Wow your Instagram followers with these vibrant outdoor murals from Toronto’s most exciting street art hotspots.
Toronto’s thriving street art scene showcases artwork from local and international artists, touching not just on trends but social awareness, too. If you’re looking for a creative and pedestrian-friendly way to explore the city, here are 11 spots with street art that are sure to leave you feeling inspired.
Start in Queen Street West, Toronto’s street art hub
Graffiti Alley is hands down home to some of the city’s most iconic street art and easily the most photographed. It’s also always changing, encompassing the artsy Queen West vibe and reflecting political and social activism, like a series of murals in support of Black Lives Matter and the Indigenous Land Back movement. You’ll quickly find that making more than one visit is definitely a must.
Where to snap it: Start at the corner of Rush Lane and Portland Street and walk east
Toronto Tribute mural
If any mural sums up the city of Toronto, it has to be this one by Uber5000. The huge mural has so many elements in it that just capture the essence of the city—from The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie in his infamous Jaws t-shirt to landmarks like the CN Tower, those pesky city raccoons, and yes, even our once-notorious mayor Rob Ford.
Where to snap it: 169 Rush Lane (between Rush Lane and Richmond Street, just east of Portland Street)
This Is Paradise mural
If you think you’re seeing a Queen Street West street-art trend here, you’re right. The city’s art hub offers up some of the coolest murals. Enter the This Is Paradise mural on the side of Cameron House, which has been on the mural must-see list for a few years now and is still going strong.
Nab the shot without any distracting parked cars by arriving super early, before 8 a.m. ideally. Get that unobstructed view from across the street to capture the full message.
Where to snap it: 408 Queen St. W.
Keep Going mural
This motivating text-based mural is courtesy of local artists Ben Johnston and Trevor Wheatley. It also happens to be right next to Strange Love, a coffee shop focusing on trendy adaptogenic brews. Grab a latte to have on hand for that captivating mural photo.
Where to snap it: 101 Spadina Ave. (south wall)
Thinking of You mural
Toronto-based artist Christina Mazzulla worked on this piece that is the perfect Instagram spot to show someone that you care (especially during these times!). With its pretty images and bright colours, it’s awfully beautiful to admire, print and frame.
Where to snap it: 161 Spadina Ave. (head to the very back of the building)
6 more places to discover dynamic Toronto street art
Kensington Market’s street art scene
Walking through eclectic Kensington Market, you can’t escape the free spirit of this part of the city. From black and white graphics to full houses decked out in incredible art, to murals you need to stand and look at for a while to truly appreciate the intricate details, the street art of Kensington Market emulates its spirit to a T.
There’s also a graffiti car in the midst of it all at the corner of Oxford Street and Augusta Avenue. Yes, the infamous Kensington Market Garden Car is colourfully painted AND has greenery growing out of it too. Perfect spot to perch for a quick photo.
Where to snap it: 283 Augusta Ave., to start and head south on Augusta for more
Moss Park’s King of the North mural
Who could forget the electricity that took over Toronto during the 2019 NBA championship run by the Toronto Raptors? The entire city, country and world were captivated by the Raptors, the underdog team that took the championship title.
During the playoffs, Raptors and basketball star Kawhi Leonard murals started popping up throughout the city. This one in Moss Park (south of Cabbagetown) took centre stage, dubbing Leonard the King of the North. A must for any die-hard Raptor fan wanting to relive the glory.
Where to snap it: 50 Pembroke St.
Bloorcourt Village’s Make Good mural
At the corner of Westside’s Bloor and Shaw Streets is the Make Good mural on the wall of Studio 835. Crafted by 416Gallery owner and artist Jimmy Chiale, this mural has become a city favourite for the bold lines, bright colours and vibrancy it brings to the neighbourhood. The future of Studio 835 is up in the air, so visit this one soon while it’s still up.
Where to snap it: 835 Bloor St. W.
The Junction’s JUNCTION mural
The zigs and the zags in this small but boldly geometric mural add life to the parking lot across from the No Frills supermarket. And with Westside’s The Junction neighbourhood becoming a hip hotspot, it only makes sense!
As an added bonus, you can stroll north a few paces to Arts Market, to shoot a more old-timey wall mural depicting the neighbourhood’s historic roots as the junction of four railway routes.
Where to snap it: 372 Pacific Ave. (just south of Dundas St. W.)
Midtown’s Deer Park mural
Step out of the St. Clair subway station and look up! This massive mural brightens the streetscape and has been dubbed Deer Park by its creator birdO (aka @jerryrugg). Proving that street art can be in any part of the city, this graphic mural takes up the side wall of a multi-story building in sedate Midtown, just east of Yonge Street.
The best photo op is to kitty-corner yourself and capture a passing St. Clair streetcar for that full-on Toronto vibe.
Where to snap it: outside St. Clair subway station
Bloor West Village’s Keele to Dundas “subway” murals
Subway commuters riding the Bloor line can peep an on-the-fly art show during a quick and scenic outdoor stretch between Keele and Dundas West subway stations. Lined with impressive murals, the back walls of the businesses along Bloor Street West are amazing to glimpse through a subway window—but even better on foot so you can poke around for photo ops.
Check out faves by Uber 5000 and stunning large-scale pieces behind the Shevchenko Museum.
Where to snap it: exit Keele subway station and walk east on Bloor Street West towards Indian Road; head into the laneway behind the storefronts
While you’re discovering another terrific mural, what you see today may not be here tomorrow. StreetARToronto’s Facebook page keeps both artists and visitors up to date as to what’s happening where and when.