Street art trend makes its way to North York

Mas­sive mu­ral cur­rently un­der­way at the neigh­bour­hood un­der­pass by Ryan Ayukawa

Bayview Post - - News -

The CN Rail un­der­pass on Finch Av­enue West is un­der­go­ing a ma­jor makeover in the form a street mu­ral. The creative artist be­hind the trans­for­ma­tion of the grey con­crete area is Dan Berg­eron.

The mu­ral at Finch, stretches from ap­prox­i­mately Ax­el­don Road to Chess­wood Dr­rive along the un­der­pass, and looks al­most like a rain­bow.

“Through the use of vi­brant colours, puls­ing move­ment and a luminous sense of light, the idea is to make a drive, bike ride or walk past this wall an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Berg­eron.

Berg­eron has made a name for him­self work­ing on pub­lic street art for over a decade — al­though he used to go by the moniker Fauxreel. Some ex­am­ples of his art­work can be found in Re­gent Park and at Ever­green Brick Works. Ur­ban spa­ces have al­ways in­ter­ested him since he was a young skate­boarder, which he said has helped him see city spots be­yond their util­i­tar­ian func­tions. The Finch mu­ral is sup­ported by Stree­tArt Toronto (StART) as part of a pro­gram to pro­duce five to eight un­der­pass mu­rals an­nu­ally. Part of the pro­ject man­date is to pro­mote and es­tab­lish lo­cal artists with avail­able fund­ing up to $50,000.

Al­though the street art move­ment is par­tic­u­larly preva­lent in Mid­town, Catherine Camp­bell, pro­ject lead at StART, said Toronto is aim­ing to have its pop­u­lar­ity matched in ev­ery city

“The first thing ev­ery­one seems to men­tion is how they love all the bright colours.”

ward in­clud­ing those in North York.

The idea for the mu­ral came from a board meet­ing of the Duke Heights (DH) BIA. Leah Sul­li­van, spokesper­son for the BIA, said the lo­cal re­ac­tion to the mu­ral have been ex­tremely pos­i­tive since then.

“The first thing ev­ery­one seems to men­tion is how they love all the bright colours,” she said.

The BIA is also con­sid­er­ing pur­su­ing other mu­rals on Shep­pard Av­enue West and one on Stee­les Av­enue West.

Else­where in North York, artist Sarah Col­lard’s work was cel­e­brated at the launch of her mu­ral at Brooks­banks Drive and Three Val­leys Drive be­low the Don Val­ley in June.

Carolyn Tay­lor, un­der­pass pro­gram lead, said of that mu­ral, “It’s very much a meadow in the un­der­pass.… The dull con­crete struc­ture has been com­pletely turned around into a beau­ti­ful meadow of colours.”

The Finch un­der­pass mu­ral will be of­fi­cially un­veiled in late Septem­ber with a cer­e­mony and Dan Berg­eron present.

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