Friday, December 17, 2010

'Tis the season for giving - not painting

Now that the winter has set in, the outdoor painting and programming season is on hiatus. We had a great time in the summer and fall working with the community of KGO. At the closing meeting of the Bridging Team, we agreed that the project had been rewarding for all of us involved and we are proud of the accomplishments of the first year working on and under the bridge.
We thank everyone who participated; as painters, planners, funders, supporters and passers-by. The comments and encouragement of the people who live in the area, were much appreciated. We hope you enjoy the legacy of the art work on and under the bridge and the batik banners on the hydro poles. (Those will have to come down in the new year.)

We really hope to find the funds to continue in 2011. Here is a link to a short prologue video. A final video will be online soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

SUBTEXT: Multi-arts Festival

SUBTEXT FESTIVAL took place under the bridge on Sept. 11 & 12. On Saturday the sounds and sights of the graffiti and performance artists made the place rock with energy.

On Sunday there was a different vibe; quieter but with creative energy that was shared by the artists and community members alike.

Mural Dedication

On September 11, Mayor Miller and an enthusiastic crowd gathered to pay tribute to the great team of artists who toiled under the relentless summer sun to cover the long expanse of the bridge with art work. The images reflect the natural environment and the activities of the community that take place on and under the bridge. It is deliberately designed to have a subtle impact from a distance, with more detailed elements to be enjoyed by the people who walk, cycle, skate board or ride their motorized wheel chairs across the bridge.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


This is the culmination of everything everyone behind the blog and on the blog has been working for!
So don't be shy about spreading the word:
September 11th and 12th 2010
11 - 5 PM and 11 - 4 PM
Kingston Galloway/Orton Park Bridge

It's time to bridge the gap.

Step by Step

On Tuesday, August 17th the Free Subtext Dance Workshops began! Dance Instructor Kevin Ormsby and his lovely assistant Darsel led the class of youth ages 13-21 from basic stretches to classic ballet stances to contemporary freestyle. It was an enjoyable afternoon and right off the bat we discovered that there were several backgrounds of dance in one room from a cheerleader to a European dance crew member. But the only thing that really counted was their love of dance and openness to whatever crazy thing Kevin would through at them next. Watch out for their group performance at the Subtext Festival!

But while you're here you might as well check out the photos I took ;)!

For more info about the workshops and their amazing instructors check out this website

Working Hard or...

No ands or buts! The team on the bridge is definitely working hard. After weeks of laying down the grey concrete background of changing seasons, colour has just been added. The colour after much deliberation is turquoise! Soon enough you will see turquoise animals, bugs, leave, plants and people enjoying leisurely activities.

A big thank you to all the volunteers that have come out every week! Anyways the works not done, so if you have some free time and a free hand join us on the KGO Bridge weekdays 9 - 4.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Graffiti Art Workshops under the KGO Bridge

On Saturday, August 14, Mural Routes is happy to be hosting free one hour graffiti art workshops under the KGO bridge. Led by gifted artist Mediah, the workshops will be held at the following times: 10:30 am - 11:30 am, 11:35 am- 12:35 pm, 12:50 pm - 1:50 pm, 2:05 pm - 3:16 pm. Topics covered will include: an introduction to graffiti art, safety issues and techniques. For more information about Mediah and his work, visit:
For more information about the workshops or attending, contact Cindy at 416-698-7322 /

This image was taken from:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Batik art

One more organization on board for the big day is the Contemporary Batik Guild. Contemporary Batik Guild is a group of young artists who are taught this unique style of art and are then given the opportunity to become leaders and entrepreneurs.

At the Subtext Festival they will have artists making batik art and will also be inviting people to learn the art form on-site. It will be a mini-workshop/exhibition.

The above image was taken off the contemporary batik blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Laying Down Strokes

The painting of the Kingston Galloway/Orton Park bridge is well underway. With regular volunteers, like myself, giving their time one day a week to paint, the bridge should be done in no time. In the meantime the process is a wonderful thing to be a part of, a fun and somewhat soothing activity.

Volunteering soon? Some things to bare in mind (consider this as a checklist):
  • Bring a hat (umbrellas are provided)
  • Bring shades
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Bring snacks and a lunch
  • Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water
  • Dress lightly in clothes you don't mind getting dirty
It's pretty much a no-brainer, so don't hesitate come out and be part of the transformation!

These photos are posted courtesy of Linda Cui (a fellow painter and SAC staff).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Getting Green

Evergreen has partnered with the Bridging Project to focus on the natural environment components of the project. Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future.

On June 5th a local group of volunteers, mainly from the East Scarborough Storefront, helped plant 800 native wildflowers and grasses along Highland Creek on the North side of the Lawrence Street bridge. These plants will help protect the area from erosion, attract beneficial pollinators such as butterflies, provide habitat for a variety of species and beautify the local area.

Evergreen has also contributed a list of local, native trees, wildflowers and shrubs to be incorporated in the mural. During the SUBTEXT festival, on September 11th from 10am to noon, Evergreen will be hosting another native wildflower planting beside the Lawrence Street bridge along Highland Creek. Everyone is welcome to come out and get their hands dirty while planting another 800 wildflowers in the area. Come by and visit Evergreen throughout the entire SUBTEXT festival to learn more about the environment and ways to connect with nature.

