Graffiti Alley: Exploring Toronto’s Debated Creative Arts Scene

Toronto is a diverse and ever-evolving city with a developed and growing alternative, creative arts scene. As alternative culture is on the rise in the ‘six’, one way the city’s artists are showing their passion for art is through Graffiti Alley.

Toronto’s Graffiti Alley brings alternative culture to the downtown core through street art, spanning about one kilometre near the popular area of Queen St. West and Rush Lane.

Although the alleyway has been a source of debate, sparking conversation on the definitions of art and vandalism, it seems that street art in the alley is being embraced by Torontonians.

A great place to take an eye-catching walk or insta-worthy pictures, the alleyway has been attracting tourists and locals since the late ’80s. The artwork seen on the walls of the street often nod to politics, portraiture, and other diverse topics. The acceptance of the diverse imagery in Graffiti Alley has also been viewed as an example of Canadian culture, embracing difference in society.

All it takes is a short walk along the alleyway to understand the skill it takes to create these images with only a can of spray paint. The vibrant creations sprayed by some of Toronto’s street artists are a must-see if wandering through the Queen West area. If you’re in the mood for an extended alternative experience, I recommend strolling through Graffiti Alley and then checking out the nearby area of Kensington Market, where you can find more street art imagery, along with eclectic shops, restaurants and bars.

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Have you had the chance to wander through Toronto’s Graffiti Alley? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! 

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