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Toronto's Lower Simcoe underpass getting a makeover

StreetArt Toronto program's project to beautify passageways across the city is calling on submissions from Indigenous artists to participate.

There’s currently nothing on the walls of the Lower Simcoe underpass, but this summer will bring bright transformation to the area.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

There’s currently nothing on the walls of the Lower Simcoe underpass, but this summer will bring bright transformation to the area.

The empty grey walls of Lower Simcoe’s underpass will soon get colourful coverage with a touch of Indigenous culture.

StreetArt Toronto has put out a call for application, looking for Indigenous artists to help beautify and animate the pedestrian underpass between Front and Bremner. The project is part of the StreetArt Underpass Program, which uses the installation of murals and street art to enhance and transform passageways across the city.

“This is partially about graffiti prevention in an important downtown area,” said project coordinator Meg MacKay, noting the painting comes following the success of the Souliere’s mural at the Lower Don River Trail, which was completed two years ago. Other similar projects to transform underpass murals all over the city are expected to take place in the near future.

Applicants are expected to have completed a project of similar scale, and have experience with community engagement in visual art and street design. A jury of Indigenous art professionals will go through the selection process, and decide the winner among three finalists.

The final product is expected to be a permanent installation made of durable material and requiring minimal maintenance.

McKay said it was important to give an opportunity to Indigenous artists to work on this project, in order to recognize their contributions in shaping the city as we see it today.

“First of all, we have to remember that we’re sitting on their traditional territory,” she said. “Toronto is a very diverse city and it’s crucial that we give an opportunity to their creative ideas to shine.”

How to submit:

  • The project’s budget is $95,000. StreetArt Toronto is accepting submissions until May 23. Details available at Toronto.ca/streetart

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