TORONTO May 2020 – As a salute to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Downtown Yonge BIA has partnered with Kadence World to create positive community artwork – uplifting murals on boarded up retail stores.
“These talented artists are turning gloomy wooden boards into upbeat message boards,” says Mark Garner, Downtown Yonge’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director. “Instead of the hoarding reminding us of COVID-19 hardship, we are using that space as a thank-you to Toronto’s frontline essential workers and a nod to the city’s resilience.”
Some of the city’s top street artists – including Emily May Rose, Shinobi, Haenahhh and Christina Mazzulla – have been commissioned to create visual messages on boarded store-fronts along the Yonge Street corridor. Murals are now on display at the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre at 189 Yonge, Lids at 10 Dundas Street East, and Pizza Pizza at 471 Yonge.
The artwork depicts theatre lovers standing in a physically-distanced lineup, wildlife holding placards with thank-you messages for the front line, and stylized words of appreciation to essential businesses that have helped Torontonians get through these challenging times.
“We’re pleased to help bring street artists together with affected businesses, in an effort to both beautify store fronts as well as send thanks to Torontonians for their collective efforts to battle against the spread of COVID-19,” says Phil Song, Partner at Kadence World. “Public art unites us, and a walk down Yonge Street today is proof.”