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
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
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
How to see street art in Montreal:
Mel has a detailed article outlining where to find the best street art in Montreal, if you venture out and track down the best murals on your own.
If you prefer a guided tour to learn more about the artists and the meaning behind some of the murals, there is a fantastic street art walking tour which can be booked via Airbnb Experiences: Non-Touristy Montreal Street Art Tour
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
And there was so much more urban art than just graffiti in back alleys, like this great guerrilla gardening graffiti combo… …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 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!
How to see street art in Toronto
CultureTrip has an excellent guide to street art in Toronto, including the best spots to see street art and murals.
Also check out these great Toronto walking tours on GetYourGuide: