As a signature project of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto (StART) program has partnered with the University of Toronto (U of T) and The Legacy Art Project to create a mural commemorating Canadian legend and hero Terry Fox. The large-scale, community-engaged landmark mural will be painted on the north side of U of T’s Rehabilitation Sciences Building at 500 University Ave.
The project will commemorate Terry and support the legacy of Terry’s “Marathon of Hope”. Once painted, the mural is expected to cover as many as eight storeys and will overlook University Avenue, part of the route Terry followed into downtown Toronto on July 11, 1980 — day 90 of the Marathon. Fox eventually made his way to Nathan Phillips Square, where he was met by thousands of people cheering him on.
Following a competitive process, five Toronto street, mural and graffiti artists including Christiano De Araujo, Keitha Keeshig-Tobias Biziindam, Emmanuel Jarus, Jason Pinney, and Artist Collaborative Alexander Bacon and Que Rock were invited to submit mural design concepts. The concepts will be considered by an inter-generational committee that includes Terry Fox’s brother Darrell Fox and niece Jessie Adler. The committee will closely review each design concept and, with feedback from the public, select a final mural concept. The mural will then be painted in the summer of 2022 by the commissioned artist(s).
Members of the public can view the concepts and share feedback until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 31 here.
In 1980, with one leg amputated due to cancer, Terry embarked on an east to west, cross-Canada run to raise funds for cancer research and awareness of the toll of the disease. Although illness forced Terry to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy.
Working closely with artists and Toronto’s major cultural institutions, such as the U of T, ArtworxTO is delivering major public art projects and commissions across the city from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Supporting local artists and new artworks that reflect Toronto’s diversity and celebrate key aspects of our shared history, like that of Terry’s “Marathon of Hope”, ArtworxTO is creating more opportunities for Torontonians to engage with art, as part of one of the largest arts and culture investments in the city’s history.
More information about ArtworxTO is available online .
StreetARToronto (StART) is an initiative of the City’s Transportation Services Division and includes a suite of innovative city-building programs intentionally designed to showcase, celebrate and support street, mural and graffiti artists and art throughout Toronto. StART’s suite of nine programs, career development ladder, and skills building pipeline provide artists and curators with an integrated system of support and professional development that is bringing Toronto international acclaim as a leading centre for street, mural and graffiti art. StART programs and projects are rooted in values that demonstrate the positive and powerful impacts of diversity, representation and inclusion.
More information about StreetARToronto is available online .
More than 1,000 works of street, mural and graffiti art can be viewed on the StreetARToronto map .
“Terry Fox is a national hero who represents hope, determination and inspiration for people across Canada, and around the world. Thousands of people gathered along University Avenue and on Nathan Phillips Square to witness his courageous journey and to cheer him on during the Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox’s legacy as a role model is everlasting and whichever mural is selected will be a fitting tribute in Toronto to the legacy of a great Canadian. I look forward to seeing the completed mural – an incredible contribution to ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 – next summer.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Terry Fox is a shining example of a true national hero who pushed beyond his limits to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and save lives. His achievements are revered more than four decades later and this mural will be a stunning contribution to ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Using this huge canvas in a very public place to honour Terry Fox demonstrates the enormous legacy he left as one of Canada’s greatest and most inspiring people. I am very proud of the contribution that the StreetARToronto program is making to ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 to celebrate the legacy of this incredible Canadian hero.
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
“It is tremendously exciting for residents of University-Rosedale to know that, one day soon, there will be painted monumental mural along the historic route down University Avenue that Terry Fox ran during his Marathon of Hope, and that it will celebrate the lasting impact he left on our community.”
– Councillor Mike Layton (University-Rosedale)
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 the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.