Photo by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.
When we revealed that there were seven Banksy pieces in Toronto, one thing we didn’t reveal were those pieces’ locations. We were initially sworn to secrecy—or at least vagueness—from one of our sources; there were concerns that disclosing the precise locations could lead to pieces being stolen or damaged.
Now, a few days and a good amount of damage later, we think it’s time to point the Banksy-hunting masses in the right direction.
We’re doing this for a few reasons. For one, the pieces are public, and meant for the public, for better or worse. Their accessibility is part of their form—and Banksy often makes it part of his (hers? their?) work’s content. The internet is the internet; we want you to see what’s left of the work yourselves, on the street. The pieces, as well, are disappearing fast—there are now just three fully intact ones left, and one of those is newly behind a protective layer of plastic. What’s more, those who’re committed to ruining the pieces weren’t waiting for an itinerary to do so. And, finally, we spoke to our secrecy-sworn source, and—with some reservations—they agree.
Posterchild, one of our favourite local street artists, and our Vandalist curator, put it like this to us, and pointed out that Torontoist never otherwise withholds location details for any other piece of street art we feature:
“Not telling where they are, is, to me, a bit elitist. Like: you can only go see them in person if you’re in the know, if you’re one of the cool kids—or you know one. Fuck that! Street art is meant to be public, meant to be for everyone and anyone who wants to engage with it. Yes, even those who want to destroy it…..those that want to steal or destroy work will find a way with or without our help.”
So here you go, Toronto:
STATUS: Still there, now behind plastic.
STATUS: Tagged-over (again and again).
STATUS: Flipped the bird.
STATUS: There, but shown no love.
STATUS: Long gone.
Last updated October 22, 2010.
Torontoist’s Ashley Carter, Michael Chrisman, Christopher Drost, and Nick Kozak contributed additional reporting.