A collection of images representing the work of Service members now greets passersby and those who enter the Toronto Police College.
Shades of Blue, was spearheaded by now retired Superintendent Cory Bockus, who worked alongside community worker and artist Gay Gooderham to create the mural that lines the front hallway of the building on Birmingham Ave. in south Etobicoke.
“This hallway is a perfect canvas for this because the outside windows, people walking along the sidewalk or people on the street can see our members engaged in various activities,” Bockus said, at the grand unveiling before a graduation for new constables on June 3.
The mural was painted in one night by 34 women, which was made up of police officers, civilians and community members – some with little or no painting experience.
“They had a good time and created something amazing,” she said of the painters, who filled in the forms that had been traced in earlier.
Chief Mark Saunders said he had no idea that Bockus had that level of artistic talent but knew full well she is an ambitious and dedicated Service member.
“Normal folks like us just see a wall but to an artist, it’s a massive canvas. I just want to thank you to have the inspiration and motivation to do what you’ve done with your team,” Chief Saunders said, noting it was impressive to pull off in one night.
Bockus said the mural represents teamwork across all ranks and shows how quickly the women of the Service can mobilize to make something beautiful and lasting.
“The mural, I think, is timeless. It’s a great legacy for the Service.”
The images, which are depicted life-size, are taken from photos showing officers greeting community members or performing their duties.
Superintendent Peter Lennox said the mural on the wall, along the long hallway facing south along the front of the college, is uplifting.
“They are interesting in that, when you look at them close up, they are recognizable but stylized images of our people doing good work,” said the College’s unit commander. "When you look at them from the sidewalk or street they are entirely different. For example, the two figures holding hands with children seen from within the hallway are fought to identify. When seen from the sidewalk or the street, however, it's clear that the officers are Chief Saunders and Staff Superintendent Tom Russell."