Grafton Parkette Transformed

Over the summer and fall, a remarkable transformation occurred at the Grafton Parkette. This parkette, located just north of Queen Street, had been a neglected scrap of land. Today it is a beautiful focal point for the community. How did this happen?

Grafton Parkette
Grafton tranformed: The parkette had been a neglected patch of space (below), but over the summer it was transformed into a wonderful meeting place for the community (above).
Grafton Parkette, before the transformation

In June, the BIA announced a Request For Proposal, seeking artists to paint a mural on the south wall enclosing the parkette. We received several responses, and in the end we selected Walter Ruston, who had painted the mural at Garden Avenue. During the summer and early fall, passersby would see Walter out on a ladder, painting a wonderful depiction of the Sunnyside Amusement Park. This world-famous park entertained Torontonians from the early 1920s until it was demolished in the 1950s to make way for the Gardiner Expressway. This sacrifice to the needs of asphalt-paved progress remains a vital piece of our neighbourhood’s history. (To see a complete panoramic image of the mural, click here.)

At the same time, the City and Councillor Gord Perks were contacted by the West End Flower Fairies, a group of local gardeners, who asked if they could create a community garden in the parkette. The City agreed, and the group’s Wednesday evening gardening sessions became a wonderful weekly social event. The magnificent results speak for themselves.

The BIA would like to thank Carolin Taron and the West End Flower Fairies, and Walter Ruston for all their hard work. The BIA also thanks the City of Toronto, Economic Development for its assistance in financing the mural.