OUTSIDER ART

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Toronto, spotlessly clean and polite as it may be, is nonetheless a major hub for street art, with a healthy population of “taggers” and “bombers” who elevate graffiti to gallery-quality status. Of course, you won’t find street art in any gallery. It’s on the street—Rush Lane, to be specific—so the next time you’ve got a hankering to see the cutting edge of urban creativity, grab your friends and head to this open-air museum in the Fashion District. From massive murals to intricately-detailed signatures, just about every flat surface on this kilometer-long (0.6 mile) stretch known as Graffiti Alley is covered in colorful art you’ve simply got to see to believe. Start on Portland Street and slowly make your way east, stopping every few steps to gawk at a larger-than-life cartoon character or inspiring message. Keep your cameras at the ready, because you’ll want to snap plenty of pics of the eclectic mix of styles and perspectives you encounter. Once you’ve made it to Spadina Avenue, you’ll all have dozens of photos to compare as you warm up with coffees from a nearby café. Share your favorites and find the motivation to create some art for yourselves—though we don’t recommend doing it on the street. It’s best to leave it to the ragtag band of outsider artists who make the world their canvas. Rush Lane is open year-round to the public with annual repaintings and renovations every summer, so it’s always a fresh scene.

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