In Conversation with Toronto Mural Artist Emmanuel Jarus

Artist Emmanuel Jarus Talks Mural Painting

Toronto is loaded with street art, from places like Graffiti Alley and Kensington Market to the Ossington Laneway and obscure alleys hidden throughout the city. Born out of a movement that rejected confined artistic expression, cities have taken to street art as something that contributes to the culture and landscape of a city. It’s often seen as a form of political expression, while also taking a bland, grey side of a building and turning it into a striking work of art.

Something I just finished with Spraying Bricks in The fishing town of Boulogne sur Mer France. video coming soon!

In collaboration with local photographer: Frederic Briois

Posted by Emmanuel Jarus on Sunday, August 28, 2016

For those who have stopped by Indie88’s homebase of Liberty Village anytime since the end of last summer, you may have noticed a new mural on the side of the Liberty Street Cyclery that features a woman sitting with a coffee in hand and a cat at her feet. The mural adds colour and light to a space that was otherwise just a parking lot at Atlantic and Liberty Street. According to one of the artists involved, Emmanuel Jarus, the Liberty Street Cyclery mural was “anonymously funded and donated by a local community member who is a great person and doesn’t even live in or is associated with the building.”

“[…] he just really wanted to do some cool shit and took the opportunity to contact me for help and I’m glad he did.”

A post shared by Emmanuel Jarus (@youngjarus) on

Emmanuel Jarus co-created the Liberty Street Cyclery mural, and is also responsible for a few other murals that can be found throughout Toronto. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Jarus is a world-renowned artist that initially became recognized online for his work on freight trains, which he explains gave him a gateway into a new community.

“It became easier to meet people and become part of circles that regularly participated in the sort of art movements I was into. In the last few years I’ve done a lot of traveling and painting and it’s allowed me to find clarity in what I want to do and the freedom to do it.

Red Bicylce
Kiev Ukraine 2016

I arrived in Kiev a couple weeks ago thanks to Art United Us and I decided to paint this…

Posted by Emmanuel Jarus on Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jarus is known for depicting elegant and realistic portraits commonly painted on sides of buildings and trains, and has a portfolio that includes work in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, the United States, Sweden, Ukraine, Mexico, Denmark, and more. His experience with art and painting started at a young age.

“I was into drawing and painting when i was very young. I started painting illegally in my spare time under bridges and on trains when I was in high school, I had a couple opportunities to paint legally and I took them and made an effort to try and do something that was unique.”

The Dream
Toronto 2014
collaboration with Rudjer

last one in Toronto for a while!

Posted by Emmanuel Jarus on Sunday, November 2, 2014

For Jarus, anything that’s available to the public is relevant to a city’s character.

“I think public art in general is important. It could be in landscaping, architecture, sculpture etc.,” Jarus told Indie88. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the graffiti/street art movement was born in a place that was neglected by public arts funding at a time that it became easy for them to build low income large box buildings with no character (the Bronx.) The phenomenon quickly spread around the world in places that it could fit in, so in that way I think it’s inevitable. A lot of the best music genres were spawned out of a similar type of creative oppression.”

Although Jarus travels a lot, Toronto has become a place he appreciates, whether it be “the big brick houses with porches on the front” or “how multicultural and liberal Toronto is,” the city has earned a place in his heart.

“I am very thankful to call Toronto a home even if I’m only around for a few months of the year.”


New video by Peter Guzda of a wall in Toronto from earlier in the summer.

Collaboration with the man @_jsnp✨

Huge thanks to Rob for donating this wall to the community of Liberty Village.

? Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada, enjoy the weekend!

#LibertyVillage #EmmanuelJarus #TenserJarus #boro

Posted by Emmanuel Jarus on Sunday, October 9, 2016