Community celebrates first mural in East End Bridges to Art underpass series

July 31, 2019

Today, local Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth) joined members of the community as well as lead artist Kirsten McCrea to officially celebrate the completion of the first mural in a series of nine underpass murals along the Carlaw-Dundas rail corridor. The murals are being painted as part of the integrated street art vision called the East End Bridges to Art underpass series.

The newest mural is located at Gerrard Street East and Carlaw Avenue. Another mural in the area will be unveiled in the fall. The remaining murals will be co-ordinated with other City of Toronto projects and completed over the next two to three years.

A total of nine bridges/underpasses are located along the rail corridor, which stretches from Eastern to Coxwell Avenues. A community advisory committee considered different artist design concepts before selecting a winning design concept for each underpass.

StreetARToronto (StART), a City program, worked with Bespoke Cultural Collective to gather community input to develop a unifying theme and an integrated approach for mural installations at the underpass locations. The work is funded through the StART Underpass program, called StART UP, which aims to beautify underpasses around Toronto.

Quotes:

“An inspired artist can see canvasses around our city where others may not. The StART program, in part, leverages this inspiration and helps introduce beauty and meaning to the concrete and other materials we use to build the infrastructure in our neighbourhoods. Public art makes for a vibrant and livable city.”

– Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

“This is the first of nine underpass art projects that will bring together the rail line that runs through our community and 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.”

– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth).

“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.

– Kristen McCrae, lead artist