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Iconic West Queen West mural needs a new home

Posted by Derek Flack / May 22, 2012

Fish mural West Queen WestIt's been a fixture on West Queen West since 2009. Serving as the exterior facade at 1042 Queen West, the mural of a boy biting into a fish has brought a welcome dose of colour to a slightly tired stretch of the street for the last three years or so. And now it's on the move.

The Grid reported back in March that both the building at which the mural is placed and its neighbour to the east were sold to a single investor who plans on combining the properties. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the mural doesn't factor into the redevelopment scheme. It was, after all, intended primarily to cover up the worn exterior of an old printshop that had sat vacant for years.

The work of three artists — Alexa Hatanaka, Kellen Hatanaka, and Logan Miller — the mural is one of a number to grace the site since 2008, but it ultimately lasted much longer than its predecessors (the Grid article has an explanation as to why this was the case). The building that currently houses the mural is actually one of the better documented sites on West Queen West thanks to photographers Kevin Steele and Patrick Cummins, both of whom have tracked its various changes over the years.

We received an email over the weekend informing us that the mural is slated to be taken down in about a month's time. Although there are plans in place to preserve the artwork, the artists are currently searching for a new home. "We need a public wall with high visibility, preferably within the areas of Parkdale-Trinity Bellwoods," says Alexa Hatanaka of the relocation effort.

It'd be a shame to see this little bit of West Queen West history permanently removed from sight, so if you know someone with a wall in need of an artistic upgrade, leave a note in the comments section.

Photo provided by the artist



Pk replying to a comment from Flob Roared / May 22, 2012 at 01:09 pm
troll troll troll
EveryonesOpinion replying to a comment from Pk / May 22, 2012 at 01:12 pm
Big time trolllll
Franka / May 22, 2012 at 01:17 pm
I love this mural, though I never knew anything about it. Let's hope it does find its way to another prominent spot in the neighbourhood.
Rita / May 22, 2012 at 03:31 pm
Maybe it could go in that planned Arts Hub thing coming to Lisgar Street?
canker / May 22, 2012 at 03:50 pm
How about trying to put it on Sanko's wall at Queen and Claremont? Seems like it would fit in just fine.
Art / May 22, 2012 at 04:09 pm
I need to tag this shit
Dan Demsky / May 22, 2012 at 04:14 pm
I would love to be able to showcase it in our studio. I know that sounds on the surface like the least desirable location to showcase it because it's not a high traffic area and visibility in person would be relatively low. But we have been working hard to bring in art from the street of Toronto and showcase the art and artists through a series of videos. Here are a couple murals we did so far:

Hey Apathy! Mike Parsons:

Dan Demsky / May 22, 2012 at 04:16 pm
My whole comment didn't post.

I followed up by saying while we aren't a high visibility area with lots of foot traffic we would love to be able to make a video telling the story of this piece. What an amazing piece of art. Glad it's being preserved.

311 Tool replying to a comment from Art / May 22, 2012 at 04:17 pm
Corina Newby / May 22, 2012 at 05:10 pm
I know a few high profile restaurants and buildings that could display and potentially permanently enshrine this mural - feel free to contact me on FB or @corecorina
Justin / May 22, 2012 at 09:41 pm
This is a beautiful painting. Will hate to see it go!
Rob Ford replying to a comment from Art / May 23, 2012 at 05:40 pm
and I need a Photo OP!
Joe / May 23, 2012 at 07:20 pm
I'll donate a couple cans of paint to take care of that eyesore:)
Liv / May 23, 2012 at 07:47 pm
Thanks for the article - I was always wondering who the artists are.
I have seen tons of murals in various cities throughout the years, but this is the most beautiful one by far.
Would hate to see it go.
Dylan / May 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm
I would love to own this!!
-- My hand is raised**
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Kevin Steele / February 17, 2014 at 10:21 am
Derek, did anything come of this? The mural is still there today and the block seems ready to go any minute. In my most recent picture I see some sort of letter posted on the wall. I will ahve to go back and read it and see if it has relevant info.
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