ossington laneway toronto

Toronto getting new street murals to fix botched laneway art project

The Ossington Laneway looks nothing like it used to, thanks to an art project gone horribly wrong, but by next week the Toronto graffiti hub will hopefully be returned back to its former glory.

Following a botched beautification initiative that resulted in the accidental erasure of more than 20 murals last month, the organization responsible is making amends by allowing artists to repaint their work along the strip. 

On November 3, around two dozen artists will descend on the 200-metre street that runs parallel to Ossington for Light Up the Laneways (Re)painting Jam.

The event will see many of the original artists of the Ossington Laneway create new murals on the garages of Brookfield Street. 

According to The Laneway Project, the takeover is being curated by the local organization Well and Good, the group which first commissioned the Laneway's graffiti project in 2012. 

It will be done with consent from property owners, who last month were furious to find that their garages had been painted from walls to fascias with black paint and new artwork by U.K. street artist Ben Eine.

The community was stunned to see old murals by local artists like Spud, Kizmet, Skam, and Elicser (many which had been there for more there for more than a decade) had been replaced by unauthorized trademark alphabet letter stencils, which are Eine's trademark. 

The Laneway Project, who called the mistake an act of "vandalism," maintains that the third-party curator who they had hired for the initiative directly disobeyed project guidelines, which stated that only seven murals had been given the go-ahead for a revamp. 

Light Up the Laneways will start at noon on Nov. 3, and will culminate with an unveiling celebration at 6 p.m. 

Lead photo by

Tanya Mok


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