These B/W Murals Revive History

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #61! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

Week 11/ 52

On Sunday March 13th, Daylight Savings Time began in Toronto. Clocks were turned forward one hour so you may notice a change in when the Weekend Coffee Share linkup started today.

I took a leisure bike ride and a stroll in Little Italy neighbourhood to revisit six amazing black and white murals. They are on the side of the Revival nightclub on Shaw Street (at College Street). I first saw them in Fall 2021 when the artist was painting them.

Murals at The Revival

The owners of the Revival nightclub wanted to showcase how the area looked before it was built up between the sixties and seventies. Several bridges in this area have disappeared throughout history in Toronto. Toronto artist John Nobrega used photos of the bridges from the archives and painted their images on the side of the Revival.

The first mural is of the landscape of Garrison Creek, a ravine in the early 1900s, which is behind the Revival on College Street.

Landscape of Garrison Creek in the early 1900s.
#1 – Landscape of Garrison Creek in the early 1900s.

The second mural shows the construction of the Crawford street bridge which was built in 1915 over Garrison Creek. This bridge was buried up to the road deck during the sixties.

The Crawford street bridge under construction in the early 1900s.
#2 – The Crawford street bridge under construction in the early 1900s.

The third mural shows an unnamed wooden pedestrian bridge that used to stand in Trinity Bellwoods, and is no longer there.

An unnamed wooden pedestrian bridge that was in Trinity Bellwoods.
#3 – An unnamed wooden pedestrian bridge that was in Trinity Bellwoods.

The fourth mural is the Harbord street bridge. This bridge was neighbours with the Crawford street bridge, also passing over Garrison Creek.

The Harbord street bridge.
#4 – The Harbord street bridge.

The fifth mural shows a similar scene from the wooden pedestrian bridge in Trinity Bellwoods, in the winter, with people tobogganing.

People tobogganing near the unnamed pedestrian bridge.
#5 – People tobogganing near the unnamed pedestrian bridge.

The sixth and last mural is the Crawford street bridge when it was fully constructed.

The Crawford street bridge.
#6 – The Crawford street bridge.

There are more paintings on the arched windows above the six bridge murals. They show construction men at work. Click on the arrows to see the slides below.

Having read the history plaques around Garrison Creek and being familiar with the area, I greatly appreciate how the Revival owners have brought back images of the bridges.

I’m in awe of John Nobrega’s paintings and their amazing details. I was astonished to learn that each of the murals took him merely around two days. I hope my pictures show the beauty of his artworks.

What do you think?

Shared with #CellpicSunday, #PPAC40, #SundayStills.

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107 thoughts on “These B/W Murals Revive History

  1. leannelc March 18, 2022 / 8:21 am

    Hi Natalie – these are so realistic – I’m always in awe of artists who can create images that look like giant photographs. Nice to also have some of the local history preserved by one of the businesses in town too. Thanks for the party – it’s always enjoyable to read the other linked posts.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 6:53 pm

      Hi Leanne, This artist’s skills and paintings are amazing to see. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he worked with incredible speed. Part of one of the bridges still exists today and people go tobogganing in the winter in the same park. Thank you for participating in my weekly linkup. I’m glad you enjoy reading the other linked posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. photobyjohnbo March 18, 2022 / 9:00 am

    The work is beautiful. It is really unusual to see murals done in black-and-white. The artist is extremely talented, not only in the usual proportional skills, but also in the study of luminosity without color. Impressive work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 6:58 pm

      John, I’m glad you like these murals. It was unbelievable to see the artist at work and his finished murals a few days later. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he worked with incredible speed. Part of one of the bridges still exists today and people go tobogganing in the winter in the same park.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:02 pm

      Alice, I’m glad you like these murals. The artist has amazing talent.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Susanne March 18, 2022 / 10:19 am

    These are some wonderful murals, and lovely to show the history of these local places too. They’re very well made, and always look like photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:03 pm

      Susanne, I’m glad you like these murals. Part of one of the bridges still exists today and people go tobogganing in the winter in the same park.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Susanne March 18, 2022 / 10:20 am

    Meant to say they ALMOST look like photographs! Haha, I need to do more proofreading even for comment forms!

    Like

  5. Kirstin March 18, 2022 / 11:11 am

    I love those murals Natalie. The crawford St. bridge is my favorite. So cool. Always so many cool things to see in your city and surrounding area. I actually managed to get my post done early. Surprise, though I planned to because I’m babysitting my grandkids this weekend and I didn’t know if I’d have time. Have a great weekend.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:10 pm

      Kirstin, Hurray for getting your post done early in spite of your busy schedule. I’m glad you like these murals. The Crawford street bridge mural is stunning with its details. Pieces of the edge of the Harbord street bridge still exist today. Have a wonderful weekend with your grandkids.

