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Posts Filed Under: Cityscape


Vandalist: Graffiti Deconstructed

Gentrification: 1, Graffiti: 0


BY: Unknown
LOCATION: Queen and Dovercourt
PHOTO BY: Patrick Cummins
FIELD NOTES: Toronto is crazy for condos. This has caused something of a stir with locals, especially in areas where strong cultural identity is being quickly and carelessly replaced with shiny expensive knockoff attempts at culture. Like, say, along Queen West where painfully generic condos boast such names as “Bohemian Embassy,” “Edge,” and “Epic.” Often, decommissioned pre-condo walls give graffiti artists opportunities to paint without fear of repercussion, and the results can be outstanding. Unfortunately, while the graffiti is great, this is not one of those walls. Running between CAMH and Abell Street, this alley has been a known hot spot for vibrant graffiti for quite some time. This new development will almost certainly put an end to that, becoming another factor that whitewashes the neighbourhood culture that attracted developers in the first place.

Once a week, Vandalist features some of the most interesting street art and graffiti from around Toronto. Find something great? Email



Shaping Toronto: Reusing an Old City Hall

How Toronto and other cities have reused (or plan to readapt) former municipal battlegrounds.

Shaping Toronto looks at the decisions, processes, and trends that form the city we know and love.

Crowd gathered at the opening ceremony of (Old) City Hall, 1899. Photo by Galbraith & Lewis. Toronto Public Library.

From Old City Hall to mall?” To some web denizens interested in heritage and urban affairs, headlines along those lines have likely induced fits of anger lately. On the surface, you’d suspect the denigration of a National Historic Site was upon us.

Take a moment to breathe.

The suggestion in the city staff report to the Government Management Committee to convert Old City Hall into a retail centre as a future source of rental income is tempered by other recommendations to replace the provincial and municipal courts when they vacate the premises. Based on analysis from real estate brokerage Avison Young, stores could be part of a multi-use facility incorporating food, event, and civic uses. Such a fate is not unusual for other cities across North America dealing with historic city halls, or even our past municipal battlegrounds.
Keep reading: Shaping Toronto: Reusing an Old City Hall