"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

Listen Bird

Listen Bird is having a sugar riot

college and manning.

I got a message recently from a woman who says that when she and her kids are riding around in the car, they play a game together of “spot the listen bird.” They LOVE his birds and love trying to find them! It’s a fun game suitable for the whole family.

Isn’t that graff-spraying-awesome?

manning and dundas

in an alley near college and montrose

dundas and rusholme

Check out  my Listen Bird category for more of his awesomeness 🙂

The Listen Bird owns Montreal

Ah Listen Bird. I refuse to live in a Canada that doesn’t have youuuuuu. I mean, technically, Listen Bird owns Toronto too. I have so many Listen Bird photos from around Toronto that I haven’t even had the chance to blog yet. SO MANY! But here’s some of the goodies  I found in Montreal. DUDE GETS AROUND! This above piece was on Van Horne near St. Urbain.

This saying doesn’t translate very well into English (mostly because the Quebecois swear word “calisse” translates directly to chalice, which is a curse meant to insult the Catholic church) but it basically means “we’re screwed by the special law,”  or perhaps  “We couldn’t give a fuck about the special law,” or even “The special law fucks us over.” See?! So many translations! The special law in question is the infamous Bill 78 which Quebec premier Jean Charest passed in order to stop the Montreal student protests. However the Quebec Human Rights Commission found the law violated student’s right to protest and to assembly. After it was passed, over 100,000 people marched the streets of Montreal, banging on pots, in what was Quebec’s largest act of civil disobedience ever.



Here is another Listen Bird with the same saying (he finally spells “speciale” properly in french, hee hee. He forget the extra E in the first bird above). I found this on Notre Dame Ouest and Rue de l’inspecteur.

“Ecoutez nous” means “listen to us.” SO SAYS THE LISTEN BIRD!

I only found this LB because I had rented out another Bixi bike (you can get a 24 hour rental for $7, and this was literally the final hour of my rental plus I had to get from Notre Dame and Atwater all the way into Vieux Montreal). Fuck the metro, Bixi Bike to the rescue! The great thing about exploring cities by bikes is you see things you wouldn’t normally see. Sometimes walking is too slow, and taxis are too fast.

This guy was at Van Horne and Avenue du Parc on an entire parking lot that was abandoned and in ruin. This abandoned house was next to the parking lot.

Does this say “Listen Knife Barf?”

This amazing find was on Rue Saint-Jacques and Avenue Laporte. It takes up the space of the entire first floor of the building! He must’ve used a ladder or something to do this one.

Everybody wants some where.

POUTINE MACHINE! hahah! I found this guy in an alleyway near Mont-Royal and Christophe-Colombe.

This was on an abandoned garage near Saint-Viateur and de Gaspé.

In the alley ways near St. Laurent and Mont-Royal.


Listen Bird: Private Eyes

found on College street West in Little Italy during EuroCup footie celebrations even though the Italian team can go suck a bag of dicks.
(I’m rooting for Portugal, England, and failing that, France).
Anyhoo, nicely done again Listen Bird! Every time I see your stuff on a rooftop, I ask the owners if I can climb their roofs to get a better shot. They always say no. Time to break some laws!
(not kidding)

Listen Bird: 330 lbs of pure bullshit!

the great thing about riding your bike around toronto is that you get to explore the nooks and crannies those stupid cars can’t squeeze into…. AND ya don’t hafta worry about parking. a couple weeks ago, i’m riding my bike through the annex and found this Listen Bird!

no where but up!

then i’m scooting south from the annex into parkdale and find this OTHER Listen Bird!

this Listen Bird looks like it’s a bit old, but it’s still awesome! it’s referencing out shiteous mayor rob ford.

Rob Ford once described himself as 330 lbs of fun….. lots of other street artists have poked fun at that…. and LB says he’s 330lbs of pure bullshit. last name WIN, first name EPIC.

I have a pretty cool collection of Listen Birds that i’ve found around toronto and montreal if you’re so inclined to click!

Wanted? Unwanted?

i happened upon this doorway which had a quickie-Listen Bird

… and also one of Adore‘s tags….

… and a new tag I hadn’t seen before called BLKMSK… er, “blackmask?”…

i look to the side of the doorway and i see what i initially think is another UNWANTED, but instead of the freaky male-headshot, it’s a woman, and it says WANTED.

and BLKMSK tagged next to it.

so are men unwanted? and women wanted?

in blackmask?

Yo! Instagram THAT!

Both Listen Bird and I would like to find the last 6 centimetres of Toronto that HASN’T been instagram’d yet …. surely it must be out there.

