Posted by: Waheeda Harris | August 31, 2012

My Toronto includes graffiti

Leaving my city for awhile is a pretty constant part of my schedule – and for someone like me, it makes coming back even sweeter.

I know what fellow Canadians say about Toronto, the largest city in the country. They complain about the noise, the traffic, the numbers of people – they say we’re whiners and can’t deal with the weather.

Living in the urban jungle seems like a negative to many people I know – look at all those cranes, condos and density.

But living here is pretty excellent – to live in a diverse community, where I can hear so many languages on the street, it would be odd to not hear that every day.

I don’t hesitate to go out of my doors to find Middle Eastern, Asian or African influenced food within steps of my apartment – and that’s a common thing for residents of the 416.

To have an arts community that is constantly recreating itself – no matter if its the Art Gallery of Ontario with a recent makeover by architect Frank Gehry or those unknown artists on the street.

For this resident, seeing graffiti is an important part of the cityscape – and despite the Mayor’s announcement last year to have a war on the artform, there seems to be a lot of creativity going on.

And as I walked along another downtown street in transformation from old buildings to highrise condos, I was pleased to spot some graffiti – defying the clean palate this city wants to project.

You want to be a world class city Toronto? Have the respect of other major cities as a player? You gotta take the whole package – revealing all the levels of what’s going on – from highbrow to an image in a back alley.

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