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Have you seen these monsters on Toronto streets?

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 16, 2013

toronto street facesAiden Glynn sees monsters everywhere. They're lurking in doorways, peering out of alleys, and tucked low in the undergrowth with a toothy grin and a floppy tongue. Now, thanks to a set of homemade facial features, the crazy menagerie is available to you too.

The goofy monsters first appeared on Toronto's streets a couple of years ago when Glynn, an animator on cartoons like Sidekick, Scaredy Squirrel, Handy Manny, and Ruby Gloom, started attaching faces to garbage cans, dumpsters, and concrete slabs on a whim, then documenting the results online.

"Because I'm an animator I see things that aren't necessarily there," he says. "I look at a park bench and I'm like, 'that's kind of funny, it looks like a nose or a mouth or something.' It has to come to me, I just have to see an object and if it looks funny or I see something in it, I'll do something with it."

toronto street faces The idea started when the animator posted a series of pictures that had been digitally altered to include cartoon faces - tired eyes on chimneys, nervous expressions on concrete slabs, that sort of thing.

"People on the Internet were like: 'It's not street art if you don't actually do it.' So I was like, 'OK.' I went out and got some styrofoam eyeballs and stuff, I made some teeth and started gluing them on to things, and people liked it."

This week Glynn started dedicating more time to the project, creating "six or seven" new creatures, one of which briefly devoured trash in a doorway outside the Air Canada Centre.

toronto street facesThe eyes, teeth, tongues, and moustaches occasionally stay in place unless there's a chance they will be damaged or stolen. It's not clear how property owners will react to their furniture being animated, either. "It's kind of like vandalism so I try to keep it as low key as possible, I try to be sneaky about it," he laughs.

As for the prospect of creating more beasties, Glynn doesn't have any specific plans. "Whenever the inspiration hits me I'll just do one, and if it's funny I'll do more."


toronto street facestoronto street facestoronto street facestoronto street facestoronto street facesChris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: Aiden Glynn



So... / September 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm
When did I stumble into a late-90s RARE video game?
Melora / September 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm
I love when blogs/news outlets turn Reddit posts into articles 3 days later....
John / September 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm
This city is getting overrun with robots and monsters lately, it seems.
D / September 16, 2013 at 01:04 pm
What might look cool is if you had a monster, using perspective tricks, and make it look like it was eating a car or building.
d / September 16, 2013 at 01:25 pm
Great! Let's give this city more life and humour! Spread the word that Toronto is a fun place to live and let's all stop being so serious!
brad replying to a comment from d / September 16, 2013 at 01:27 pm
trg replying to a comment from Melora / September 16, 2013 at 03:44 pm
Agreed! This is what's driving me nuts about BlogTO, half their posts are just taken from Reddit & other sites. I'll see something on UrbanToronto, then two days later it appears on BlogTO.
BM replying to a comment from Melora / September 16, 2013 at 04:31 pm
Get a job Melora. Some of us don't have time to cruise blogs all day.

Great story btw.
Hablahblah replying to a comment from BM / September 16, 2013 at 05:11 pm
Reddit is a user submitted content aggregator. It's a handy place so you don't have to cruise blogs all day.

Also some people have the privilege of being allowed, if not encouraged to be engaged with social media and blogs all day. Obviously the person who wrote this article is one of those people since the source content came from reddit.
Donelop replying to a comment from So... / September 16, 2013 at 06:44 pm
Banjo kazooie
Other Cities: Montreal