Moss Park residents plan a mural on Metrolinx hoarding

Krishika Jethani –

Moss Park residents are working to create a mural on the hoard­ing currently displayed in the park. Metrolinx construction of the 15.6-km Ontario Line sub­way has taken over the park’s green space.

The Ontario Line will run from Exhibition Place through downtown to the current On­tario Science Centre. A project agreement for the Pape tunnel and underground stations was signed in January.

The Moss Park Coalition, a group of residents and commu­nity activists, has been develop­ing a proposal to install a mural in the park. Its proposed title is “Transforming Spaces,” says community member Walied Khogali Ali.

“It’s not just about beauti­fying construction hoardings but about celebrating the talent within our community,” he said. The community hopes to curate a series of artwork from local artists and organizations.

“In one of our meetings with Metrolinx, we asked about [the hoarding mural project] and they said that our project would be a great idea,” Moss Park Co­alition member David Anderson said. However, at a January 18 community meeting, the transit agency said it was not ready to discuss details of the art project.

When Metrolinx started con­struction, life in the park ended, says Anderson, and a construc­tion site is not a welcoming place. “The hoarding is going to be up for years, so we want to make sure it’s something that adds to the community instead of just being some ugly wood that people are passing by,” he said.

The Moss Park Coalition will also ask Metrolinx to host a launch event for community members. The group hopes to add QR codes on the art piec­es so community members can learn more about the artists.

“We wanted to take this oppor­tunity to celebrate Moss Park, to highlight the local businesses in our community and make use of that space,” said Ali.

Mehrzad Taghizaadeh (known as Elena) says the murals will benefit people who live in the area and inspire others to learn more about the community.

The Moss Park area has a lot of shelters with people facing difficulties, Elena notes. “When you look at the beautiful art, you think about your life. You will be motivated to do something about your life too.