ISLINGTON MURAL MOSAIC
Who is responsible for the murals? The Village of Islington BIA in cooperation with the City of Toronto, Heritage Etobicoke Foundation (2004-2015), The Etobicoke Historical Society, local BIA businesses and sponsors are behind the Mural Mosaic Project. To date John Kuna has painted most of the murals but Arts Etobicoke, Creative Village and Sarah Collard have also contributed works in this BIA.
What is the Mural Mosaic? The ArtWalk consists of ~ 15,000 square feet of outdoor art located in Toronto’s west BIA, The Village of Islington. It is a collection of primarily, photo realistic art that illustrates actual people, places and events from the past which help viewers today connect to the area’s history. Many of the murals are set in the early 1900s.
Where are the murals located? To date 26 murals along the 5 block Dundas W. street scape between Islington and Kipling have been painted.
When did this all begin? In 2004, the board of the Village of Islington BIA began to allocate part of their tax levies, donate supplies and services, earn City mural grants and Section 37 developer funds to begin the Mural Mosaic. Administration of the mural initiative is the role of the BIA Coordinator.
Why did the BIA start this initiative? BIAs are mandated to beautify and maintain distinct business areas. Prevention of graffiti, creating a sense of place, preserving the neighbourhood’s history and generally making this area a better place to live, work and enjoy are the reasons why the Mural Mosaic was developed.
How have the murals made a positive impact on our community? The BIA has significantly improved the area by making it a destination for visitors from near and far. At Doors Open Toronto in May we offer free trolley tours from Montgomery Inn to showcase our history and art. We have already sent over 4000 people through the village on group tours since 2012 and expect ~1,500 people to tour in 2016. It is a chance for people to get out and see a unique neighbourhood with very interesting stories to tell and great food to enjoy! For people who live here, the art creates a real sense of community pride. It makes the area a more attractive place to live, work and enjoy.
How is the wall prepared for mural painting? Before the wall gets painted it is parged using a stucco base. The early murals were on panels. In 2016 a new 6-panel mural was installed in a laneway at 4790 Dundas W. because blocking the access was unfeasabile to allow for painting the building on site.
What type of paint is used for these murals? Benjamin Moore exterior latex.
How long does it take to paint these murals? Depending on the size and the level of detail it can take 300 to over 400 hours to paint these quality murals.
Is there a topcoat or protective cover on the murals? No, to date no topcoat has been used except on the panel mural at 4970 Dundas W.
Is maintenance required on the murals? After close to a decade very little mural maintenance has been required although some fading has occurred and minor touch ups have been necessary.