Gentle Treasure Hunt: Joseph Lammirato’s outdoor exhibitions

PA070093Contributed by Ed Drass, Gallery Arcturus

Who puts art on telephone poles? I mean, seriously. These columns on art walks are about what’s possible to see from the sidewalk – but when is that the last time you expected to find public artwork attached to a utility pole?

In our area there are two outdoor “exhibitions” making use of these most overlooked of street fixtures, the wood or concrete poles designed to keep wires above us.

Travelling along Gerrard Street through Cabbagetown you may have spied wooden panels, about eye level and brightly painted, with miniature toy cars stuck in the centre. There are dozens of them, spaced along the north side of the roadway. You can follow these very public art offerings westbound all the way to Yonge Street.

Broadview Avenue is far more suited for a promenade than Gerrard, particularly along Riverdale Park East. If you can take your eyes off the amazing profile of downtown across the valley, look for more of those bright wood panels — this time with crude yet friendly metal stars and other shapes.

So again, just who does that? In the east end of Toronto, the answer may be Joseph Lammirato. By day, he’s project technician at Ryerson University’s Image Arts department. On his own time and for the last several years he’s been affixing art right where we can see it.

Lammirato has exhibited in traditional art venues – meaning indoors – but far more people have been surprised and hopefully a little delighted to discover his unsigned work on poles as far afield as Key West, London, UK and Butte, Montana. Gallery Arcturus (where I work) has mounted a show of thirty pieces — which then made their way out into the world.

He puts up work along main streets where few object; although the material does come in for a beating. Lammirato has had to rejuvenate quite a few works since lockdowns eased; one amazing sculpture at Church and Gerrard has had two nose jobs so far – the penguin’s proboscis keeps being knocked off.

Now that you’ve been alerted, look out for other shapes: the outline of a tree, a house, comet or even a snake. Most of the metal shapes are made in a simple backyard forge; the artist uses about 15 pop cans to form each one. If you are lucky, and walking down the right street, an entire human figure may appear up ahead – see if you can locate “King Hipster” on a north-south street a few blocks west of Cabbagetown.

There are vestiges of some early works on Parliament Street — you may see a few near the Menagerie pet emporium.

His series “One Sixty-fourth On Gerrard” refers to the number of pieces he originally put up (some seem to have disappeared) and to the scale of Matchbox toy cars.

His latest postcard flip-book is available at Gallery Arcturus. Find Joseph Lammirato on Instagram.

Ed Drass works in communications at Gallery Arcturus, a not-for-profit public art museum on Gerrard Street East. You can reach him at

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News


System is Failing Seniors

Contributed by David Morris - The COVID-19 Pandemic Revealed Our System is Failing Seniors, Ontario Liberals Have a Plan to Fix It The COVID-19 pandemic has touched the lives of every Ontarian. We … [Read More...]

PSN kwt copy

Dear residents and neighbours

Contributed by Kristyn Wong-Tam - It is with great humility that I am running in the upcoming election to represent you as your NDP Toronto Centre champion at Queen’s Park! As your local City … [Read More...]

MPP Job Description

Contributed by George Smitherman, MPP representing Toronto Centre – Rosedale, Toronto Centre in the 34th, 35th and 36th Parliament (1999-2010) Position: Member of the Ontario Legislature Employer: … [Read More...]


Provincial Election numbers?

Contributed by Pstreet News. The provincial election is fast upon us, and there is a great battle between the Liberals and the up and coming NDP. With Suze Morrison stepping aside for Kristyn … [Read More...]


Brigaldara Soave DOC

Contributed by Isabel Wai, Brand Associate, Rogers & Company In the 2000s, Stefano Cesari and his sons, Lamberto and Antonio, initiated a profound renewal at Brigaldara. Today, the estate covers … [Read More...]


Forsythia Festival Thanks

THANK YOU The organizers of the Forsythia Festival would like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors for a long overdue and great day! Financial Donors Meridian Daniel et Daniel Catering & … [Read More...]


What Are We Planning for the Gardens

For the last two growing seasons we have not been able to be in the gardens with the children so we are excited to be planning in person programs for the children and after what felt like the longest … [Read More...]



Local residents and Real Estate agents Norman Hathaway and Anita Bostok of introduce us to local Cabbagetown Shop keepers is their ongoing series "Getting to Know you". Cabbagetown … [Read More...]


My brother, Tony Brady

Contributed by Joanna Brady Schmida - When I was approached by Peter Lovering recently about an addendum to the article he was planning to write for the Parliament Street News, I was delighted. For … [Read More...]


Hello Beautiful Readers!!

Here we go again, another year of the Parliament Street News. This is our first edition of the year and it was a long winter. But, what says spring better than the Forsythia Festival. After missing … [Read More...]



Winter Draws to a Close, Spring beckons, the sap is running! Contributed by The Cabbagetown BIA It’s been another long, cold winter, with the odd tease of balmy weather to come. Dire and traumatic … [Read More...]


Thoughts from Kyiv 

Contributed by Professor Mychailo Wynnyckyj in Kyiv. He and his family are in hiding, writing and fighting from a safe(r) house outside Kyiv - Yesterday’s bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol … [Read More...]


Walter Huston 1884 – 1950

Academy Award-winning Actor - Contributed by Walter Huston was born in Toronto where his father was a building contractor. He attended Wellesley, Ryerson and Lansdowne … [Read More...]