Graffiti Alley

Photowalk: a communal activity of camera enthusiasts who gather in a group to walk around with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that interest them.

I spent the week in Toronto with my youngest son and, man, did we ever photowalk. 26,633 steps, or 16.8 km, on Tuesday. 16,313 steps, or 11.9 km, on Wednesday. 13,525 steps, or 8.6 km, on Thursday.

Back home last night with a much needed day today to recover. Well, not exactly a recovery day. I am setting up a guitar for a friend. That will take a couple of hours. Later, I will be spending three or four hours practicing guitar for the weekend. Then I will be spending the evening coaching another guitarist on how to craft tones using compression, overdrive, delays and reverb. Oh, and posting on this site. Something I missed over the past few days with the photowalk.

Never a free moment in retirement.

I’ll share a few of the images from our photowalk. We covered five main areas of Toronto: Graffiti Alley, the Distillery District, the Toronto Waterfront, Toronto Island and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Today’s images come from Graffiti Alley.

I have shot this part of Toronto for many years, before it began to attract a lot of tourists. Every time I went down to Graffiti Alley, I would be on my own but recently it can become crowded, especially during the summer months. But it was a must to do with my son. It was his first time out shooting this alley, a photographer’s paradise.

Here is a shot of the alley with a few tourists in the background.

There had been a busload of people in that same area a few minutes beforehand. We waited for them to lose interest and move on after which it became rather easy to frame shots without people in them.

The alley is just south of Queen Street near Spadina, about a twenty minute walk from the downtown. We spent roughly two hours shooting in this area. The alley runs several city blocks in length. And the street art is everywhere, on dumpsters, concrete poles, walls, literally anywhere there is an available surface.

Even though Toronto is considered a clean city, Graffiti Alley is full of garbage. Even if the sign tells you that there is no dumping.

Believe it or not, this doorway is an entry into a kitchen at the back of a restaurant on Queen Street. Hopefully the kitchen is a bit cleaner than the doorway.

The street art is vibrant and provides a unique perspective.

Some of the street art is surprisingly compelling given the transitory nature of Graffiti Alley. The walls are constantly being repainted.

It would be a shame to paint over this work.

For context, the same graffiti in the alley.

If you get a chance to visit Toronto, and you are in the downtown area, a walk through Graffiti Alley is a unique experience and recommended particularly if you enjoy photography.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.