I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to pound some Toronto pavement and get a feel for the scene there. Although the weather was complete shit the first day I was out, the second morning and afternoon was much nicer and I was able to worm my way around Spadina, Kensington Market, and some back alleys to get a bit of the local flavor. As far as first impressions go I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Not like I didn't know that there was a solid scene in Toronto, just that when immersed in it finally I was very much happy to see that this scene is in full effect.
The core of the city didn't have much going on but I knew that there was graff to be found in and around all the post-modern steel and cement that I was surrounded by. My buddy told me to check out Spadina and the Kensington Market area to find some street stuff. He wasn't kidding. I started at College and Spadina and made my way down towards Front Street snaking my way through every alley and back street I could get to. The weather didn't lend to roof or ladder climbing as it had rained the entire day before (complete bust for any sort of outdoor/street flick mission) and everything had been iced over in the morning freeze. But there was quite enough at the street level to keep me busy.
There were plenty of familiar names too, many of which I see on the regular in Montreal but had never made the connect to them being Toronto based or in-between writers. These alleys reminded me of the back end of St Laurent: grimy, dirty, mucky, smelly, and soaked in layers of paint. I felt right at home. Add to that the delicious smells of cured and cooked meats from all the kitchens of restaurants along Spadina and you've got everything you need. I was so rushed for time and I didn't know how much I was going to get covered that I didn't take the time to munch down on some good ole' Chinatown chow. Big mistake. Next time I'll take it to go.
I'm also going to take a rooftop tour as well. All along Spadina and the surrounding areas every rooftop has been hit up with rollers, pieces, lean overs, and general graff. Lots of good real estate up there.
Anyway, here are the rest of my shots from that weekend. I'll post more when I visit again in a couple of months. I really liked the Kensingston Market area and the Spadina alley ways.
All-in-all I had a great time in Toronto and enjoyed my first real taste of the streets there. But it's always sweet to get back home to Montreal, especially after the long train ride back. Saw lots of good stuff on the way out too. I'll be going back in a couple of months so I hope to get some more quality shots then. I'll get December and January up as soon as possible.