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In the Community

Walls that Speak: A Photographic Journey through Ottawa’s Street Art

By IRYNA PALTSEVA - March 5 2024

In the bustling streets of Toronto, where each corner holds untold stories and vibrant surprises, I stumbled upon Serhii, a unique creative soul with an innate passion for capturing the essence of life. Our paths crossed thanks to the supportive Ukrainian community, leading to an insightful interview that allowed me to delve into Serhii’s world of visual storytelling.

Serhii, resilient in the face of the harrowing experiences of war, successfully escaped the grip of Russian occupation in Mariupol. Rather than succumbing to despair, he not only demonstrated unwavering strength but also discovered the profound beauty that Canada had to offer. After seeking refuge in Ottawa, Serhii immersed himself in the vibrant city life, capturing the essence of his newfound surroundings through a series of compelling photographs. His journey is not just a testament to personal resilience but also a celebration of finding solace and inspiration in the remarkable landscapes and culture of his new Canadian home.

A bright soul with a profound appreciation for art, Serhii has always been drawn to various forms of creative expression, including sculpture, drawing, photography, music, and the beauty of nature. His particular passion lies in photography, which has evolved into a captivating hobby. With the prevalence of modern technology, Serhii, like many, now carries a camera in his pocket, allowing for the instant capture and sharing of life’s moments with friends and loved ones.

As Serhii explored the streets of Ottawa, the city’s amalgamation of modern and historic architecture, scenic landscapes, and diverse inhabitants caught his keen eye. During one of his strolls, he encountered a striking mural on the side of a building. The vivid colors, rich emotions, and compelling narrative of the artwork prompted Serhii to preserve it on his phone. Each subsequent mural he discovered became a cherished photograph, contributing a dynamic and vibrant element to the city’s atmosphere.

Every mural tells a unique story, reflecting the thoughts and emotions of the respective artists. Whether it’s a personal narrative, the history of a street, or possibly even the tale of an entire community, these artworks left a lasting impression on Serhii. He is compelled to share these visual stories with others, viewing them as more than mere drawings on walls but as representations of a belief in a brighter future and a profound faith in the inherent goodness within people.

This article was written by Iryna Paltseva. She is a Ukrainian copywriter and web developer who relocated to Canada under the CUAET program. You can contact her via email at:

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