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But be legal about it

CONTRARY TO POPULAR belief, there are areas in Ottawa where graffiti is not only legal but encouraged. Though few and far between, the success of these local paint walls are paving the way for a more spray-friendly city.

House of Paint

Carleton University, beneath Dunbar Bridge

Home to the largest independent hip-hop festival in Ottawa, the large space beneath Dunbar Bridge on the Carleton University campus has come to be known as House of Paint. The area, which is picturesque in its own right, is continuously redecorated by Ottawa artists and spray-paint aficionados. Open to the public and legal to graffiti, House of Paint is one of Ottawa’s best-kept spray paint secrets.

Tech Wall

Ottawa Technical High School, at the corner of Slater Street and Bronson Avenue

Tech Wall is likely Ottawa’s most popular graffiti wall. Largely painted by Ottawa Technical High School students, any amateur can try their hand at graffiti here. Located at the back of the dog park on the corner of Slater Street and Bronson Avenue, art displayed on the Tech Wall is seen more than any other graffiti in the city due to its proximity to the OC Transpo transitway.

MacQuarrie skate park

Orleans, outside Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex

The MacQuarrie skate park is the most spacious graffiti park in the Ottawa area, but also one of the least accessible. Open only during the summer months, the park is frequented by Ottawa East artists, rarely visited by Centretown or Ottawa West graffiti artists. Still, with the most open area to go around, art is likely to stay up at this location.

—Jaclyn Lytle