      Like

  6. Ally Bean March 18, 2022 / 11:33 am

    The murals are compelling. It took only around two days to paint them each? That is astonishing.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:12 pm

      Ally, I’m in awe of this artist’s skills and these murals. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he worked with incredible speed.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennifer Jones March 18, 2022 / 2:44 pm

    These murals are amazing Natalie. There is so much depth in the shading. I really appreciate you explaining the history of each mural.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:14 pm

      Jennifer, I’m glad you also think these murals are amazing. Pieces of the edge of the Harbord street bridge still exists today and people still go tobogganing in the same park in the winter.

      Like

  8. Lydia C. Lee March 18, 2022 / 4:41 pm

    Not sure if my comment went thru? I said to google Adnate and how I was amazed with what people could do with spray cans. And lovely to bring history into the present day mind. Anyway, I like them!!

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:18 pm

      Strange that your first comment went through five minutes later than your second comment (see below). I’m glad you like these murals. There are some super talented artists out there.

      Like

  9. Lydia C. Lee March 18, 2022 / 4:46 pm

    These are great. I love watching the people put up their art – it’s amazing what can be done with spray cans. (Google Adnate. He’s my favourite). And lovely to bring history into the present mind.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:19 pm

      I looked up Adnate. His giant murals look amazing. Thanks for sharing your favourite muralist.

      Like

  10. Gary A Wilson March 18, 2022 / 5:56 pm

    Great murals Natalie. I have a thing for bridges and like to sit back and think about how they were engineered, built, used and sometimes, failed. I’ve been guilty of day dreaming what life would have been like if I designed and built bridges for a living. This was a fun collection of them.
    Thanks for sharing them.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:23 pm

      Gary, Bridges are fascinating for their functions, designs and their roles in building the community around them. I’m pleased you like these murals.

      Like

  11. Jo March 18, 2022 / 6:15 pm

    I love those older bridges – they have a character missing in the steel and concrete ones that replaced them. Fabulous murals – so detailed – that really must bring the history of the space alive.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:29 pm

      Jo, Pieces of the edge of the Harbord street bridge still exists today and people still go tobogganing in the same park in the winter. When I looked at these bridge murals and stood in the same area of the old creek and bridges, the history of the space truly came alive. The artist, John Nobrega, did an amazing job painting these murals.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Deborah Drucker March 18, 2022 / 6:48 pm

    Great murals. It is interesting to see the history of the bridges.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 7:33 pm

      Deborah, The bridges have interesting history for sure. I can touch the edge of the Harbord street bridge that still exists today and watch people go tobogganing in winter in the same park.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Denyse Whelan Blogs March 18, 2022 / 7:35 pm

    This is another great example of clever creative people’s work and thank you for sharing them. I live in a place that was first inhabited by the indigenous folk, and then with the coming of settlers from other lands, a lot of western type construction was done. It was done in the hardest of times using people power but it paints a picture to see life as it was like this. Black and white brings an extra air of interest to the images too. Thank you for your sharing and your link up. Our daylight saving in some part of Australia where it’s used finished in the first weekend in April. We “fall back” as you “spring forward”. Denyse

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 8:15 pm

      Denyse, I’m pleased you like these murals. Toronto is also on the traditional territory of many nations and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. I think the artist did an amazing job. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he worked with incredible speed. Thank you for linking up with me this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Amila March 18, 2022 / 8:47 pm

    Artist John Nobrega has done a wonderful job in recreating the bridges into powerful murals. Even without colours, his murals are powerful and share history. I always like watching murals and street art because those tell a story, sometimes hidden or forgotten stories that most people do not know.
    Thanks for hosting.
    Have a great day!

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 9:31 pm

      Amila, I’m pleased you like these murals. I’m in awe of J. Nobrega’s paintings. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he created them with speed and stunning results. Thank you for linking up with me this weekend.

      Like

  15. Marsha March 18, 2022 / 9:25 pm

    These murals are astounding, Natalie. I can’t imagine even getting my paints out in just two days. Whew! That’s a real artist for you. Simply awe-inspiring, my friend.

    Like

    • Natalie March 18, 2022 / 9:33 pm

      Marsha, I agree with you. I’m in awe of J. Nobrega’s murals. The shades of black/ white/ grey and his work area for these murals are not easy to work with yet he created them with speed and stunning results.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha March 19, 2022 / 12:57 pm

        He is astounding. I can’t even imagine how you find so much to share without ever repeating yourself.

