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Large wall mural in Scarborough celebrates community caregiver

TORONTO, /CNW/ - Mayor John Tory was joined by representatives from Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) and East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, as well as lead artist Amir Akbari and other members of the local community to officially unveil the largest community-painted mural in Scarborough.

The huge wall mural, called Susan Street, spans the side of a 14-storey TCHC residential building at 3847 Lawrence Ave. E. The mural honours and represents all the women and caregivers in the community who work hard to support and maintain a healthy community where children have opportunities to grow and thrive.
Lead artist Amir Akbari immigrated to Canada in 1990 as a refugee and grew up in government-assisted housing. To complete the work, he enlisted supporting street artists Leyland Adams and Sentooran Kannathasan, who he also mentored throughout the project. Guidance and input were sought from neighbourhood residents who contributed to the final mural concept. Work on the mural began this summer and was completed in late September.

The Susan Street mural was funded as part of the StART Partnership Program. This is the third project by the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club that has been supported by the program. Murals were also painted at 4301 Kingston Rd. and at 4205 Lawrence Ave. E.
StreetARToronto (StART), a program of the City of Toronto, is an innovative suite of city-building initiatives specifically designed for streets and public spaces. StART aims to deter graffiti vandalism and replace it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art while encouraging active transportation (walking and cycling) and making Toronto's streets more beautiful and safe.

More information about StART is available at http://www.toronto.ca/streetartoronto.
You can follow StART on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/StART_Toronto, Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/start_streetartoronto and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/StreetARToronto.

"I want to thank lead artist Amir Akbari and the local community for working together to create this work of art. This mural captures the promise of young people in the neighbourhood and reminds us of the important role that those who care for and nurture our youth play in building up communities."
- Mayor John Tory
"Cities are often defined by their public art and Toronto is a leader in this regard. Large community murals can inspire imagination and convey the existing and aspirational values held by those who live in the neighbourhood. The Susan Street mural represents another successful project supported by the StART partnership program."
- Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
"This mural is a meaningful community centrepiece for residents and neighbours to enjoy. The final design represents the diversity, vibrancy and optimism of those who live in the Lawrence-Susan buildings and the surrounding communities."
- Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood)
"Throughout the community consultations, we received a lot of great ideas and valuable feedback. It was with the community support and engagement that we were able to design a mural that speaks to the people who live here."
- Amir Akbari, lead artist
"Toronto Community Housing is pleased to partner with our tenants and the City of Toronto to meet tenants' community-building goals and help them realize unique projects such as this amazing mural. Congratulations to everyone involved."
- Kevin Marshman, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cityoftoronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.

SOURCE City of Toronto

Eric Holmes    10/28/2019


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