Monday, September 16, 2019

2019 Legends of Queen West

Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

August 2019 - Toronto ON

I just want to say upfront, that none of this music was known by me.
 But it is a piece of Canadian trivia and I like the murals!
I did enjoy the Jeff Burke video, Jeff Healy, Handsome Ned.

Artists were invited to paint murals on 8 Bell Canada outdoor utility boxes in 2018 and 2019 as part of the Bell Box Murals Project. The murals celebrate the iconic Queen Street West musicians of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The artists were Adrian Hayles, Julii McMillan, Naz Nahidi, Curtia Wright, Leanna Gennuso, Glen Guerin & Natalia Bonczek. The Legends of Queen West Murals were a partnership between the Queen Street West BIA, West Queen West BIA, Art West Studios, Community Matters Toronto and Bell Canada.
@queenstreetwestbia @queenstwestbia @artweststudios

So I created a map and set out to find them.

Naz Nahidi's tribute to the Parachute Club on Duncan at Queen St.

The Parachute Club was a Canadian band formed in Toronto in 1982. They released three top 40 hits in Canada between 1983 and 1987, including "Rise Up", "At the Feet of the Moon" and "Love Is Fire" (which featured guest duet vocals from John Oates). The band was well known for being one of the first mainstream pop acts in Canada to integrate world music influences, particularly Caribbean styles such as reggae and soca, into their sound.

Curtia Wright's tribute to Lillian Allen on Peter St at Queen St W

Lillian Allen (born 5 February 1951) is a Canadian dub poet, reggae musician, writer and Juno Award winner.

Adrian Hayles tribute Jeff Burke on Augusta south of Queen St. Finally found on a return visit.

A busker in Toronto by the name of Jeff Burke recently made headlines (Feb 2019) after his bassoon was stolen, breaking the hearts of many who know the joy that musicians can bring to your terrible subway commute.

Burke's bassoon has been returned to him after over a month without it, and after $14,000 was raised for a replacement.
The musician had temporarily set the instrument and some other belongings down to use the washroom near Delaware and Bloor, and when he came back, it had all been stolen, along with an an amp and other belongings.
The belongings were turned in to the TTC's lost and found system after being left at Ossington station. From there, a TTC staff member saw the GoFundMe page and connected the dots.

Leanna Gennuso's tribute to Handsome Ned on Vanauley north of Queen.

Handsome Ned was the stage name of Robin David Masyk (June 4, 1957 - January 10, 1987), a Canadian country singer and songwriter. Although he only released a small number of singles and was never widely known outside of Toronto during his lifetime, he has been credited as the catalyst for an early-1980s country music and roots rock revival in Toronto which paved the way for acts such as Blue Rodeo, Prairie Oyster, Skydiggers and Cowboy Junkies to break through to greater fame, and as one of the key figures in the transformation of the city's Queen Street West district into a cultural hotspot.

Natalia Bonczek's tribute to the Pursuit of Happiness on Ryerson at Queen St W. @nataliabonczek_art

Led by Edmonton, Alberta, singer and songwriter Moe Berg, The Pursuit of Happiness were launched in 1985 when he and drummer Dave Gilby moved to Toronto, Ontario. They soon met bassist Johnny Sinclair and formed the band, adding sisters Tamara and Natasha Amabile as backing vocalists. Their debut single, "I'm an Adult Now", quickly became a smash hit across Canada in 1986, sparked by a low-budget video which made it onto the Canadian music video channel MuchMusic.

Adrian Hayles' tribute to Jeff Healey on Tecumseth at Queen St West.

Norman Jeffrey "Jeff" Healey (March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008) was a Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. He hit Number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Angel Eyes" and reached the Top 10 in Canada with the songs "I Think I Love You Too Much" and "How Long Can a Man Be Strong".

Glen Guerin's tribute to Carol Pope and Nash the Slash on Markham St at Queen St West

Rough Trade was a Canadian new wave rock band in the 1970s and 1980s, centred on singer Carole Pope and multi-instrumentalist Kevan Staples. The band was noted for their provocative lyrics and stage antics; singer Pope often performed in bondage attire, and their 1981 hit "High School Confidential" was one of the first explicitly lesbian-themed Top 40 hits in the world.

And a bonus that wasn't mentioned in the article that I found on my second hunt.

Julii McMillan's tribute to Martha & the Muffins on McCaul at Queen West.


Martha and the Muffins are a Canadian rock band, active from 1977 to the present. Although they only had one major international hit single "Echo Beach" under their original band name, they had a number of hits in their native Canada, and the core members of the band also charted in Canada and internationally as M + M.

Right next to it is this box also by Juli and titled Echo Beach.


  1. Whether the musicians/bands play your kind of music or not, the murals are really cool.

  2. They are all great murals Jackie. So happy with the outcome for the busker and his stolen instrument.

  3. ...WOW Jackie, I feel like I'm on an art overload! Fabulous street art and what tunes, some I enjoyed more than others! Jeff Burke get my vote. Thanks so much for sharing today, enjoy your week.

  4. What GREAT Art and music! I feel like I've been to the best party ever.
    Thank you!

  5. I've known one of the members of Parachute Club for years.

  6. Sure wish our community would have some murals.
    Coffee is on

  7. Echo Beach is one of my favourite songs and I didn't know it was a Canadian band.


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.