        Like

        • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:20 pm

          Marsha, Toronto’s art scene is very vibrant and I discover so many beautiful public artworks outdoors. It’s really an explorer’s and photographer’s dream.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marsha March 20, 2022 / 9:52 am

            I see that in your posts each week.

            Like

  16. Retirement Reflections March 18, 2022 / 10:15 pm

    Hi, Natalie – These murals and paintings are absolutely stunning. It is hard to imagine that the artist spent such little time painting them. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 9:24 am

      Hi Donna, I’m pleased you like these murals. The artist’s talent is amazing. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  17. Maria March 19, 2022 / 3:49 am

    Those murals are beautiful, I like them much more than some of the modern ones that sometimes is a bit too much. These are soothing to lay eyes on. Thank you for sharing them. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 9:27 am

      Maria, I agree with you that these murals are soothing to lay eyes on. I’m pleased you like them. I think the artist did an amazing job with shades of black, white and grey. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Moumita De Sarkar March 19, 2022 / 5:05 am

    Murals never fail to impress me. And so was in this case. They can give any place a new aura with their art, which is also a treasure box of knowledge, rich in history. Thanks for sharing such beautiful murals, Natalie:)

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 9:57 am

      Moumita, I’m pleased you like these murals. I think the artist did an amazing job blending black, white and grey while showing the bridge and landscape details.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Astrid March 19, 2022 / 6:50 am

    I am so amazed the artist created these murals in mere days. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 9:58 am

      Astrid, I’m also amazed by the artist’s skills and speed. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. rawsonjl March 19, 2022 / 7:00 am

    Those are such neat murals! I love that they are all done in shades of white and gray too; somehow that makes them seem even more historical. Like looking at an old black and white photo but better.

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 4:59 pm

      Yes, these B&W murals have a lovely vintage feel.

      Like

  21. Antoinette Truglio Martin March 19, 2022 / 7:57 am

    What a find! Beautiful murels right there in your backyard. Thanks, as always for the tour.

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:00 pm

      Antoinette, I’m pleased you like these murals. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Like

  22. trentpmcd March 19, 2022 / 9:05 am

    I really like the murals. Very cool. I scratched my head a little at the under construction picture of the Crawford bridge until I saw the finished one and understood it. So I am assuming the creek was put into some type of pipe and the gully filled in. Anyway, great murals. Hope your weekend is going well 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:05 pm

      Trent, The creek water stream was diverted into underground sewers under city streets and the original course was filled in with soil. The edge of Harbord Street bridge still exists but it looks like a low wall. People still toboggan in the winter on the same hill as shown in one of the murals. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Writing Sparkle March 19, 2022 / 9:56 am

    I love the history in this art. I also really like how the murals are set into the window wells and framed by the brick. Really neat coffee share Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:06 pm

      Thank you, Shari. I’m pleased you like these murals. I like how the red bricks frame the murals, too.

      Like

  24. Dan Antion March 19, 2022 / 10:41 am

    These murals are amazing, Natalie. I love bridges, and I certainly enjoyed viewing these murals. Don’t ask me to pick a favorite.

    I hope you have a good weekend and week ahead.

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:09 pm

      Dan, I’m pleased you like these murals. I think the artist did an amazing job blending black, white and grey while showing the bridge and landscape details. I may ask you to pick a favourite door in my post next week 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Melis March 19, 2022 / 10:46 am

    Wow! These murals are absolutely gorgeous. I love when people can fold time, bringing the past into the present in beautiful (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:13 pm

      Welcome, Melissa, to my blog and thank you for your comment. I’m pleased you like these murals. I love how they bring back history of the area in a beautiful art form. I host a weekly weekend coffee share linkup, Friday to Sunday. You’re welcome to join us any week, and no obligation to participate every week.

      Like

  26. Janet Alcorn March 19, 2022 / 1:16 pm

    Lovely murals and a clever, creative way to bring the history of the area to life. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:14 pm

      Thank you, Janet, for joining me virtually. I’m pleased you like these murals.

      Like

  27. E.W. Bennefeld March 19, 2022 / 2:24 pm

    Gorgeous! Reminds me of tintype (?) pictures, the B/W ones

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 5:15 pm

      Lizl, Yes, these murals have a lovely vintage feel. I’m glad you like them.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com March 19, 2022 / 6:05 pm

    I love street murals… the more colorful the better. Then I saw the ones in your post and decided that black and white is great too. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 6:47 pm

      Janis, I also love colourful street murals. These B&W murals are amazing to see IRL that I had to share. Thank you for dropping by.

