Community Art Program
Art is an integral component of the design of public spaces. It’s also a well-known anti-graffiti measure used by many public agencies and businesses.
At the TTC, we’re committed to modernization and one way we’re doing this is through community art projects that beautify our properties, revitalize and engage our neighbourhoods.
Check out some of the exciting projects we’ve been involved in and learn more about how we support community art below.
Paul Martel Park Mural by Jospeh Sagaj
In partnership with the Bloor Annex BIA, the Paul Martel Park mural was created by 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation Indigenous Artist Award finalist Joseph Sagaj with contributions from artists Denise Aquash, Sonja Clarke, Larry M. Holder, and Mike Rowade aka Ron Wild.
Located off of Madison Avenue (near Spadina Station), the mural is painted in mixed media and water from Upper Lake in the Mountains above Lake Louise, Alberta, and from a lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario – smudged, prayed to, thanked, and offered tobacco. The BIA chose the theme “Indigenous Storytelling” to honour the work that the Earth Helpers, a First Nations group, have been doing in Paul Martel to revitalize the park and ecology with the support of the BIA.
This mural was made possible thanks to the City of Toronto’s Outdoor Mural and Street Art Grant program.
Daily Migration by Shalak Attack at Wilson Station
In partnership with STEPS Public Art and artist Shalak Attack, this three-part art installation explores themes of migration through shared stories of arrival, departure, home and longing. Shalak worked alongside community participants who identify as newcomers to build the Daily Migration mural story. The project was completed September 2021 and is located at Wilson Station’s Tippet Road entrance (south of Wilson Ave).
Flocking Together by KJ Bit Collective at Sheppard-Yonge Station
KJ Bit Collective's design incorporates themes of nature and the urban environment to create a vibrant and playful mural. The piece includes local birds such as pileated woodpeckers and finch species. Bold colours and patterns throughout the mural reflect the diverse ethnic demographics of the area, while maintaining a traditional feel amidst this mural. This art installation is located at the Sheppard-Yonge Station Harlandale entrance.
Artists: Erika James and Jieun June Kim
Supported by the StreetARToronto Partnership Program Community Partners: City of Toronto and the TTC
A Streetcar Named Toronto
In partnership with CityFund, we’re celebrating the retirement of the CLRV streetcar with a public art takeover. Unique to this city, these streetcars have shaped our urban landscape. As a thank you to the city, we’ve transformed this CLRV as a vehicle for rejuvenation, a flash of colour on the street and a soothing space to contemplate an era gone by. This vehicle will run on the 506 Carlton or 511 Bathurst routes during the week.
- Jacquie Comrie, streetcar exterior
- Nicole Beno, interior ceiling
- Ryan Van Der Hout, advertising space
- Suanne McGregor, textiles and lighting
- Chris Perez, rear ceiling and floor
Join us at the “A Streetcar Named Toronto” community event to take a closer look at the CLRV art transformation and for a BBQ to support the United Way.
Date: Saturday, September 28, 2019
Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: TTC Roncesvalles Carhouse (20 The Queensway)
To get there: From Osgoode Station, take the 501 Queen westbound service.
Nuit Blanche 2018
The TTC partnered with the City of Toronto and local artists during Nuit Blanche to display vinyl art installations in Line 3 stations - Kennedy, Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland and Scarborough Centre stations.
Kennedy Station, little g by Javid Jah
This piece is one of the five works in the stations along the SRT, created by Toronto-based artists in response to eL Seed’s multipart installation Mirrors of Babel. Jah’s work is an anamorphic projection across multiple surfaces that is only perceived in its entirety from a single privileged vantage point. Javid Jah is a street artist and an emerging designer based in Toronto.
Lawrence East Station, Universal Language by Shalak Attack
“This is the story of one woman’s journey across a divided land and her will to overcome the borders that surround her,” says Shalak. “The land she travels on is the body of a giant double-headed bear… that tells her to keep on her journey and that Nature will show her the way.” Shalak Attack is a Canadian-Chilean artist dedicated to painting, muralism and spray paint urban art. Shalak has participated in numerous artistic projects and exhibitions around the world.
Ellesmere Station, AM I OKAY? by Tabban Soleimani
Soleimani’s immersive work employs figures that tumble across multiple surfaces and text that stems from a life-altering moment in the artist's life, capturing a faded but significant memory of what it feels like to be helpless and confused. Tabban Soleimani is an award-winning, published and Forbes-featured artist with a portfolio of clients including the United Nations, Nike, Amnesty International and more.
Midland Station, Natural Love by Planta Muisca
Muisca’s mural depicts an immersive jungle full of objects, figures and designs that reference the Indigenous cultural imagery of Central and South America. In her work, Planta Muisca explores Indigenous “language of love and how it connects us with our inner God, other people, animals and, most importantly, with the pachamama (mother earth).” Planta Muisca’s artistic work is the result of her experiences living and working in various parts of Latin America and Canada. Empowered by her Canadian Colombian heritage, she paints around themes of identities and cultures enriching Canadian multiculturalism.
Scarborough Centre Station, Mord’iim by MEDIAH
Drawing the title for his work from the Hebrew word for “rebel,” MEDIAH is deeply concerned with humankind’s experiments in the human genome, artificial intelligence and space colonization. Through an explosive arrangement of colours, sharp line work and dynamic geometric shapes, the artist seeks to express “the displacement and ‘scattering’ of humans across the earth.” MEDIAH is a visual Toronto-based artist who blurs the lines between post-graffiti and dynamic abstraction.
Inside Out Project - Nuit Blanche 2015
The TTC was pleased to act as a canvas for Inside Out, part of JR’s Black and White Night installation for the 10th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto. Participants lined up in droves at two photobooth trucks to have their photos taken, printed and installed at both Dufferin and Coxwell stations.
Mosiac mural by Christina Delago at Coxwell Station
Partnering with the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto (StART), the Toronto Parking Authority and East End Arts, we unveiled a mosaic mural in October 2016 at Coxwell station that celebrates the life and spirit of the Coxwell/Danforth neighbourhood. The project became a catalyst for station improvements like wall and walkway repairs, improved lighting and the addition of a convex mirror to enhance customer safety.
The Guardians by Shalak Attack at Wilson Station
Partnering with the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto Underpass Program (StART UP), 40 pillars along the north and south sides of the underpass on Wilson Avenue that divide Wilson Station were transformed by internationally renowned street artist, Shalak Attack. Four strong and beautiful female gatekeepers appear to hold up the bridge above them, acting as mythical–like guardians protecting those who pass by. The mural goes on to celebrate women as weavers of society, a vibrant and fantastical array of symbolic imagery. Shalak Attack was assisted in the creation of this mural by her husband and artistic collaborator, Bruno Smoky.
Let our spaces be your canvas
The TTC is committed to supporting up to four community art projects each year. We require all potential projects to come fully funded and supported by the community and local City Councillor.
A good place to start is by connecting with StreetARToronto (StART). This program provides funding for large-scale projects, which support our shared mission to revitalize and engage communities through street and mural art.
Community art installations are the responsibility of the project team to maintain for up to five years, at which time we may extend the life of the project should we choose to do so.