Thorncliffe 2014 Tower Renewal Mural

The STEPS Initiative, an award-winning public arts organization, has facilitated a project in collaboration with United Way Toronto and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), that engaged young people in beautifying local common areas, while building their capacity as civic leaders, as part of the Tower Neighbourhood Renewal project.

STEPS, alongside their youth-led arts collective – the Toronto Emerging ARTivists (TEA) – in partnership with TNO’s Youth Centre, led the creation of a thought provoking mural inside one of Park Property’s buildings, located at 53 Thorncliffe Park Drive. The new work draws on the theme of environmental stewardship, while celebrating the diversity found within the local community. The resulting large-scale mural was conceptualized and painted by young people from the community under the mentorship of renowned Toronto artist, Nick Sweetman.

The mural depicts the positive impact that environmental awareness could have on the Thorncliffe community juxtapositioned against what could happen if local residents fail to recycle or value the environment. These two possible outcomes are connected by the Leaside Bridge, a local iconic landmark, onto which the words “reduce”, “reuse”, “recycle”, and “respect” have been superimposed in several locally spoken languages. Participating youth also painted national flowers representative of many of the countries from which local residents originate.

This project has illustrated the important role that young people play in community building.

Participating youth include:

Concept to implementation

  • Abdullah Gulab
  • Andreea Bosorogan
  • Faisal Feroz
  • Parisa Naeem
  • Rafid Naeem
  • Sara Azimi
  • Zainab Jangda

Design and/or painting crew

  • Hilal Khan
  • Jessica Ramdhanie
  • Mohammad Ali
  • Rida Kashif
  • Painters:
  • Areeba Aziz
  • Ananna Rafa
  • Arishiya Bawajir
  • Fatima Gulab
  • Zarnab Afzal