So yesterday i’m parking the car near the Railpath so i can go for a jog….  i put the car into park… look over at the alleyway directly opposite me, and BAM, it’s like a Listen Bird ‘splosion. That wasn’t there last time i parked on this street! Listen Bird has been very busy lately.

luckily i never leave home without my camera. i jumped outta the car and went running down the alley, trying to find the right camera setting to start snapping.

luckily i don’t have an iPhone, so i can’t instagram. HIGH FIVE LB!

Marge: “This is the Listen Lady!” Moe: “Yeah? Well listen, lady…”

the Listen Bird loves St Mathias Place

I love taking photos sometimes.

Check out my Listen Bird category for more photos of his work.

listen to the wind up

i had never been in this back alley before, and i was thrilled by the finds in it! many blog posts about this alley to follow! first things first, the greatest door ever.

at the top of the door is the Listen Bird‘s tag, but there’s no bird, so i’m wondering if the bird was painted over by these wind up grenades?

and the door is filled with this wind-up grenades with faces. reminds me of Fantasia, where the brooms multiply and start marching all over the place, except here it’s ticking time bombs. the old cartoons from the 30s and 40s were much more violent and scary (ever see the Pin Cushion Man? that cartoon used to scare the be-jesus outta me when i was a little girl) so maybe these toy grenades with blank faces is an homage to that brand of cartoon?


i love this kind of wheatpaste. it makes you think and kinda freaks you out too. i eat this shit up.

found near college and clinton.

Listen Bird: I’m sexy and I know it; wiggle!

found this unfinished Listen Bird on Spencer near King, on the south side of The Abbott cafe. it seems to me that Listen Bird was probably in the process of completing it when The Filth rolled by and he prolly ran for his life, lol. that area of Parkdale gets a lot of unwanted attention, so it’s a risky place to do some decent graff.

Check out my Listen Bird category for more of his work around Toronto and Montreal!

the abandoned Tower Automotive building on Sterling Road

yesterday i was jogging along the rail path when i paid careful consideration to the abandoned Tower Automotive building located on Sterling, which is clearly visible from the path. you can see that it has graffiti and street art all over it, so after i was done my 75 minute jog, i grabbed my camera and decided to explore it.

unfortch, it was already past dusk, and i was a female wandering around an abandoned building all by myself in the unlit darkness.  i didn’t feel particularly safe, so i didn’t stay long or do as much exploring as i wanted to. i hopped the chain fence to photograph the graff on the outside of the building (ME! HARDCORE!), but didn’t go so far as to actually enter the building.

it was so dark and creepy, and i didn’t have a flashlight or anything.

does someone wanna explore this with me next time?

anyhoo, i quickly explored the exterior and found some gems (before hopping the fence again and running away like a scaredy cat).

i see this woman’s face everywhere! i dunno who is behind her, but i’ve found her previously in kensington, and along the rail path. artist is wicked talented, whoever he/she is.

someone wheatpasted a photograph of albert ayler onto the exterior. i wonder why, it’s such an interesting choice.



joel, you be errrr-where.

ri rove rou ralph

it’s the Listen Bird! I’ve followed this bird all over the city and in Montreal! Who is behind this, I love this!

night of the wild dogs” indeed.

fuck yeah.

death 2010!

next step: bring bolt-cutters, enter building, photograph artistic genius, not get caught, run like hell.

the Listen Bird

this is getting cuh-ray-zay now. i see this talking bird everywhere! i first saw it this summer on the roof of a Timmie’s, and then in the Mile End area of Montreal, and now it’s popping up all over Toronto. because the tag “listen” always accompanies the bird, imma tag this as “the listen bird.” at least until someone can tell me the name of the artist or the name of the series.

the above i fought the law bird was on Noble street.

this was in an alleyway in parkdale near elm grove.

sorry for the poor Blackberry resolution here. this bird on the roof is saying “DUMP FORD.”

i agree.

fuck you rob ford.


have love, will travel; if you need loving, oh baby, i’ll travel

this is the first of many more TIFF film reviews to come. Sigh, bring on the festival clusterfuck! Every year I say I won’t do TIFF again, and every year I cave. I just love movies too much, and reviewing them! Being a freelance film critic always wins out over sense and reason. I’ve been covering TIFF for donkey’s years, but I’ve been a patron for a lot longer.

Actually, guess where I was the morning of September 11, 2001?

It was the really crap film Century Hotel, I only wanted to see it because I was a huge OLP fan at the time, and Raine Maida acted in the film (badly). The screening started at 8:45am. After the 90 minutes of pure oblivion, I walked out of the screening, which took place at the ROM, and called mum to say I was headed back to university for my classes.

She told me what had gone down.

I don’t think I understood the full gravity of the situation over the phone.

So I flippantly giggled.

