Graffiti Alley is the name given to a long alleyway in Toronto, just south of Queen Street West, which features a massive collection of vibrant and colourfully painted, unique and detailed murals and street art, in a condensed area.
I have recently become fascinated with discovering and photographing cool and interesting street art – both in my hometown of Winnipeg and elsewhere – and it is one of my favourite things to find in a new place, so when I was researching my four day trip to Toronto and read about Graffiti Alley, I knew that I had to check it out for myself.
After exploring Toronto’s downtown area (See: Exploring Toronto’s Financial District: A Photo Essay) on my first day after arriving in Toronto (and also my 25th birthday!) in April 2016, I walked to Graffiti Alley and was amazed at the incredible and impressive street art that I discovered there! Let me show you.
If you have plans to travel to Toronto, I hope that my photos inspire you to explore these amazing works of art!
The murals and artwork were so detailed, unique and colourful and they included paintings of human faces, animals, words, phrases and other unique and interesting designs in so many vivid and bright colours! There were incredible murals everywhere I looked and the buildings along the alleyway were covered from top to bottom in amazing and colourful artwork.
The alley was long and spanned about three blocks, with smaller narrow back-lanes stemming off of it in both directions. I spent hours wandering and exploring the long alleyway during two separate days.
Aside from a view pieces of garbage laying around, the alley was much cleaner and more well-maintained than I had been expecting it to be. The buildings and garage doors along the alley were pretty much completely covered with spectacular, beautiful and brightly coloured murals. I loved how unique each mural was and the amount of detail that they all contained – they were truly impressive and inspiring works of art!
There were only a few other people exploring the alley during both of my visits, and it was great to wander around in such a peaceful and quiet environment while being almost completely alone.
I spent hours wandering and exploring the long alleyway and the smaller back-lanes that stemmed off of it, while admiring and photographing the artwork. There was a local artist painting a new mural as I explored the alley and it was really interesting to watch him creating his vision. I loved it so much that I even decided to return to the alley the following day to take even more photos and admire the beautiful murals.
Graffiti Alley was such an amazing place to explore with fantastic photo opportunities and I would highly recommend checking it out if you are traveling to Toronto, especially if you are a photographer who is interested in seeing some incredible street art! It is definitely a worthwhile experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences wandering around this colourful and amazing alleyway.
This is a photo essay featuring a collection of my favourite murals and street art that I found during my explorations of Toronto’s Graffiti Alley in April 2016.
Street Art Photography in Graffiti Alley
Practical Details – Graffiti Alley
Location – Situated between Queen Street West and Richmond Street to the north and south & Spadina Avenue and Portland Street to the east and west.
Admission – FREE!
Getting There (Transportation) – Graffiti Alley is centrally located in downtown Toronto and is within walking distance from the nearby neighbourhoods of Kensington Market, Chinatown, and Queen West. It is also easily accessible via Toronto’s streetcars. Click here to view the transport schedules.
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Have you been to Toronto’s Graffiti Alley? What was your experience like? Where have you found amazing street art in Toronto or elsewhere during your travels?
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FYI: The photos in this post are available for purchase as prints. Please contact me for more details if you are interested!
Thanks for reading!