Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guest Post: Rush Lane

TransitHub is pleased to welcome a guest blogger today, Ionatan Waisgluss. We hope you enjoy his contribution about street art in Toronto, specifically, Rush Lane near the Spadina & Queen hub.
- Neil Jain

If you happen to find yourself in the Queen and Spadina area, just south of the magic of Chinatown, you’re only steps away from a guerilla art gallery of astounding proportions. Half a block south of Queen St., stretching from Spadina Ave. west to Portland St,, there is a series of laneways known as Rush Lane, or Graffiti Alley. Within this very walkable area, you can find all shapes, sizes and styles of guerilla art on surfaces ranging from the railings of fire escapes to oh-so vulnerable brick fa├žades.

According to various sources, a group called Style in Progress is given a 24-hour period by the city to legally paint Rush Lane each summer. Their website is currently down, but the group can be reached via their facebook site. In reality, a significant portion of the art that is up on Rush Lane is not affiliated with Style in Progress at all, but is done illegally at other points in the year. The result is a hodgepodge of contrasting styles that gives the alley an ever-changing, very unique quality that is a must-see for all street art enthusiasts.

The space, intended for delivery trucks, is frequented by a mix of pedestrians, street art enthusiasts, photographers, and (of course) graffiti artists. Rush Lane also happens to be the filming location for Rick’s Rants, of The Rick Mercer Report fame. Below are some photos I took while wandering west along the alley.

If looking at so much amazing art has left you hungry, you can always have a some cheap, delicious food at Java House (Queen & Portland, where Rush Lane ends), or go for a reasonably-priced Venezuelan specialty at Arepa Cafe (490 Queen St. W.).

Happy exploring,
--Ionatan Waisgluss

Ionatan Waisgluss is an upper-year botany student at the University of Toronto. His interest include all things environmental, with an emphasis on the interplay of nature and culture. Since coming here from Argentina at an early age, he has become increasingly fascinated with Toronto, spending a great deal of time discovering, exporing, photographing and otherwise documenting its little-known nooks and crannies. His other blog posts, videos, art, and musings can be found at


  1. Ionatan, thank you so much for this insightful and well-written post!

    The photographs are incredible and make me want to take a walk down this gallery of street art right away. I had no clue about Rush Lane and the artistic talent that is hidden away in the city's nooks and crannies.

    Looking forward to reading future #TransitHubbing articles from you!


  2. If you look closely at our new urban art collection you'll see elements of design made popular by street art.