Mayor John Tory today announced that a new series of wall murals painted by local street, mural and graffiti artists will celebrate Toronto’s frontline workers, first responders and volunteers as part of the StART Frontline Heroes Art Project.
Earlier in the spring, StreetARToronto (StART) sent out an open call to local Toronto artists to apply. A key part of the application included identifying, as the inspiration for their art work, frontline service providers from the local community including health care workers, first responders, volunteers, grocery and pharmacy workers, delivery services and neighbours who are actively working to keep our community safe from COVID-19 during the global pandemic. The murals are funded through a partnership via the City/StART using third-party private sector revenue.
In total, the StART Frontline Heroes Art Project will be completed by 23 Toronto street, mural and graffiti artists featuring a series of 15 street art wall murals of diverse essential workers of all ages, genders, backgrounds and professions and reflecting the City’s motto Diversity Our Strength. Murals are already underway, including six that are finished at 2265 Danforth Ave., 30 Maud St., 546 Richmond St. W. (in graffiti alley), 575 Queen St. W., 761 Jane St., 1230 Dundas St. W., and one soon to be completed at 165 Main St. The rest are scheduled to be finished by the end of July.
Murals completed through this project will enhance the City of Toronto’s Year of Public Art which will be a year-long celebration of art and community in 2021. It will highlight Toronto’s incredible collection of public art and the artists behind it, provide opportunities for artists to develop new public art projects, and encourage people to connect and engage with public art. More information is available at toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/history-art-culture/public-art/year-of-public-art/.
StreetARToronto (StART), delivered by the City of Toronto, Transportation Services Division, is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has reduced graffiti vandalism and replaced it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art. StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make streets more vibrant and safe, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs, celebrate the City of Toronto motto Diversity Our Strength and create a sense belonging among all.
Learn more about StreetARToronto at toronto.ca/streetartoronto.
See more than 1,000 works of street, mural and graffiti art on the StreetARToronto map at streetartoronto.ca.
“This project, delivered by local graffiti artists, celebrates many of our city’s heroes who continue to fight COVID-19 and save lives while putting themselves at risk. Our health care workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, grocery store and pharmacy workers, mail workers, community workers, volunteers, and more have worked tirelessly. They deserve to be recognized in this way and I am so grateful to all of them for doing their part to keep Toronto safe.”
– Mayor John Tory
“This timely and relevant StART project uses infrastructure in Toronto to create legacy artwork that will animate and celebrate our frontline workers, first responders and volunteers for years to come. Graffiti art positively affects our neighbourhoods and, even during these difficult times, we can count on our talented local artists to make our city even more liveable and vibrant.”
– Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at facebook.com/cityofto.