Feel Good Lane to hon­our lo­cal tragedy

A com­mu­nity gath­ers to memo­ri­al­ize the loss of a beloved lo­cal fig­ure

North Toronto Post - - News - by Ge­orge Redak

Four years ago Barry “Feel Good” Luk­sen­berg took a trip to Viet­nam with one of his clos­est friends. What should have been an un­for­get­table ad­ven­ture turned tragic when the 24-year-old man’s life ended in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent. He never made it back to Canada

For all those close to Luk­sen­berg, his death was not go­ing to be the end of his story. Since his pass­ing, the neigh­bour­hood of Hill­crest vil­lage, where he grew up, has taken steps to im­mor­tal­ize his mem­ory.

“It started with “Feel Good,” the lane be­ing named af­ter Barry “Feel Good” Luk­sen­berg,” said Kim Les­per­ance, one of the or­ga­niz­ers of a GoFundMe project aimed at re­vi­tal­iz­ing a laneway at St. Clair Av­enue West and Ar­ling­ton Av­enue.

Les­per­ance and fel­low com­mu­nity ac­tivist Ju­lian Back have plans to fill the walls of Feel Good Lane with a series of mu­rals. Their goal is to make the space and bor­der­ing park a safer place, one that will pro­vide the com­mu­nity with a chance to en­joy some unique lo­cal art­work.

“I met [Barry’s] par­ents one day, chat­ted with them about their story and signed a pe­ti­tion to get the city to name the lane ‘Feel Good Lane,’” said Les­per­ance. “That was a cou­ple of years ago.… As you walk through the laneway,

As you walk through the laneway, it’s not re­ally a beau­ti­ful space.”

it’s not re­ally a beau­ti­ful space.”

Mem­o­ries of Barry Luk­sen­berg are still very fresh in the minds of many in the St. Clair West com­mu­nity. Luk­sen­berg and his friends grew up play­ing to­gether in Gra­ham Park and fre­quently found them­selves ex­plor­ing the laneway. As they got older, they started a rap group called the 512 Crew. While per­form­ing with 512 Crew, Luk­sen­berg adopted the moniker “Feel Good” to re­flect his out­look on life.

“Barry was very young, ob­vi­ously well re­spected in the rap­per com­mu­nity, and he was taken too young and that was a tragedy,” said Les­per­ance.

In to­tal, there are 18 avail­able spa­ces in the lane for lo­cal emerg­ing artists to show­case their work. To at­tract the in­ter­est of lo­cal artists, the or­ga­niz­ers posted a call at the On­tario Col­lege of Art and De­sign and have reached out to a west end arts col­lec­tive known as Spud­bomb. The GoFundMe page has set a goal of $5,000 dol­lars for the project, al­ready reach­ing over $3,000 in do­na­tions. All of the money raised will go to­ward pay­ing the artists and pur­chas­ing all the nec­es­sary ma­te­ri­als. The laneway launch is sched­uled for late fall.

L–R: Kim Les­per­ance and Ju­lian Back in the fu­ture Feel Good Lane

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