This Summer, Lakeshore Arts is planning a large mural revitalization project of the Eighth Street skatepark in partnership with Toronto Police Service 22 Division and Toronto Skateboarding Committee. Located in the New Toronto neighbourhood, the Eighth Street Skatepark serves as a hub for skate enthusiasts and local residents. This project aims to replace the current tags and graffiti vandalism found within the park with a series of new murals created by professional artists in consultation with the community.
The project began in July 2017, with a short-term mural along the retaining wall facing Birmingham Street, created by local artist Luvsumone in collaboration with participants from Lakeshore Arts’ ARTiculate: Youth Leadership In the Arts program. This temporary mural serves as marker for the changes to come Summer 2018, and showcases the transformative power that mural art has within a community. To date, three new murals have been created in the park by local artists, all independent from this project and a welcome addition!
This past fall, a volunteer Advisory Committee was formed to help guide the project. A fundraising event was held by the Committee on Saturday, 25 November, 2017, at New Toronto Billiards, with all proceeds raised going towards paying artist fees.
All funds raised for this project will go directly towards paying artists fees, hosting a mural unveiling event, and developing a small reserve for mural maintenance. Local professional artists will develop beautiful site-specific, large-scale murals for the Eighth Street Skatepark. The unveiling event will be hosted at the end of summer 2018, and will allow park users, local residents and artists to come together in celebration of the community’s revitalized public space. Finally with a small reserve of funds for maintenance we will be able to make sure that park and these murals will be enjoyed by all in the community for future years.
In the coming months, the Advisory Committee will be hosing Town Hall meetings to gather community feedback about the project and artistic direction. These dates include:
- Wednesday, February 21 | 7-9 PM at The Assembly Hall, North Room (1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive)
- Thursday, March 22 | 7-9 PM at LAMP Community Health Centre, Community Room (185 Fifth St)
- Thursday, April 12 | 7-9 PM at Lakeshore Arts, Community Project Space (2422 Lake Shore Blvd. W.)