Art, Neighbourhood Projects|

StreetARToronto (StART) is a project of the City, comprising a suite of innovative programs specifically designed for streets and public spaces in our neighbourhoods. StART programs advocate for healthy living overall. For example, by providing walking and cycling laneways, and other transportation alternatives for making our streets and communities more aesthetically inviting, safe, and engaging. 

CPRA Board Members Darren Pereira and Peter Chiaramonte met with Project Managers Carolyn Taylor and Catherine Campbell in January—where they also had the opportunity to meet and speak with several of the Street Art artists themselves. Carolyn and Catherine have since added their colleague Jason Campbell to the conversation— “So,” they say, “this will put CityPlace in good stead to begin planning a project application for 2021 Year of Public Art.” 

The StART Partnership Program provides support—and up to $60,000 in funding—for projects that support the program’s mission to revitalize and demonstrably engage communities through mural, street and graffiti art that:

  • Demonstrate community engagement, 
  • Are innovative in terms of design, delivery and message, 
  • Are valuable to the community; reflecting neighbourhood identities, 
  • Foster expanded partnerships within the arts community, and Provide mentorship and training opportunities for youth or emerging artists.

StART murals, for instance, both individually and collectively, are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto, Diversity Our Strength, as well as to foster a greater sense of belonging among all. StART programs reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs, showcase local artists, help mentor emerging talent—and create opportunities for positive engagement among residents, business owners and operators, artists and arts organizations.

Examples of StART Programs that May Be Relevant to CityPlace Sites 

The StART Underpass Program transforms selected underpasses with enhanced lighting, improved sidewalks and walking conditions, pigeon proofing, and the removal of weeds. The Road Mural Program allows residents’ associations (like the CPRA) and local business owner groups to invite mural paintings on City laneways and fences. Mural or street art has also proven to act as a catalyst for these types of neighbourhood improvements. On fences, for instance, community art in a variety of mediums is attached to the fence. And many of these mural installations are local neighbourhood activities focused on community engagement. 

The Concrete Barrier Program originated with the City’s considering its options for upgrading Toronto streets and trails, including the installation of concrete “jersey barriers” (jersey barriers were developed in the 1950s, beginning in the U.S. state of New Jersey, as separators between lanes of sidewalk and highway) in key areas—to help ensure pedestrian and school crossings, and cyclist and TTC passenger safety. To beautify these barriers and animate the paths, the City has created a roster of artists to create designs that are hand- painted, or digitally reproduced on two-dimensional vinyl wraps to cover the barriers. 

The Outside-the-Box Program provides, as its name suggests, an opportunity for local artists to create innovative works of art on traffic signal boxes across the City. In the past seven years, over 350 boxes have been hand-painted by local artists, or wrapped into extraordinary works of art. 

The StART Partnership Program’s objectives are pretty straightforward: To enhance Toronto’s streets and public places, engage and vitalize local communities through physical enhancements and related events, showcase local artists and mentor youth and emerging talent, counteract graffiti vandalism, and celebrate Toronto’s motto, Diversity Our Strength, and foster a greater sense of belonging among all. 

Questions Regarding CPRA Eligibility for StART Partnership Programs 

Not-for-profit corporations such as the CPRA are eligible to apply, but only with written authorization from the property owners at the time of the application. A Letter of Agreement with the Property Owner must be provided, indicating terms and conditions, including, for instance, “the project completion date.” Any agreement would also include the clause that the project can remain on the wall/site for a minimum of five years, and that the owner or owners consent to the Project and its completion on their property. It is the responsibility of the Recipient to maintain the project in good repair, including the removal of any graffiti vandalism, for a period of five years from the “Final Completion Date.”

Facebook: @StreetARToronto

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