Rush Lane in Toronto is one of Canada’s largest graffiti alleyways. Technically, under the City of Toronto’s bylaw regarding graffiti, this alleyway is not legally designated as a graffiti space — the owners of buildings around Rush Lane just can’t get enough of it.
I took some photos while wandering through one day. Enjoy!
Much of the art is done during the day and in plain sight. A lot of the work in Rush Lane is called graffiti art or murals, and it is rare to see tagging happening on the walls.
Venturing through Rush Lane is like entering a world of colour and design. When I went through, I walked back and forth for a couple hours. Every wall has so much art and so much to look at, it’s easy to miss something really good.
Every time you go to Rush Lane, there is something new and big waiting to be discovered. Graffiti, in it’s oldest sense, was used to designate turf between different crews in a given city. Now, graffiti is a form of sophisticated art.
Many of Toronto’s most notorious graffiti artists are also professional artists that show different kinds of work in high-end galleries. A few of them, in fact, have been contracted to work for companies like Nike and Louis Vuitton.
No matter the reasons behind graffiti or why it’s there, it’s an amazing thing to witness. Rush Lane feels alive and there are so many stories to be told with every stroke of an arm holding a spray can. The freeform expression found in these pieces are relatable and make you feel like you’re connecting with the artist.
Every nook, cranny and hutch in the alleyway is paint, colour and life. Some of the art is in stark contrast to the clean-looking condo located just south.