BY TARA MCANDREW | AUGUST 2022
The walls of Downtown Cambridge have stories to share beyond the whispers of the beautiful old Galt stone buildings. These newer narratives, though in their infancy, are loud, bold, and vibrant. Stroll Walking Tours, in partnership with the Downtown Cambridge BIA, is proud to share the city’s tales through the brand new Cambridge Mural Walking Tour.
The Cambridge Mural Walking Tour is perfect for locals and visitors of all ages. Former alleyways and plain industrial buildings now welcome, surprise, and delight crowds and casual passersby alike. Keep reading to learn more about the tour and how you can join Stroll Walking Tours for an unforgettable afternoon!
CAMBRIDGE MURAL WALKING TOUR
Like many cities around the world, Cambridge has slowly come around to embracing muralists’ work. Once the positive benefits of this public art form and local residents’ enthusiastic response were apparent, Cambridge started to welcome more new additions to their outdoor gallery.
In 2016, the first ever Cambridge International Street Art Festival took place thanks to the dedication of its community founders, Brian and Linda Price. They gathered international talent such as the world-renowned Portuguese artist Odeith and Canada’s Mediah. Today, many other artists’ work can be found throughout the downtown core as well. Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky, Québec native Olivier Bonnard, BirdO, Getso, Tensoe2, Dave Bonzai, South Africa’s Sonny, Lester Coloma, and Cambridge’s own D3 Artworks and Michele Jones‘ art graces many windows, doorways, and walls.
The Cambridge Mural Walking Tour kicks off by introducing strollers to the origin story of Cambridge’s growing gallery with a stop at a special collaborative piece called This Is How We Do It. The now colourful cityscape initially experienced a bumpy start with artists only allowed to create temporary installations. However, like many obstacles, this created an opportunity for the disgruntled creators and open-minded community business owners to change the narrative around street art and pave the way for future collaborations. Since then, Cambridge has enthusiastically embraced street art and commissioned several permanent pieces to decorate the downtown.
Throughout the walking tour you’ll be wow’d by the fantastical anamorphic art and learn the stories behind pieces that focus on the area’s history. Other murals are powerful examples of environmental activism. Don’t forget to take a selfie with the famous Galt Wings!
The Cambridge Mural Walking Tour introduces strollers to 15 murals within a small 2 km area. The 1.5 hour tour starts and ends in the same location which makes parking easy. Depending on the day you stroll, the downtown offers free 2 hour parking as well.
The downtown Cambridge mural route is accessible, following city sidewalks, parking lots, and a trail beside the Grand River, making it possible for those on scooters and in wheelchairs to join in the fun too. Though the tours are outdoors, they are mask-friendly and there is plenty of room to distance as desired. Perhaps most importantly, remember that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices! Stroll Walking Tours operates rain or shine, so make sure to dress appropriately and wear comfortable walking shoes.
A list of dates for the Cambridge Mural Walking Tour (as well as Dog Friendly dates for the tour) can be found on Stroll Walking Tour’s website. Stroll also offers the option to book private group tours, which can be done through the website.
Tara McAndrew teaches people how affordable travel really is, how to learn other languages, and where to find the best chocolate around the world. She is currently based in Kitchener creating a very large travel list, thanks to 2020’s shenanigans. She runs the Travel with TMc website, and is on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as @travelwithtmc.