• Michael

Albert Street Education Centre Retaining Wall

If you are into graffiti art you will be pleased to hear that the City of Ottawa currently has 3 legal graffiti walls. These concrete canvases are located throughout the city at the following locations:

  • Underside of the Dunbar Bridge – 1301 Bronson Avenue.

  • Albert Street Education Centre Retaining Wall – 422 Slater Street.

  • Bob MacQuarrie (Orleans) Recreation Complex – 1490 Youville Drive.

By far the most well-known of the bunch is the one downtown on Slater Street at the Retaining Wall aka the Tech Wall.

Situated on the grounds of the Albert Street Education Centre and flanked by the Nanny Goat Hill Community Garden to the south, this wall can easily be seen by people driving on Slater as well as the thousands of commuters riding OC Transpo buses through the area.

One of the best things you will notice about this site is that it changes frequently, especially in the summer months and some of the art works created are representative of events that have occurred in society. I remember walking through the area with my dog a month or so after Prince (musician) died. There were a number of graffiti murals created to honour his memory. I also recall a story in CBC news in 2015 about a “black lives matter” mural that was sadly defaced, an unfortunate but common occurrence on these legal walls.

Some of my favourite pieces are the ones with the angular and curved word designs and although I can never quite make out what the words are, I’m always impressed by the crisp lines. If you’ve ever used a can of spray paint to paint an outdoor chair or mail box you know that it’s not easy to control where the over-spray goes. Seeing these works of art always makes me appreciate the skill, patience and time it must take to complete them.

Nanny Goat Hill Community Garden:

I recently revisited this site to take additional photos and discovered that most of the murals had been vandalized. A real shame.

Location Address: 422 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON K1R 7S7, Canada