Janes Walk II: Arts Alive on Queen West

After taking in Nature’s Beauties with a Janes Walk in in Trinity Bellwood Park , then  a look at the  Trendy Art Shoppes and Studios along Queen West between Bathurst east to Niagara seemed a natural choice. Besides this Walk was being lead by William Huffman of the Toronto Arts Council. But to my dismay I discovered I had done a dyslexic trick on myself  and had read the start time for the Art Walk as 2:30PM and not the correct 12:30PM. But all was not lost because Queen West easily beckons not only with Art Studios but also great fashion boutiques, dining places and a vast array of various shops and curiosities.  So I ventured forth along Queen  with camera in hand  and here is a sampler of the “Art to be Found” on Queen West going west from Bathurst.

First and foremost, there are a lot of clothing dens,  galleries, antique stores and specialty shoppes to be found on this stretch – almost too many:

Cabaret for upscale fashion

Preloved for a mix of old and new; Type for all things Fonts and Paper

Queen West Food and Dinery

Zili Otto for fine home notions

To see a  complete album  of Queen West  shops and spaces go  here to feast on the shopping opportunities  that this short stretch of Queen West affords strollers. But the other noticeable factor beyond all the chic shops and studios was the amount of artistry seen  all over  along the street

Artistry Alive

Poster art has been a Toronto specialty with designers like Theo Dimson and Ibraheem Youssef among others providing creative energy and inspiration. But the thriving music  clubs, live theater and special events provides Toronto with many opportunities for great poster productions. And with verve Toronto poster makers have produced a an onslaught of   nifty posters with Queen West  almost unrivaled for the range and stylings to be found:

Construction and Repair Wall are Poster Palace Walls

And there are some great local artists poking onto the poster scene:

Love this Buck Shot

John Butler Trio is black and white and Read all over

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And if you run out of wallspace – staple to the nearby hydro/telephone pole

The creative design and writing spirit is alive and well on Queen West. As a poster collectors the PixOfToronto staff was drooling over the selection of  posters to be had. However, artistic design percolates all along the Queen West. Signage, window displays, street-side goods for sale – Queen West is rich with artistic hints and cues.

Store Window Display at Type

Two Pet Supply Stores within Biting Distance of Each Other

Downward Dog Yoga Center

The Paper Place with its Op Art Display Window

The designs are often dashingly creative using a mix of sculpting, digital media, and old fashioned crafts. Perhaps one of the most innovative is the Downward Dog Yoga Center which has decked out its digs in stunning wall paintings:

From the Downward Dog Doorway

Along the Entrance Way at Downward Dog

And why shouldn’t Downward Dog revel in painted splendor. Right nearby along Queen West is some of the best samplings of wall paintings in Toronto. The styles are diverse but color impression is a consistent fashion. Just consider what is just down the street from Downward Dog:

Wall Canvas Paintings

Soon become a color fresco approach to imagery as in this wall oeuvre just West of Bathurst:

Wall Mural Near Bathurst, just off Queen

You have to catch these wall paintings as quickly as you can. I had gone looking a few weeks before for some favorites but most of them were painted over – so no guarantees for Ars Aeterna. But as one might suspect the backstreet impromptu wall painting start to sneak directly onto Queen Street:

Not saying exactly where to find this impish rendering

So a missed Janes Walk is easily rescued by all the business and artistic goings on along Queen West between Spadina and Christie. And this visual excursion has barely scratched the surface of great places to see, shopping things to do, and great dining to top it all off.

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