A west end art crawl of some of Toronto's best murals

Toronto has worked hard to cultivate a reputation as an arts and culture hub. With endless festivals, galleries, event series, workshops, you name it, the city constantly encourages participation and inclusivity in the arts and culture scene. And with all that’s going on, sometimes you need not look farther than our city's walls to be immersed in its treasures.

A LOVE LETTER TO THE GREAT LAKES

This past June saw a team of local and international artists assemble in Toronto for a PangeaSeed Foundation’s Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans. Speaking to the critical issues our planet’s freshwater supply faces, artists beautified the city with primarily nautical-themed murals.
 

Photo courtesy: @brunosmoky

Photo courtesy: @brunosmoky

 

OSSINGTON & REBECCA

Bruno Smoky devoted this piece to the coexistence of man and nature to promote sustainability. A Brazil native, Bruno is a coordinator for the Essencia Arts Collective and is a founding member of the Clandestinos Crew.

 

Photo courtesy: @jerryrugg

Photo courtesy: @jerryrugg

 

ARGYLE & BRUCE

Best known as Birdo, this mural of the Butler's Garter Snake uses colour, shadow and geometry to manipulate perception. Birdo is well-known for his floating animal hybrids seen across Toronto that challenge the mind and inspire creativity.

 

Photo courtesy: @elicserelliott

Photo courtesy: @elicserelliott

 

QUEEN & SOHO

In an homage to Marty McFly, Elicser highlights the rising water levels, possibly suggesting that we might only be prepared to address these issues once it’s too late. Elicser’s characters are well known throughout Toronto and his most recent exhibition, Prosopagnosia, explores the inability to see faces as a result living in a fast-paced environment.

 

Photo courtesy: @shalakattack

Photo courtesy: @shalakattack

 

LAWRENCE UNDERPASS NEAR CALEDONIA

Though the mural was first met with some resident protest regarding the “scary” images, there is no mistaking the statement the Essencia Art Collective intended to make. Through bold colours, immensely detailed landscapes representing past, present and future, and hauntingly life like flora and fauna, the mural speaks loudly about our struggle against climate change.  

 

Photo courtesy: @li_hill

Photo courtesy: @li_hill

 

PARKSIDE & LAKESHORE UNDERPASS

Li-Hill is an internationally recognized Toronto artist, currently based in New York. His 42-metre-long mural on the Parkside underpass stays true to his multi-layered stencil aesthetic, speaking to the ramifications of urbanization.

 

Photo courtesy: @nick_sweetman

Photo courtesy: @nick_sweetman

 

HOWLAND & BLOOR

Though you’ve likely never heard of Pollinator Week, Toronto artist Nick Sweetman was commissioned by Burt’s Bees Canada in partnership with StreetARToronto to create awareness during the week-long campaign. The consequence of a dying bee populations is a global problem and this mural serves to remind everyone of the importance of every living creature.