Toronto graffiti artists turn alleyway into art space

A project is underway in Toronto to turn a graffiti-marked alleyway into an art installation.

Graffiti alley

11 years ago
Duration 6:39
Turning an eyesore into an art space

It may give Rick Mercer a new place to rant.

An attempt is underway to clean-up an alleyway in the city's west end by offering dozens of graffiti artists a chance to display their talents.

The art installation is part of a community revitalization project in the Queen Street West and Ossington Avenue area.

Li-Hill, 26, was using his cans of aerosol spray paint on Thursday to add to the giant mural.

"It's my passion. It's my job. It's what I love," he said.

Li-Hill is one of about a dozen artists handpicked to change the look of the alley.

Steve Ferrera, another of the artists, says the project — Brighten The Corners For The Love Of Art — matches street artists with public space that needs a paint job.

"We'll paint anything actually," said Ferrera. 

Ferrera says within graffiti culture there is a hierarchy and if someone paints a piece, "you typically don't paint over it."

For people whose homes back out onto this alley the project is welcome.

"I think it's a great idea. I think people will treat the space a little nicer if it's cleaned up," said Ashley Crate.

Artists hope to finish painting the alley by Sunday — weather permitting.