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We’ll be the first to admit that before spending so much time in Canada this summer, we pictured wide open spaces and wild life roaming, not urban centers wrapped in world-class street art. We certainly saw a lot of rural locales, but often this was as we city-hopped through Ontario and Quebec, spotting murals and graffiti popping off store fronts, taking over entire buildings and catching our eye around every corner. As huge fans of street art, we were excited to find many terrific pieces everywhere. So which Canadian city do we think has the best street art?

Street Art in Quebec City

quebec city street art On our short visit here, we spotted just a bit of street art in Quebec City, but may have missed a lot touring mainly the historic Old Town area. We’re guessing there is much more, considering the amount of creativity put into the free, nightly Cirque du Soleil show, which combines urban art with classic dance, set outside under an overpass just beyond the city walls.

Street Art in Ottawa

shepard fairey ottawa obey Ottawa had some street art, and while much of it wasn’t too spectacular, Ottawans were able to boast the giant Obey poster by Shepard Fairey, one of the most influential and worldwide known street artists, thanks to that iconic Hope poster of Barack Obama.

Street Art in Montreal

montreal street art woman In Montreal we saw plenty of street art, especially in the Plateau neighborhood which has larger-scale murals.

montreal street art ladyThis lady with her rooster was definitely one of our favorite pieces – check out her ‘gringo’ tattoo!

montreal street art

Montreal had really great street art, but there was no way it could keep up with what we considered the best city for street art in Canada that we have found so far:

Street Art in Toronto

toronto street art toronto graffiti catToronto was heaven for us street art fangirls, in particular the area around Queen Street. Here we found entire alleys that served as outdoor galleries, filled with innovative, clever work.

toronto street art alleyAnd there was so much more urban art than just graffiti in back alleys, like this great guerrilla gardening graffiti combo… toronto graffiti car toronto car & mural…and loads of urban art in other forms. We loved seeing these neon bikes permanently affixed to stairwells and various sign poles throughout the city.

toronto pink bikeToronto definitely has the most original and inspiring street artists! The best thing about this form of art is that it lives and breathes, and changes constantly, so we can’t wait to see something completely different on our next visit!

toronto street artCheck out this slideshow for a more complete collection of Canadian street art:

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”Globetrottergirls” id=”72157627954736931″]. .

Have you been to Canada? Where have you seen the best street art? Share in the comments below

Tags : montrealottawaquebec citystreet arttoronto

16 Comments

    1. You are right, Christy, it’s unbelievable that they are ‘just’ street arts! A shame that most of them won’t last too long.. that’s why I wanted to capture them in photos.

    1. You have to take us on a tour through some neighborhoods with good street art the next time we’re in Chicago 😉 We didn’t see much street art when we were there in September except for the big Shepard Fairey piece near Navy Pier.

    1. Thanks Jade! Isn’t the vehicle reclamation a great idea? We actually saw a similar project in a small town in France – an entire square in the town was filled with old vehicles that now served as flower & plant pots.

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