Summer is here, making it a great time to get outdoors and explore the local area. You may have walked past the street art and buildings on Alberta Avenue and not known the stories and histories behind some of them. A new guided walking tour from Arts on the Ave (AOTA) wants to change this.

“If These Walls Could Talk —A Guided Art & Heritage Tour” is a new walking tour led by a staff member of AOTA. A staff member will take participants on an approximately two-kilometre guided tour of Alberta Avenue. The tour will explore the growth of street art, as well as other forms of public art in the area. It will also discuss some of the historic buildings.

“The idea is to get people to come out, feel safe walking through the neighbourhood, [and] get to know us,” says Ruth Jeang, AOTA communications coordinator. 

This tour will start and end at The Carrot Coffeehouse on 9351 118 Ave. The cost of $35 per person includes a drink and muffin at The Carrot Coffeehouse before the tour. Arrive 15 minutes early to receive the drink and muffin. The first tour starts on June 25 at 1 pm and runs about 90 minutes. During the summer, the tour will operate on Saturdays once a week. If there is interest, it could extend into autumn. There is also talk of possibly doing a longer bike tour in the summer, which would expand outside of 118 Avenue.

A focus for the art portion of the tour is learning about some of the graffiti-style street art. Jeang says, “In the past, graffiti art has had a bad reputation. Over the years, through different programs and City funding, we’ve been able to transform graffiti into something that is welcomed by businesses and community members.” 

More people are embracing these forms of street art, which can connect to the heritage of a business as well. One example Jeang tells me about is the aptly named Popular Bakery. “[It] is owned by a Portuguese family, so the mural [on the wall there] depicts a little scene from Portugal, and represents their roots and what they bring to our area.”

The influence of immigration will be a focus of the heritage side of the tour. The tour will help participants discover the history of some buildings there and how their use has changed over the years. It will also share stories of those who came to Alberta Avenue to live and work, and people who have helped to make the area the vibrant neighbourhood it is today.

Jeang hopes the tour will contribute to a sense of pride for community members. For locals and everyone else as well, this tour will give people a chance to explore and learn more about the unique street art and history on Alberta Avenue.


Runs during the summer on Saturdays, 1 to 2:30 pm

$35 per person 

More info: