STEPS has a commitment to transform underutilized or appreciated public spaces. Beginning in Summer 2015, we have been partnering with the Laneway Project and the Bloordale Community Improvement Association to transform several laneways in the Bloordale community. While well-used by cars, cyclists and pedestrians, these east-west corridors, located just north of Bloor Street West, were plagued by illegal tags that covered nearly all garage doors and back walls of area businesses and homes.
By building on the talents of local artists, STEPS has been facilitating the transformation of these laneways into sites for new cultural landmarks that can be celebrated by the local community. The first of these painting days took place in June 2015, during which a total of nine new murals were created by eleven artists in just one day, thanks to the support of area property owners and residents.
One large collaborative piece, which spanned the width of two garages, was created by emerging artists enrolled in STEPS’ Portfolio Development Program (PDP). The work was inspired by the adjacent Susan Tibaldi Parkette; a green and vibrant refuge for playful children and families. The light-hearted landscape complete with surreal flowers and rolling hills has been well-received by the local residents.
This project was generously supported by the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto program and the Department of Economic Development and Culture, as well as ArtReach Toronto.
STEPS and our partners would like to recognize the commitment and talents of our collaborating artists:
We look forward to other laneway transformations in the Bloordale community and across the city at large – the next of which is scheduled for September 2015, coinciding with the Bloordale Laneway Crawl.
Photo Credits: Sharon Mendonca; Jiawen Zhou and Vadim Taraskine.