By AMANDA GIBB
Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher and lead artist Kirsten McCrea joined community members to celebrate the completed underpass mural at Gerrard Street and Carlaw Avenue on Tuesday, July 30.
The mural is the first of nine underpass murals to be completed along the Carlaw-Dundas rail corridor from Eastern to Coxwell avenues, and is part of a unified street art vision called the East End Bridges to Art underpass series.
Fletcher said the mural “will add colour and life to some unlikely spaces.”
“Kirsten’s artwork has transformed this underpass from an unpleasant passage to a meaningful and beautiful offering for the community,” she said.
Another mural is expected to be unveiled sometime this fall.
The other seven murals will be coordinated with other City of Toronto projects. All of them are expected to be completed within the next two to three years.
York Centre Councillor James Pasternak said that the StreetARToronto (StART) program helps to beautify the concrete and materials composing the infrastructure of Toronto neighbourhoods.
“Public art makes for a vibrant and liveable city,” he said.
StART along with Bespoke Cultural Collective worked with the community to develop a unifying theme for the murals. Funded through the StART Underpass Program, the goal is to spruce up underpasses around Toronto in a creative way.
“I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with StreetARToronto and leave my creative mark on this wonderful neighbourhood of Riverdale. I loved engaging with its many residents while I painted. Their enthusiasm for my art fueled my passion to create my best work,” said McCrea.
StART’s art is based on themes specific to neighbourhoods around Toronto. Part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART reduces graffiti vandalism in Toronto and replaces it with creative and colourful community-engaged street art.
To learn more about StART and StART events, visit https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/enhancing-our-streets-and-public-realm/streetartoronto/