Street art trend makes its way to North York
Massive mural currently underway at the neighbourhood underpass by Ryan Ayukawa
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.