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Toronto’s Village of Murals, a hidden gem in this exciting city!

Explore the rich history and beautiful murals of The Village of Islington with our downloadable map! Learn about the artists, inspiration and more as you discover the Village of Islington BIA.

Locals Rediscover Their Neighbourhood

We live in the neighbourhood and I work for an Etobicoke non-profit . I am always looking to learn more about the vibrant community of Etobicoke and thank you Lola for your informative and entertaining tour. Many of the little tidbits I learned on tour I’ve been sharing with friends and colleagues.

July, 2017 J. Leroux & family

Ramblers Take a Mural Tour

Many of our members enjoyed the tour so much that they plan to return to Islington and bring their friends and family!  And the group enjoyed their pub lunch at St. James Gate, the village’s Irish pub. The BIA is to be congratulated on a far sighted, and a highly effective approach to getting more people into the area to patronize Islington Village businesses.

 September, 2015 Brian Dixon,  Credit River Probus Club

Daytrippers enjoy a self-guided mural tour

We had a great time viewing the murals and finding out about the local history behind each one.  With the help of the mural map from your website we found our way around and managed to see all of the murals. Our facebook friends are very interested in our pictures we posted!  We stopped about 1 pm for a wonderful lunch at St James Gate Pub patio.  The staff and the food were very good. Thank you for all of the great info prior to our visit!  

May 2015  Peggy, Oshawa

Many thanks to our volunteer guide Ron!  History never looked so good!   

September 2014 Margaret Lyons, Happy Hoofers Hiking Group Toronto.

“En visite de Québec chez de la famille, nous avons grandement apprécié l’expérience qu’a été la visite des murales du Village de Islington. Les fresques et les textes qui les accompagnent nous invitent à replonger dans le Toronto des années 1800. Il est très facile d’y être son propre guide et de se laisser imprégner de l’histoire que Dundas Street a à offrir!”

July 2014     Andrée-Anne Pelland, St-Nicolas (Québec)

An 1812 banner is now proudly displayed in my music room, so when the guys from work and myself get together to jam there will be many questions asked,  especially because they have driven past these banners in The Village of Islington so many times.  Thank you for the banner received in exchange for a donation to the Islington United Church’s Mabelle Food Bank.  Enjoy this  Bob Dylan classic…Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by our band 5 cents change.

Frank Lucchetta

Dear Evelyn (BIA Guide) Thank you so much for a great tour. Everyone loved it!  Even though many of us have lived in the area for most of our lives we were glad you were available to show us the murals, give us a history lesson and join us for tea!  Look at how we almost blend into the painting!     

October 19, 2013 Sarah (Rawson) Hastie

Our tour on May 15,2013 was a huge success. Everyone was so impressed with the murals and many exclaimed that they had driven Dundas on a regular basis over the past few years and missed many of the paintings. Evelyn our guide was very patient and gave a wonderful insight into historical Dundas St.  The Village Trattoria was hit, serving up a delicious meal and we are all committed to returning there in the future.            

Donna-Lee Waymann, Toronto

Murals FAQ

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 28 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 6000 people through the village on group tours since 2012. 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. In 2018 a graphic panel design was installed on the second floor of 5090 Dundas W.
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.