And that’s all I want to say about that.

montreal graffitigasm time!

this was on boulevard st laurent, i think he’s holding a quill, but he’s wielding it like a weapon.

the pen is mightier than the sword, indeed.

this “world of shit” tag was everywhere.

this was off of avenue Duluth, and the following were a series of wheatpastes on the same wall. they blew me away.

the tag on them says “what if art ruled the world?” and  i found similar wheatpastes by the same artists all around the plateau.

i LOVE wheatpastes, i think they are the probably among the best kinds of street art you can do. stencils, and sculpture are also among that group.

when pigs fly!

these two colourful spraypaint murals were across the street from the wheatpastes.

i don’t remember my visual mythology well, but phil said this was Thor.

oh phil, thmile when you thay that.


hahahah!! for those of you who don’t speak french, this translates to ‘the duchess of my balls.”

now now, don’t get teste.

this was buried deep an alleyway that had zero illumination, so my flash was the only way i could make out the details.

i just liked the face with the hands. his arm is like a branch i’d like to swing on.

this was purposefully placed (probably by the owners of the house) on St.Denis.

i wonder if this guy actually climbed the street light?

phil and i found this while cycling along the canal off of vieux montreal. it’s like looking in a mirror, non?

she’s SO me.

i think the tag says “dayo” and i saw that tag a lot. anyone know who “dayo” is?

i was never a separatiste, but i appreciate the sentiment.

all of the abandoned buildings along the canal are perfect graffiti spots. as our bikes approached this building, i squealed and screeched to a halt on the grass, nearly knocking myself over.

close up! i’m assuming this was done by someone named ezar. i like the mathematical symbol before his name. i learned math in french, so that symbol will always mean “donc” to me. in english, i guess you could call it “therefore.”

donc ezar, this piece looks like a memorial to someone you loved. or someone you lost. or both.

either way, nicely done.

emotions are apathetic.

this was placed on Rue Jarry, on a wall that i think belonged to a dépanneur.

i’d like to think this is a comment on what you can find in a dep.

this was in the mile end area, and i got really excited, because i’ve seen this work in toronto before!

here it is again!!

le snob. le sigh. le tired. le mew. le meow.

i think this wheatpaste is by the same “what if art ruled the world?” wheatpaster guy. it’s the same theme and style.

awww, raccoon looks snuggley. i like how this piece has the painted frame. like it’s gallery work but buried in an alley next to a construction site.

curb your enthusi-gasm.

here he is again, the “what if art ruled the world?” guy.

this “teenage hookers” was spraypainted on the sidewalk in mile end, not far from casa del popolo

we went to the Belmont, and they projected this onto the wall.

i love the word ‘scrotum.’ it’s hard to weave that word into everyday sentences. it should be a ubiquitous word, like fuck or shit.

this was in an alleyway near sherbrooke and de maisonneuve. the fleur-de-lis on the corners of the portrait make me think this dude was a quebecois political figure.

same alley.

now for some street culture in between the street art! we went to mont royal for the Tam Tams! it’s a drumming circle, similar to the one held at trinity bellwoods, except this seems to be a festival where vendours can sell things as well.

i’ve always wanted to play a djembe, but who can afford them?

i’m sorry, but i am an extremely talented photographer.

case in point!

ps, krista, that girl looks like you!

the whole weekend, i kept repeating the same dyslexic-freudian-slip in my mind:

“i freak spench and english!”

also just like in trinity bellwoods, there are tightrope walkers at the Tam Tams. this one guy was so talented, he went there and back without falling, even though it was super windy.

omfguy. i don’t know whether to sleep with him, or stuff him into a bong and smoke him.

moment of clarity, scene of beauty, mind of chrome, skin translucent.

back to graffiti!

it’s also a long way down.

you just love me for my money. ADMIT IT.

clearly commissioned, but beautiful nonetheless

for what? zee germans?

“drunk asshole construction” was actually tagged all over the plateau. either someone isn’t happy with all of the development in the area, or that’s actually his name.

i don’t know who these two guys are, but i love this stencil. it’s full of heart. stencils are great, because they force you to pay attention to the negative space, and they take a lot of prep work:) this was in an alley off of avenue Duluth, right before it pissed with rain.

woah, hello.

i don’t understand the message, but the visuals are incredible.

have Spud, will travel.


this piece was brilliant. it’s carefully drawn, almost like dot-matrix design, then cut into stickers, and carefully placed.

it’s the kind of scene you’d find on a church window mosaic. absolutely genius.

massive wheatpaste on the Studio de la SOCIETE CANADIENNE D’OPERETTE building on rue st. denis.

this building is famous for having other wheatpastes put in this spot.

spot a familiar image?

this was written on a church that was under construction. it translates to “a house of slaves, at least.” although, you could translate it to also say “a house of lesser slaves.

someone has gone over the original tag to make it say, ‘une maisoner de se espérée en moins.” which kind of makes sense, and translates to “a home to hope less for oneself.

when it comes to religious institutions, i am forced to agree.

stop procrastinating!

i have so many TIFF film reviews to write (and more to see!), but instead, i’m making googley eyes at you.

priorities: check.

ps: i’m fucking endearing in this video.

can i make it better with the lights turned on?

