Graffiti Alley - A Hub for Outdoor Urban Art

Occupying several blocks in the Fashion District of Toronto, Graffiti Alley is a major hub for outdoor urban art. The walls of low-rise buildings serve as the canvases for street artists in this bustling Canadian city. Famous for its colorful murals, the alley is one of the most photographed points in the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) streetcars drop off passengers just steps away from the open-air gallery.

Background and History

Graffiti Alley
A canvas for Toronto's street artists
As one of the most important commercial thoroughfares in Toronto, Queen Street West has been managed by a business improvement district (BIA) for decades. Situated just south of this historic street, Graffiti Alley has grown with major contributions by the local BIA. The respectable organization successfully convinced city leaders to legalize graffiti art in 2011. Before that, property owners were fined and penalized in other ways for having graffiti artwork on display. Since the legalization of this urban art form, the eastern section of Rush Lane was renamed Graffiti Alley. The new legislation has allowed countless artists to decorate hundreds of buildings along this one-way street. The BIA of Queen Street deserves plenty of credit for transforming the Fashion District into one of the coolest tourist hubs in the Greater Toronto Area. Established just a year after the legalization of graffiti art in Toronto, StreetARToronto has promoted the growth of the movement. This program aims to reduce vandalism-type graphics from the city's streets. StreetARToronto gives amateur and professional artists to beautify public spaces with cool artwork that's visible to countless pedestrians and pedestrians in this bustling metropolis. Click to book your Toronto City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.

Highlights

Graffiti Alley
Between Spadina Avenue and Augusta Avenue
Graffiti Alley is one of the most dynamic attractions in Toronto. Even the most popular murals on the brick buildings eventually get replaced by other artwork. The harsh winter weather also contributes to significant deterioration in the paint and other finishes. Artists from all over the city and Canada are eager to leave their signature marks on this trendy stretch of three blocks. Most of the images include quirky characters and abstract themes that are inspired by pop culture, Hollywood, urban music and modern art genres. Floral and marine themes are also quite common in the murals that burst with color. Some of the most eye-catching graffiti graphics have cool 3-D effects that seem to trick your natural vision. You'll get the impression that fictional characters and other creatures in the murals are ready to leap into the real world. Throughout the years, some of the city's most gifted urban artists have enhanced Graffiti Alley, including Uber5000, Spud and Elicser.

Visiting Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley
Several blocks in the Fashion District of Toronto
Graffiti Alley spans two blocks between Spadina Avenue and Augusta Avenue in Toronto's revitalized Fashion District. An entire block on Rush Lane is also decorated with awesome graffiti displays. This narrow lane is bound by Augusta Avenue and Portland Street. If you're looking for the most convenient way to reach this attraction, take the Toronto Transit Commission streetcars to Spadina Avenue or Queen Street. The 501 and 301 lines stop at the intersection of these two major thoroughfares, which have pedestrian-friendly layouts. Public parking is limited near the alley, but there are several Bike Share Toronto stations available nearby. Taxis and other hired vehicles might struggle to get on Rush Lane or the alley, so it's best to use Augusta Avenue for pickups and dropoffs. If you love to navigate urban settings by foot, you'll appreciate the alley's proximity to Union Station. The distance between the attraction and this major rail station is just less than 2 miles.

Location: Between Spadina Avenue and Augusta Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-09-03
Updated On: 2019-09-03

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