I catch a whiff of Ferré along Queen West, an odd invasion of the senses here in Parkdale, unless artist Oliver Husain happens to be in the ?hood.
The high-end perfume smell is part of Husain's Parc De La Valeé project, one of 10 performance art pieces along Queen from Gladstone to Roncesvalles during last weekend 's Queen West Art Crawl September 15 and 16.
As part of the festivities, curious passsersby are encouraged to find magic mushroom sculptures hidden in restaurants and stores in the area and participate in games like Zombie Tag in the Dollarama or Snakes And Ladders on a board drawn in chalk on the pavement outside the Parkdale Library.
Intrigued shoppers found the Salvation Army outlet near Jameson bathed in black light.
Explains artist Jon Sasaki, "When an armpit stain comes out under the black light, it brings out the history of the garment."
But this art fest isn't supposed to be just about fun and games. The installations are also an attempt to examine how people interact with one another in an urban environment, says co-curator Elaine Gaito.
"We want to encourage people to look at Parkdale as an interesting area in transition and present work that forces people to interact with the neighbourhood in a different way."
Down the street, Nick Tobier, dressed in what looks like a red bellhop suit, catches my attention. He's sweeping all the TTC stops along the route. He hops aboard a streetcar and picks up all the discarded newspapers and garbage.
"People have asked me whether this is part of some prison relief program," says Tobier, who is from Michigan. "But this is service in the civic sense."
You learn a lot about people's habits collecting their garbage, he says.
"Like at Jameson, there must be a place that serves chicken nearby, because I?ve never seen so many bones as at those stops."