The Roncesvalles Village BIA has requested proposals for a new mural, to face onto the Grafton Parkette in the southern end of the newly-expanded BIA. It is hoped that the new mural will revitalize the parkette, which has long been a target of graffiti vandals.
The parkette, in one of the more funky and artistic parts of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, lies close to where the historic Sunnyside Amusement Park once stood. 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. The BIA believes it would make an excellent theme for the new mural.
These murals can revitalize a corner in more ways than one. For example, at Solarski’s Pharmacy at Garden Avenue, the RVBIA commissioned a beautiful mural depicting historic High Park, Sunnyside and other iconic Roncesvalles images (right). Owner Stan Salapatek then applied to the City for a Commercial Façade Improvement Grant, a special program available to BIA members. Seeing the improvements, local gardeners approached Stan about creating a community garden. Today, the Garden Avenue intersection truly lives up to its name, and it is an example of how simple BIA initiatives can turn into beautiful legacies.
Murals have also revitalized Croft Street, where a spectacular mural depicts the Great Toronto Fire of 1904. The mural is striking in its use of narrative forms to tell the story of John Croft, the lone casualty of the fire, for whom Croft Street is named.
UPDATE (July 13, 2007): The mural submission period is now closed. Thank you to the great artists who provided their wonderful mural ideas. The winning submission will be announced shortly.