NWYN Alleywalk – Perly Family Lane

I have really been relishing in the more frequent opportunities I’ve had lately to indulge in some relaxed laneway-loving alley walks. When I’m not able to do so, this button is basically my mantra:


I’ve definitely gone through portions of this Toronto lane before, but last night was a special treat.image

I am nearly certain that this lane is named after the family of my old boss, the inimitable Judy Perly of Free Times Cafe. She was as colourful and eccentric as many of the murals I was lucky enough to come across in post dinner meander.

Before entering this lane I saw spots of colour and delight in a few approaching alleys.

Then it was time to enter Perly Family Lane.
The first was a subtle experience.
There’s something incredibly beautiful about a covered car or boat in a back alley. It’s almost poetic; a symbol of past joyrides, blanketed over to protect from temptation:


Then my partner warned me, I was about to have ~an experience~.
Sometimes… no, frequently, I experience new things with such vigour that this card by Russell Alton at Choplogik.com, (Which I souvenired from Vancouver for some good friends who go on these journeys with me at times) perfectly captures what I look and sound like:


This happened multiple times in Perly Family Lane.
I’m sure many people who live in the Annex – Christie Pits area of Toronto have seen the front of the house of Albino Carreira or seen his van go by, completely encrusted with small toys and insects. Well he doesn’t stop at the front of the house.  Knick knacks and small cuts of wood completely adorn his garage too:


He even managed to decorate further an already rather ornate granite siding:


Metro News did a piece about uniquely decorated houses in Toronto and not surprisingly his place on Clinton makes the cut.
A more in depth article about Albino’s whole life, and why his eccentric decor style is an homage to the spinal cord is available here on Raw Vision.

Next we came across a garage door that is just screaming for some eyes:


Did you know that our tendency to see faces in nearly everything is a really natural and common phenomenon and has a name? Pareidolia, which in Greek means, in essence, “faulty image.” (Source: LiveScience)

Perly Family Lane has lots of different kinds of art adorning the garage doors, but there is definitely a monopoly on the creation by one artist in particular. I still need to seek out and find out who they are, but for now, enjoy a gallery showcasing both their play with colour and lines, and their sheer abundance.

Sometimes I find in back alleys, that it’s hard to figure out which back of the house matches the front of the house. (Unless of course it’s like the eccentric one above and it’s unquestionable).  But this door takes all the guessing away AND is striking:wpid-img_20150708_234019.jpg

I was also particularly drawn to this next stencil-made door and wonder who created it. Were they inspired by a real meadow stroll or woodland wander?


I, of course, also appreciate the visual impact of mild urban decay juxtaposed with growing over of foliage. There were plenty examples of this in this alley, but this one was particularly beautiful.


So, despite the mass exodus of many of my friends to the ‘Best Coast,’ I will definitely stick with my alley-filled town and ignore this tag with vigour.


Happy wandering, lovelies!

1 comment
  1. Lori B. said:

    Nicely done, Lee-Anne! Makes we want to take an alley walk with you …. sooooon! xoxo

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