...in paradise?

this video was made at Lindsey Kelk’s book launch, and they interviewed me (along with Val Stachurski and Erin Bury, among others) about dating.

vicki blogged about this, a tofu dish to beat out all other tofuckery attempts.

i guess The Toronto Star felt my tweeting was newsworthy.

this was the day i nearly passed out from dehydration. 38 degrees celsius in toronto, but with the humidex, it feels like 50 (reminding me of my time in india), and people still are keeping their babies and dogs locked up in the car. i sat on the benches outside of Hibiscus for an hour, trying to pull my shit together, and garner enough energy to stand. people walked by in fluorescent colours, and i was about to fall on my knees without the pleasure of praying.

i tweeted the above when i finally stood up, and wandered around trying to find a convenience store. i refuse to go to the one at the corner of augusta and college, because that schmuck behind the counter always eyes me up like i’m a five-finger-discounter, when all i want is a popsicle. so i wandered like a flaneur, until i found myself on ossington, sitting on the patio of iDeal coffee, looking at people ride by on their bicycles.

i nearly capsized.

my nose was stinging, my chin collapsing, but i didn’t cry.

*   *   *

you’ll remember a while back when i blogged about finding this beautiful piece of street art by deadboy, and because of that blog post, him and i kind of struck up a correspondence. well he recently let me know that some of his new work is up, and sent me on a scavenger hunt to find them…

deaboy’s clever raccoon is up in kensington market, go for a scour of the alleyways there, you’ll find his scrawlings, and some other vibrant work.

i think many people are afraid of venturing alone in alleyways. i’ve been doing it alone during the day and at night, and lately, i’m feeling safer in the alleys than out in the street. even the crooks and thieves are afraid of the alleys, no one runs behind the tall, shadowed walls anymore. except the artists.

this is very The Shadow-esque. who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? hahaha, what a shit movie.

dude is swallowing what flows from the gas pump.

don’t we all.

see the bird above the tim hortons? i’ve seen that bird before, it was up near the bathurst street theatre during the fringe festival, but didn’t get a chance to photograph it. is it still there?

this reminds me of some graffiti that  i found in bosnia-herzegovina when i was there in 2008….in the city of mostar

sometimes toronto has the same amount of decay and destruction to it, and we haven’t even been in a war.

someone has copied shepard fairey’s Obey style

i’m working on it….

i’m not sure exactly from this stencil who this cigar smoking guy is supposed to be. i’m assuming he’s a politician or political figure of some sort.

whoever he is, the street artist behind him has sprayed him all over kensington market.

here he is again…

…and again!

hey street artist behind this stencil! contact me! i wanna hear about your work. let’s be friennnnnnnnnnnds. oh i see a heart underneath the stencil. gee, i wonder who that is….

this Busk guy with Groucho Marx’s face is everywhere. i photographed him once before, but he’s all over the city, if you know to keep your eyes up.

that’s the thing about street art: once you’ve trained yourself, as i have, to keep your eyes up instead of down at the sidewalk, you won’t be able to NOT notice them anymore. you’ll realize that it’s everywhere, and there’s always new spots, new corners, new walls, new lamp posts, new targets. i think it’s only a matter of time before i start stirring the wheatpaste in the pot, grab a long-handled broom, and beat the street sometime past 3am with subterfuge burning underneath the hood of my eyes.

i agree with this statement.

like rose tombstones.

it’s the syntax that lying.



i ran into someone the other evening in the distillery district which gave me reason to pause.

at first, i wasn’t sure that it was him. so i kept walking out the door into the brimstone temperatures of the bricks.

then i stopped, paused, turned around on my heel, and marched right back up to him in the air-conned lobby.

it had been months since i’d seen him, well before my spring NYClusterfuck. he had texted  me last month, but i froze up upon receiving it, not knowing how to respond, so i remained silent.

we chatted pleasantly like god was stuck in our throats. With the mutual circles we run in, it’s a safe wager that he could continually be within striking distance.

very tricky.

what a clever juxtaposition.

those fucking kids.

all i see is hope.

*   *   *

what urge will save us, now that sex won't?
maybe i have said something that was wrong.