Leslieville's newest mural is a nod to local history

Photo:  Dmitry Bondarenko

Photo: Dmitry Bondarenko

Another Leslieville wall has been given a makeover with a mural painting. 

Produced by Dmitry Bondarenko with support from Matt Durant Studio, whose studio occupies the building, the mural covers a 696 square-foot wall consisting of concrete, brick and vinyl. It's  located on the west wall of 1401 Queen St. E adjacent the TTC's Russell Carhouse.

The mural depicts human habitation of the Leslieville area throughout history, beginning with the original pre-settler communities such as the Anishanabe, and Wendat tribes and concluding in the post-industrial, present-day neighbourhood.

When viewed from left to right, the mural moves through various stages in the history of the neighbourhood — the settlement by black and white families of loyalists and farmers in the 19th century, the development of industry in the 20th century and the resurgence of green spaces in recent times. 

In the background, a perspective view of the east end will stretch into the distance, populated with the many distinctive industrial era buildings, and poised cranes hinting at future development to come visible in the background beyond. The emphasis of the imagery will be on family and the movement of people through time and nature through the prism of the neighbourhood’s past and present.

Much of the inspiration of theme and subject depicted in the mural has come from the work of local historian, Joanne Doucette, notably her self-published history of the neighbourhood entitled “Leslieville: Pigs, Bricks, and Flowers”. 

Doucette has lived in the neighbourhood for many years and is an active member of of the Leslieville Historical Society leading frequent Janes Walks throughout Leslieville and informing the public about the history of the neighbourhood. 

"Consultation with Joanne was a condition set by the Leslieville BIA to secure support for the mural," says Leslieville BIA's Cathy Quinton. "She was consulted about the initial design, scope and direction of the mural, and her feedback has been invaluable in finalizing the design."

The mural is funded in part by the City of Toronto and the Leslieville BIA.