This is a project I initiated in 2017 with the idea of painting a series of murals on the rail bridges in the Carlaw-Dundas area as part of the Carlaw Dundas Community Initiative.
The Carlaw-Dundas area is a former industrial area that has transformed into a hub of cultural and creative businesses and residents. As part of the larger initiative, a suite of public space improvement projects are being undertaken.
The Underpass Project has now grown to include all nine rail bridges in Toronto-Danforth from Eastern Ave to Coxwell Ave. This will also be the only project of its kind in the City which will be rolled out over a number of years.
In collaboration with StreetARToronto (StART), we are inviting community input to develop a unifying theme and an integrated approach for each mural installation. The first two underpasses have been installed at Gerrard St. East and Jones Ave.
The City of Toronto invites artists who identify as Indigenous persons to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate in the East End Bridges to Art – Coxwell Underpass Street Art Project. The goal of this Expression of Interest (EOI) is to obtain a roster of artists who will be eligible to participate in this project. The goal of this project is to beautify and animate the underpass with a mural representative of the local, historical indigenous perspective. This Expression of Interest is facilitated by Denise B. McLeod. Denise is Anishinaabe (Ojibway) who’s home territory is Sagamok Anishinabek First Nation on the north shores of Lake Huron.
This project forms a central part of a larger underpass initiative by the City of Toronto called East End Bridges to Art. Produced by StreetARToronto, East End Bridges to Art was initiated by Councillor Fletcher in 2017 to transform all 9 underpasses in Ward 14. This is the fourth underpass art project in the East End Bridges to Art series.
For further information please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/96cf-TS_REOI-StART-Coxwell-Underpass-Art-Project.pdf
In 2018 public consultation meetings were held and artists were selected for the first two of nine underpasses. Kirsten McCrae was selected to create artwork on the underpass on Gerrard Street East at Carlaw Avenue, and Jason Pinney was selected to create artwork on the Jones Avenue underpass which is between Gerrard Street East and Boultbee Avenue.
The Gerrard St. East mural was completed in July 2019 and an official ribbon-cutting and celebration was held on July 30th.
The Jones mural was completed in September 2019.
Locations of Railway Underpasses in Ward 30