part of the city. From black-and-white graphics to full houses decked out in incredible art, to murals you need to stand and look at for a while to see and appreciate the intricate details, the street art of Kensington Market emulates its spirit to a T.
Did we mention there’s also a graffiti car in the midst of it all? Yes, the infamous Kensington Market Garden Car is colourfully painted AND has some greenery growing out of it too. Perfect spot to perch for a quick photo.
The Spot: Graffiti Alley
Address: 160 Rush Lane (the beginning of Graffiti Alley starts at the corner of Rush Lane and Portland Street. Then walk east.)
It is hands down home to some of the city’s most iconic street art, easily the most photographed street art, and the most perfect spot to grab your Instagram shot. It’s also always changing, just like the artsy Queen West vibe it captures so well, so making more than one visit is a must.
The Spot: This Is Paradise
Address: 408 Queen Street West, on the side of Cameron House
If you think you’re seeing a Queen West street art trend here, you’re right. The art hub of the city makes it the prime spot for some of the coolest murals. Enter the This Is Paradise mural on the side of Cameron House.
If you can nab this photo on a day without parked cars in front of it, you’re in luck (hint: arrive super early, before 8 am ideally, to get that unobstructed view from across the street and capture the full sign).
The Spot: Junction Mural
Address: 372 Pacific Avenue (Pacific Avenue and Dundas Street West, next to the NoFrills parking lot)
The zigs and the zags in this bold, geometric mural add a bit of life to a parking lot. Plus, with the Junction quickly becoming a hip hotspot, it only makes sense. An added bonus to this is that the posters on the right-hand side rotate. One week you might have a movie poster with Tom Cruise on it, the next week Channing Tatum (take your pick).
The Spot: The Keele-Dundas Wall
Address: Between Rush Lane and Richmond Street, just east of Portland
Commuters from the west end to the downtown core along the Bloor Line have long had moments with the Keele-Dundas wall during a quick outdoor stretch on the subway. Lined with impressive murals, the back walls of the businesses along Bloor Street West from Keele Street to Dundas Street West are amazing to see through a subway car window. They’re even better if you hop off at Keele station, walk a bit east on Bloor and poke around the back of the buildings for a photo op.
While you’re discovering another terrific mural, what you see today may not be here tomorrow. StreetARToronto’s Facebook page keeps both artists and visitors up to date as to what’s happening where and when.
About the Author
Jennifer has been jetting around the world for the past 12 years, finding hidden gems, idyllic luxury hotels and off-the-beaten-path destinations. In Toronto, she calls the Bloor West/High Park area home sweet home. Her byline has appeared in The Globe & Mail, ELLE Canada, HELLO!, FLARE, FASHION, Metro News and more. She runs her own travel website, TravelandStyle.ca – a stylish online destination focused on finding beauty and style in travel.