Riverside Pollinator Mural

Created by Nick Sweetman, the ‘Bees and Urban Pollinators’ theme recognizes Riverside’s hidden green spaces that maintain wildflowers and local hives, as well as the area’s growing bee-keeping culture in the east-end.

Continuing with STEPS engagement with the Riverside community, the mural’s ‘Time and Clocks’ theme is an homage to Albert Edelstein, a long-time clockmaker and jeweller in Riverside who was integral to founding the Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the 1980s. Edelstein personifies ‘The Pollinator’: someone working hard on tiny things with thousands of moving parts, but the whole of the fruits of their work has an enormous impact. In the same vein, the ‘Gears’ in the mural represent small things working together to make big things happen – like bees in a hive, or a community in a neighbourhood. Like clockmakers, pollinators are important members of society and their toils must be given proper respect, as they play an essential role in allowing people to thrive and exist.

The ‘Time’ theme also continues in line with Riverside’s architectural and artistic history, referencing Eldon Garnet’s ‘Time & A Clock’ public art series that has been iconic in Riverside since 1996. The ‘Clock’ in the mural also mirrors the Ralph Thornton Centre’s iconic clock tower just west across the street, designed by famed Toronto architect E.J. Lennox. Meanwhile, the mural’s colours and style portray Riverside’s ebbs and flows through time and its vibrancy today.

This project was created in partnership with the Riverside BIA and generously funded by the City of Toronto. Community partners include: Elbers Antiques, UrbanQuest, The Ralph Thornton Centre, The Toronto Public Library Queen/Saulter Branch and Wipeout Specialty Cleaning.