Street Art Pilot Program in Toronto

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The City of Toronto has approved a pilot program to incorporate street art in several of Toronto’s city neighbourhoods and byways. The decision, entitled “Options for Permitting Street or Intersection Murals on Local Streets” was adopted without amendments on February 3rd, 2016. According to the program,

City Council permit the installation of up to four mid-block pilot street murals on low volume, local streets during existing street events which include permitted road closures in summer 2016 on condition that the pilot projects meet the following requirements:

a. each street mural is to be developed by and be the responsibility of local community groups;

b. community consultation on design is undertaken and support from local residents on the murals is demonstrated to the General Manager, Transportation Services;

c. the full cost of design, community consultation, installation, and ongoing maintenance is incurred entirely by the community group, with no cost to the City of Toronto;

d. designs, project materials and location suitability are reviewed and approved by the General Manager, Transportation Services during the design process and in advance of installation;

e. Transportation Services is to conduct traffic safety reviews before and after installation and has the authority to remove any installations found to diminish road safety; and

f. the General Manager, Transportation Services consider establishing a practical life span for street murals, at the end of which the mural will be evaluated, and considered for removal or replacement through a new project.

The program was initially approved by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, and BlogTO wrote at the time that similar programs exist in other Canadian cities, including Halifax and Vancouver. The first mural of this kind, spearheaded by David Meslin, appeared in the Regal Heights neighbourhood during the summer of 2015.

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