Wednesday, November 3, 2010

R.I.P. Young Jays & Aber

The Montreal graffiti community mourns the loss of two young writers and their friend.

Late on Sunday October 31st Jays, Aber and three friends were painting in Turcot just off of the main tunnel. For whatever reason they didn't see or hear an oncoming VIA rail passenger train that had been delayed from Toronto. It hit them, killing two instantly and another died of his wounds in the hospital later that morning. The two others in the group were unharmed but according to news reports they were being treated for shock.

A lot of chatter is going on right now in and outside of the community. A lot of tears too. The Gazette, CTV, and some other media outlets have already run some stories and follow ups. These weren't bad kids and they certainly didn't deserve to be taken from this life at such an early age. Sure, they were trespassing and shouldn't have been there in the first place, doing graffiti, but that isn't any reason to speak negatively about them or their lives. It isn't any reason to shit talk them or use this tragedy to showcase one's imagined moral superiority. All three of them were aged 17-19. They obviously had lives outside of their graffiti activities, loved ones, family, and friends who are all mourning the loss of these young men.

I didn't know Jays but was hoping to meet him at some point to chat about his writing. He was a pretty active writer getting up all over the place. From what I gather from talking to a few people who knew him he was a good kid, caring, fun, happy, and the kind of person who thought of others before himself. I actually met Aber at the TA Wall a couple months back in June. He was there accompanying Meor painting. He seemed like a nice kid with a good disposition. It's unfortunate that I didn't take the opportunity to chat with him more at that time. I didn't know the third young man who died that night, but many have spoken of his kindness and how he touched those he had met only recently.

There is talk of a memorial wall to be done over at John Abbott College in the West Island and others elsewhere. I've also come across a number of RIPs out there on the streets already. There's a nice one by Bosny too that I haven't caught yet but expect to in the near future. I've put together pics of graff by Jays and Aber, and some Funk Crew hits as a sort of memorial here too.You'll see some shots I've already posted previously but I figured that I would repost them together in this one. Most of my shots are of Jays stuff too as Aber wasn't as prolific or I just didn't find as much of his stuff. Regardless, here's what I've got.

My condolences to the families, friends, and loved ones.

 RIP young Jays and Aber, in peace & power.


  1. I've met Jays before. Being a West Island writter myself, I sort of took a bit of my inspiration from him. It was a tragic even that has touched a lot of us.
    R.I.P Jays and Aber.


    Train accident October 31, 2010 Montreal Turcot

    So hey guys i need your help. We here in Montreal have a rocking graffiti world, which in turns lights up our mundane world. My name is Shelley Reddam and I am the mother of one of the surviving teens from that horrible accident. I need to show Montreal that we stand together in this. We the five families found out the headlight on the train was off till seconds before impact. I am holding the rail companies responsible for that, but i need your help. I have a petition for Bill C-33 Railway Safety which is right now before parliament and we are trying to change this law of dimming. Please have the graf side sign it and speak out against this. Help me save 1 Child..1 Artist. The following week there were four kids there at the same spot. So take a look and get the word out...

    The link is here.. please consider putting it up on your site..if you agree to help. Everyone counts lets be heard.

    Thank you so much,

    Shelley Reddam

  3. Get real, Shelley. It is your own kids' friends' faults for not paying enough attention to their surroundings. They were trespassing in a train yard / on train tracks late at night, and by failing to acknowledge the risks of doing so they've no one left to blame but themselves. They are the ones who made the decision to be there, and to fail to keep their wits about them. You can take some solace in the fact that their deaths do serve as example to others of exactly what not to do.

    Nevertheless, I am sorry for your losses. My own mother would fall to pieces if this were to happen to me. I know this because she's told me so, time and time again.

    Rest in peace, fellow soldiers. To those still alive, reading this: Spray safe! Think of your mothers. Wear your respirators and protect your lungs and brains. Look both ways before crossing the tracks. Keep a very tight grip when you hop the line. Don't be so goddamned faded. Look left and right regularly when you paint a line, and so on. Be smart!—or, take a chance and reap the consequences of doing so. It's entirely your call.