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Downtown Toronto Art Pieces

I got Cabin Fever this week and went for a walk downtown Toronto. Here are a few street art pieces I ran across. Not all ART with capital letters but still fun.

Mural Detail

Mural south of Queen Street at Spadina. A sort of Treasure map path through major cities of the world, ending in Toronto.

Mural near Spadina and Queen
Large statue of a thimble

Spadina and Queen used to be the shmata-garment district of Toronto. (from a yiddish term for a rag). Now there are still several clothing outlets, mainly bridal, and many fabric stores. You can still find button shops and skirt pleating service being offered here. Most of the sweatshops have moved from the area though.

The big thimble sculpture with the yellow measuring tape on the ground is to honour the history of the district.

When I was younger I used to check out the trash outside the sewing shops for fabric remnants. Dumpster diving at its best. I made many costumes from these fabric bits. Sometimes a shop would clean out its junk and I would hit the jackpot with buttons, thread and large remnants and findings.

Active surplus figure Active Surplus facade Active surplus figure Active surplus figure

Active Surplus

Active Surplus is a tinkerer's heaven. Here you can find any number of gismos as long as you are willing to root around. Old russian optics, camera parts, motors of every shape and size, electronic parts, ballbearings, wire, cheap tools, kits, LED stuff, plastic tubing, sheets and blocks, wheels, fresnel lens, and just about any thing else you can think of.

Art students are a common sight because the Ontario College of Art is just around the corner and many interesting gismos get incorporated into artwork.

It's one of my favourite stores in the whole world.

Active surplus is famous for their life size gorilla wearing an orange T-shirt. As Queen Street becomes more upscale they had to move in the upper story of their building. I expect they will have to move altogether.

Student mural on CNE painting Student mural Spadina mural

2 Student painted murals and one somewhat more disturbing painting. Even though it is not so well made technically, it has a frantic unsettling feel that is very effective.

roncesvale mural Drugstore wall painting Metal Sign

Walking west I ran across a few more murals and an interesting store sign in the form of a trillium and a bell.

Email Christine