It’s not every day that we get to celebrate the creativity and imagination of youth. But that’s exactly what made the recent launch of our public art project at Via Bloor so exciting!
An Artistic Adventure
At the suggestion of City Councillor Lucy Troisi, we set out on a mission to create something exciting and different at our Via Bloor construction site, in partnership with The Patch Project (Public Art Through Construction Hoarding), part of The STEPS Initiative, and Art City. The goal was to transform a portion of construction hoarding into a vibrant work of community art. The project involved the engagement of neighbourhood youth who worked with Rosena Fung, a professional artist, to create a mural of their neighbourhood that embodied the spirit of the community and it’s people. Through a series of workshops, facilitated by the STEPS program staff, kids were asked different questions, such as what was their favourite place in the neighbourhood and where did they spend the most time? The kids then “drew” their answers, which were then collected and refined by the artist. Eventually, a picture emerged.
Inspired by Community
The mural spans the length of the Via Bloor construction site facing Bloor Street East. Impressive in scale, it takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to walk the full length of the hoarding.
Colourful and vibrant, it is a celebration of the surrounding community. Entitled “Our City, Our Home!” the mural is filled with intimate details and snapshots of the surrounding neighbourhood, from favourite places such as the local St. James Town branch of the Toronto Public Library, to imagined spaces and places of the young minds who helped create it. Most importantly, it is a work of art inspired in part by some of the youngest members of the community where it stands.
Officially unveiled at a community event hosted by The Steps Initiative, attendees included Andrew DelZotto, Executive, Tridel, the artist Rosena Fung, and City Counsellor, Lucy Troisi, as well as the children from Art City who participated in the creation of the mural. Guests were treated to a catered lunch and the youth participated in art projects.
About The Organizations:
Art City is a not-for-profit organization that provides after-school and weekend multidisciplinary art programs, free of charge, to the children and youth of the St. James Town community.
The Patch Project is a social enterprise that works with artists and designers to create public art solutions for construction sites.
The STEPS Initiative is an award winning charity that works with private and public partners to engage and transform public spaces through art initiatives.