Share these outdoor murals with your followers, both for their artistry and message.
Toronto’s thriving street art scene showcases artwork from artists in Toronto and around the world, and touches not just on trends but social awareness of the times. If you’re looking for a fun, safe and socially distant way to explore the city, here are 15 spots with street art that’s sure to leave you feeling inspired.
It is hands down home to some of the city’s most iconic street art and easily the most photographed. It’s also always changing, encompassing the artsy Queen West vibe and reflecting political and social activism, like most recently when a group of 40 artists painted the city black in support of Black Lives Matter. Be sure to check out the Black Lives Matter tributes by various Toronto artists like @sumartist’s ‘I Can’t Breathe’ tribute to George Floyd and more. You’ll quickly find that making more than one visit is definitely a must. Start at the corner of Rush Lane and Portland Street and head east.
Toronto-based female artist Christina Mazzulla worked on this piece that is the perfect Instagram spot to show someone that you care (especially during these times!). Not to mention it’s pretty beautiful to look at as well.
Anything that depicts Toronto’s name is a sure bet to be Instagram-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 (on the south side of Strange Love Coffee).
Who could forget the electricity that took over Toronto during the 2019 NBA championship run by the Toronto Raptors? The entire city, country and world were captivated by Raptors, the underdog team that took the championship title. During the playoffs, Raptors and basketball star Kawhi Leonard murals started popping up throughout the city. This one took centre stage, dubbing Leonard at the King of the North. A must for any die-hard Raptor fan wanting to relive the glory.
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.
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.
Keep walking along Queen Street West and near Tecumseth on the west side facing Bellwoods Avenue, 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.
Step out of the St. Clair Subway station and look up! This massive mural brightens up the busy intersection and has been dubbed Deer Park by its creator birdO (aka @jerryrugg). Proving that street art can be in any part of the city, this graphic mural takes up the sidewall of a multi-story building. The best pic is to kitty-corner yourself and hopefully capture a St. Clair streetcar passing by for a full-on Toronto vibe.
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 the city—from The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie in his infamous Jaws t-shirt to landmarks like the CN Tower, those pesky city racoons, and yes, even our once notorious mayor Rob Ford. You can find this mural between Rush Lane and Richmond Street, just east of Portland.
Good vibes all around with this recent mural by Toronto artist @ben_johnston. Known for his play on fonts and words, Johnston’s murals will always make you do a double take. This one also happens to be steps from one of Toronto’s most famous downtown green spaces, Trinity Bellwoods Park.
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 truly appreciate the intricate details, the street art of Kensington Market emulates its spirit to a T. There’s also a graffiti car in the midst of it all at the corner of Oxford Street and Augusta Avenue. 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.
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, which has been on the mural must-see list for a few years now and is still going strong. Nab this photo without cars parked in front of it by arriving super early, before 8:00 a.m. ideally. Get that unobstructed view from across the street to capture the full sign.
The zigs and the zags in this bold, geometric mural add a bit of life to the parking lot next to No Frills. 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).
Commuters from the west end heading 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 opp.
Your chances of snagging a selfie with the man himself might be slim so here’s the next best thing that’s a guarantee. Find this Toronto gem on the side of Bamboo Tattoo on the Queensway in Etobicoke. It may be a bit of trek to get there, but worth it if you’re a fan of Drake, the Raptors or just an all around Toronto fan.
With the Junction becoming one of the buzzier parts of the city thanks to some great restaurants, bars and cafes, you can bet that there would also be a prime opportunity for a great wall mural. Another Ben Johnston piece, this FOREVER wall mural is at Junction House on Dundas Street West.
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.
See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door
there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.
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