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Toronto’s RUNT-naissance

A new documentary is poised to make the enigmatic Toronto mural artist RUNT as well-known as his style.

A screenshot of Al Runt working on the mural at Electric Mud BBQ in Augusto Monk's new documentary, RUNT

A screenshot of Al Runt working on the mural at Electric Mud BBQ in Augusto Monk’s new documentary, RUNT.

It seems Toronto is in the middle of a RUNT-naissance.

“For a while I felt like a drag of the past, but I don’t feel that way anymore,” the 54-year-old street artist RUNT told Torontoist during a discussion of his latest projects. They include the cover of the 2015 TTC Ride Guide, a special-edition can for Pabst Blue Ribbon, seven to eight commissioned projects from clients at any given time, and now, a new documentary about his life and life’s work, titled RUNT. The increased attention means a lot to the longtime artist: “It’s an amazing boost of confidence.”

Alex Currie, better known by his artistic moniker RUNT or Al Runt, began his art career in Toronto’s underground scene in the early ’80s, drawing posters to hang around the Cameron House and eventually landing the gig to paint the now-iconic mural outside Lee’s Palace. He and his army of neon monsters and rascally creatures amassed a devoted following among musicians and other artists, as the Lee’s mural made the venue one of the city’s most recognizable buildings. Despite his highly visible artistic contributions, things have not always been easy for RUNT; for a good chunk of the new millennium, the art died.

Keep reading: Toronto’s RUNT-naissance


I Want Your Job: Amy Rosen, Author of Toronto Cooks

Too many cooks? Not at all—Amy Rosen gets Toronto's superstar chefs to share their secrets.

Amy Rosen

Photo courtesy of Amy Rosen.

“When you write about food, those are your best stories.” For Amy Rosen, hearing those words from her editors changed her life. About 12 years ago, she switched from focusing on lifestyle trends to writing just about food. Already a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu school in Ottawa, and armed with a graduate degree in journalism from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Rosen thought focusing on food would make her writing outlets disappear. She was wrong. In her first year, she doubled her income, and now she contributes to enRoute magazine, the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, the National Post, and more.

Keep reading: I Want Your Job: Amy Rosen, Author of Toronto Cooks