      Like

  29. Diana March 19, 2022 / 8:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, the artwork is AMAZING!! I just Love all of them and I’m always amazed at these artists with such talents. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead! 😀🤩❤️

    Like

    • Natalie March 19, 2022 / 8:45 pm

      Hi Diana, I’m pleased you like these murals. The artist did an amazing job with shades of black/ white/ grey to show the landscape and the bridge details. I hope your weekend is going well. Have a great week next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. csuhpat1 March 19, 2022 / 9:30 pm

    Those are super amazing. Love all of them. The detail is just so perfect. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • Natalie March 20, 2022 / 1:12 pm

      Patrick, I’m pleased you like these murals. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Like

  31. Ju-Lyn March 19, 2022 / 11:22 pm

    You have indeed captured the majesty and the expanse of these murals. They look stunning and I can only imagine how awesome it must be to stand in front of one of them – and you viewed 6 bridge murals and then some more! It must have been a jaw-dropping outing!

    Like

    • Natalie March 20, 2022 / 1:15 pm

      Ju-Lyn, Thank you for your kind comments. It was awesome to see these murals. The artist did an amazing job with shades of black, white and grey. Plus, I got to walk by what’s left of the Harbord street bridge and the park where people go tobogganing in the winter.

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn March 24, 2022 / 9:18 pm

        I can just imagine how fun that must have been … envy envy

        Like

  32. Scribble and Scran March 20, 2022 / 7:09 am

    Love the bridges, there is something amazing architecturally about something that is so essential to us. Another great hosting session, thanks again.

    Like

    • Natalie March 20, 2022 / 1:16 pm

      Alex, Bridges are fascinating in their forms, functions, and metaphors. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Terri Webster Schrandt March 20, 2022 / 10:08 am

    Oh my gosh, these black and white murals are stunning, Natalie! You captured their essence of history and their art so well. I think bridges are quite amazing in their varied architecture, not to mention how they are built. Even in ancient times…I still marvel at the human mind for being able to build structures. The artists who painted these are amazingly talented to paint in B&W. Great share for Sunday Stills this week!

    Like

    • Natalie March 20, 2022 / 1:20 pm

      Terri, I’m pleased you like these murals. When I saw your Sunday Stills Daylight B&W prompt, I knew I had to share them. The artist did an amazing job working with shades of black, white and grey. Pieces of the Harbord Street bridge still exist today and people still go tobogganing in the winter on the same hill as shown in the murals. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Debbie March 20, 2022 / 6:56 pm

    These mural are wonderful Natalie and i love the story they tell!

    Like

    • Natalie March 20, 2022 / 7:08 pm

      Debbie, I’m pleased you like these murals. I love the history that they reflect and that I can still see pieces of the bridges and the hill for tobogganing IRL. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Min Write of the Middle March 20, 2022 / 11:29 pm

    Hi Natalie! Those murals are incredible! So much detail and realism to them. I’m amazed they stand up so well in the great outdoors! Hope you have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie March 21, 2022 / 8:33 am

      Hi Min, These murals were painted last Fall so they just made through one cold winter here. I hope they last outdoors for a long time as they’re really beautiful. I’m pleased you like them. Thank you for joining me virtually. Have a great week!

      Like

  36. 3sistersabroad March 21, 2022 / 12:58 am

    These Murals are amazing. So life like. Its amazing to think they are outdoors as well. I thought I would let you know for some reason not sure why I am having trouble commenting on others blog posts in the links. I think its me but its so frustrating.

    Like

    • Natalie March 21, 2022 / 8:38 am

      Bree, I’m sorry to hear about your having trouble commenting on other blog posts in the links. I have a suggestion: When you’re in the InLinkz dashboard and point to the blog thumbnail, try copy and paste the blog URL to your web browser to visit the blog directly. Let me know if that works better. I’m pleased you like the black and white murals. Thank you for joining me virtually. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Pepper March 21, 2022 / 11:01 am

    These are wonderful. 😊

    Like

  38. Teresa March 23, 2022 / 8:22 am

    Wonderful historical murals.

    Like

  39. Julie March 23, 2022 / 9:42 am

    These murals look almost like a photo and he made it really large like a poster.

    Like

    • Natalie March 23, 2022 / 10:22 am

      Yes, Nobrega’s talent is impressive. I admire how he painted the clouds and used shades of black, white and grey for the landscapes to accentuate the bridges.

      Like

  40. Gloria March 23, 2022 / 2:37 pm

    I always found the construction of old bridges to be fascinating.

    Like

    • Natalie March 23, 2022 / 4:11 pm

      Yes, old bridges usually have interesting history and designs. Thank you, Gloria, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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