A new exhibit showcases the diversity and value of street art in Toronto

Feb 6 2020, 10:16 am

As Toronto’s StreetARToronto (StART) prepares for the Year of Public Art in 2021, it has announced it is adding “more colour and vibrancy to Toronto’s streetscapes.”

According to the City of Toronto, since 2012, StART has produced almost 1,000 mural installations throughout Toronto, “which are enjoyed locally as well as worldwide via online platforms and artist exchanges.”

“StART consists of a suite of programs designed to provide artists with access to canvases of different sizes ranging from small scale traffic-signal boxes and cycle-track barriers to buildings 20 or more storeys tall,” said the city in a release.

And to kick off this year’s events, a new exhibit is opening at the Market Gallery in St Lawrence Market.

The Street Art Toronto You’ve Changed exhibit is on from now until April 19, and it showcases the diversity and value of street art located throughout the city.

“Street and graffiti art inspires and infuses creativity into our neighbourhoods so that residents and visitors are more connected to the buildings and infrastructure around us,” said Mayor John Tory. “Next year is the Year of Public Art in our city and I am pleased that StART is ready to deliver new and enhanced programs that will continue helping to make Toronto a vibrant and beautiful city.”

Other planned programs include having buildings transformed into giant canvases through StART Monumental, which turns our tallest buildings into community centrepieces.

“Through Monumental, street artists create culturally relevant art on walls that are a minimum of 270 square metres (roughly the size of an eight- to 10-storey building),” which is similar to the huge new murals at 1 St. Clair Avenue and 3847 Lawrence Avenue E.

The StART Concrete Barrier Program will also be added, contributing to safer, more appealing streets by animating functional but generally uninspiring concrete barriers, according to the city.

The Coxwell Street Underpass between Gerrard Street East and Danforth Avenue was rehabilitated and now it needs a fresh canvas, and the city is encouraging artists who identify as Indigenous persons are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate.

And also new this year, you can take in a street-art talk or walk, with details to be available shortly. Anyone can also create their own DIY tour using StreetARToronto – The Map. Visit the map at streetartoronto.ca.

Get ready for some more colour around town.