Understanding Toronto’s Street Art Scene: Murals and Graffiti in the City 

Toronto has a vibrant street art scene full of murals and graffiti that can be found throughout the city. From large murals on the sides of buildings to small tags in alleyways, there is something for everyone to appreciate.

This article will explore the history and culture of Toronto’s street art, as well as some of its most iconic pieces.

It will also provide insight into how you can experience street art yourself and support local artists. So get ready to delve into Toronto’s amazing outdoor galleries!


Street art in Toronto began in the 1970s as part of an overall trend towards more expressive forms of public art. Graffiti was especially popular amongst youth who were looking for ways to express themselves while challenging traditional values. By the 1980s, graffiti had become a major presence in the city and was seen as both art and vandalism.

In recent years, Toronto has embraced its street art scene by commissioning mural projects for public spaces. These murals are often part of city-funded initiatives such as Nuit Blanche and StreetARToronto who work with local artists to create outdoor galleries throughout the city.

Iconic Pieces:

Toronto’s street art scene is full of iconic pieces that have become integral parts of the cityscape. Some of these include ‘The Wave’ on Queen Street West, ‘The Six’ in Kensington Market and ‘Honest Ed’s Alley’ near Mirvish Village.

Street Art Experiences:

Exploring Toronto’s street art scene is a great way to experience the city. There are many different ways to go about it, such as guided tours or self-guided walks. The Centre for Social Innovation also hosts regular events where visitors can tour murals and learn more about the history of street art in Toronto.

Supporting Local Artists:

If you want to show your appreciation for local artists, consider buying their work or making a donation to community groups that help promote street art in Toronto. You can also volunteer with organizations like StreetARToronto and Nuit Blanche, who are always looking for people to help out with mural projects.

Toronto is home to a vibrant street art scene that boasts some of the most iconic murals and graffiti in North America. From large-scale installations to smaller, more personal works, the city’s walls have become canvases for passionate artists to express their creativity. While street art has its critics, there’s no denying the powerful impact it can have on communities and neighborhoods by creating unique atmospheres and conversations.

In this article, we’ll explore Toronto’s vibrant street art scene and get familiar with some of its most iconic pieces.


Graffiti—or aerosol art as it’s sometimes refer to—is arguably one of the most popular forms of street art in Toronto. It has deep roots in the city, with some of the earliest pieces popping up in the mid-1970s. This type of art often comes in the form of tags, which are stylized signatures used to mark a space and make a statement. As graffiti has become more accepted in Toronto, it’s evolved into much more than just tagging walls; today there are hundreds of amazing legal (and illegal) street murals around the city filled with vibrant colors and intricate designs that honor local icons and history.


Toronto is also home to numerous beautiful murals—large-scale works designed for buildings or other public spaces. These stunning works can be across the city on everything from construction sites to historic buildings. Many of the most popular murals pay homage to local culture and history, while others feature more abstract designs or messages. One particularly noteworthy piece is the iconic “Toronto” mural located at Queen and Bathurst. This stunning work was create by artist Jason Botkin and features a larger-than-life portrait of a Toronto resident surrounded by vibrant colors and shapes.


Street art has become an integral part of Toronto’s cultural landscape, bringing life to otherwise dull walls and providing inspiration for aspiring artists. Whether it’s graffiti tags or large-scale murals, the city’s street art scene is constantly evolving and changing over time. With such a wide variety of styles, themes, and pieces on display, it’s no wonder that Toronto has become a hotspot for street artists from around the world. We hope this article has provided some insight into Toronto’s vibrant and ever-evolving street art scene. So the next time you find yourself in the city, be sure to take some time to explore and appreciate the many amazing works of art on display.