A police, City of Toronto and community partnership created a positive place for kids to play.
On the weekend of April 26th and 27th, urban artists from around the Greater Toronto Area volunteered their time and spent the weekend painting murals on privately owned garages and city-owned property in and around the Columbus Parkette, which is located in the Dundas St. W. and Sorauren Ave. community.
The project was coordinated by myself and Jodi Callan from the City of Toronto as a response to the large amount of graffiti that engulfed Columbus Parkette for several years detracting from the enjoyment of the greenspace that is frequented by the local community.
The project was set into motion early this year when Auxiliary officers from 11 Division began going door-to-door in the area requesting the permission of homeowners of properties adjacent to the parkette to allow the artists to create the artwork on their property. The homeowners were eager to participate in the project when it was explained to them that the murals would not only beautify their property but would also help to prevent future vandalism as studies have shown that urban art is seldom defaced by graffiti vandals.
On Friday April 25th, officers from 11 Division along with eight students form Bishop Marrocco Catholic Secondary School spent the day in the parkette painting the surfaces that would become art murals that weekend. On Saturday morning the artists began arriving at the parkette and they were each provided with their own garage or wall that would serve as a canvass for their unique artwork. Eighteen murals were completed by the artists over the weekend and the impact of the project was immediately noticed by the local community who expressed their gratitude to all of the people that made the project possible.