For more information please visit our website:, or contact:
Sarah Da Silva, Stewardship Co-ordinator, or 416-660-0972

Monday, July 26, 2010

Headed in the Right Direction

With the help of lots of volunteers, Mural Routes is making the Kingston Galloway/Orton Park bridge alive with colour, by painting designs across the entire stretch of the bridge. Youth volunteers have helped this project every step of the way; coming up with the ideas and designs, and stenciling these designs and painting them.

The painting on the bridge begins today, Monday July the 26th. I encourage you to go check out their hard work for yourself in person. What you'll see is an expression of the four seasons and passing of years through images of community and nature.

The project should be complete in time for the Subtext Festival but you don't have to wait 'til then to get involved. You can fill out a form and voluntarily become a regular painter. You can also grab a Bridging Project pamphlet and share your stories about the bridge. Surely as we get closer and closer to the big weekend, there will be more and more to get involved in.

Photographed by Emilie Wong the pictures above are some of the Mural Routes team and volunteers from SERVE stenciling.
To see more pictures like these and learn more about Mural Routes visit:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Borough is alive, with the sound of music

The Borough Most Thorough is a program that explores the makings of music, all the way from lyrics to production. Equipped with a writer/teacher, a vocal coach and a rap instructor, the program breaks hip-hop down; looking into the roots of its language and its beat structure.After hosting its music program in six Scarborough priority neighborhoods in partnership with Beatz 2 Da Streetz, The Borough Most Thorough will be having a launching party debuting original material at The Subtext Festival!

The Borough Most Thorough which has been running practically since school let out has been prepping vigorously with one-week workshops that will continue until August 27th, which means there may still be opportunities to join this free, innovative programs.

Still Curious? Check out their website:

Also before I let you go, you should know that there will be
special guest appearances from well known canadian artists at the Subtext Festival!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So You Think You Can...

Currently the Scarborough Arts Council is accepting registration for Free Dance Workshops until August 10th. However space is limited so you'll want to sign up ASAP.

To register or for more info, contact:
Benedict Lopes
416 698 7322

Who? For young people of all skill levels and abilities (ages 13-22) (Featuring dancer/choreographer Kevin Ormsby)

When? Eight workshops starting August 17th, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1- 4 PM Grand Finale performance at Subtext Festival, on Saturday September 11th, 2010

Where? East Scarborough Storefront (4040 Lawrence Ave E., Scarborough)


Let the Festivities Begin

Hey my name's Liz and I will be your guide for everything going on under the bridge - that is The Subtext Festival - Bridging Project. The Subtext Festival seems to be a lot of things but to boil it down into one sentence it is a two day multi-arts (including dance, music, graffiti, murals, art demonstrations, planting etc) festival. It's a collaboration between diverse communities, organizations and artists, aimed at revamping the Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park bridge's reputation.

Look out for new posts on the upcoming events.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Designing the mural

Using the theme of "connecting the urban and natural enviroment" the mural team is busy creating concepts, sketches and stencils for the 871 foot mural to be painted on the north side of the Bridge. Team members are Rob (lead artist), Christina, Curtia, Emilie, Gabriella, Johnny, Nigel and Tristan. They meet each day at Cornell Jnr. Public School where they turn the old gym into a busy art studio. If all goes smoothly, including weather a various site permits, they will be painting working on the Bridge by the end of the week.

Artists at Work

On July 5th the Mural Routes team of 6 youth artists under the direction of Rob Matejka started their first day of work. On the next day they took part in the Toronto Mural Seminar, a full day training session which included topics like Risk Management, Community Relations and a hands-on Site Specific Design workshop. 70 people attended the multi-generational program from different City funded projects around Toronto. It was coordinated by Mural Routes and funded by the City of Toronto, Public Realm Section

Monday, June 28, 2010

The artists and the community

Parade preparations got underway and people in the community joined had fun with chalk drawing.

Parade Day

On June 24, the Bridging Project had its official kick off with a community celebration and parade. The Canadian Flag was hoisted to mark the start of festivities. The flag will continue to fly outside the storefront throughout the project.
The parade told the story of a Winter's Tale, which parallels the enivironmental theme and expression of the seasons that will be captured by art work on the bridge during the summer. Jumblies gathered the troops on the west side of the bridge, while young artists and members of the community created colourful chalk images along the parade route. After the parade, everyone gathered at the East Scarborough Storefront and mingled at the Farmers' Market, where a Bridging Project information table was set up.
We look forward to "creating connections" with "the arts, the environment and you."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creativity and design

An enthusiastic group of youth have been meeting on Tuesdays in June to learn skills of design and stenciling under the direction of artist Rob Matejka; seen in the photo with Curtia. They will be showcasing the results of their creativity at the launch event of the Bridging Project. You can join in the fun and leave your mark in chalk on the bridge and march in the Parade on June 24th.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Community speaks out

More than 60 community members attended the Community Speak at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church. The subject of disucssion was "Improving the Lawrence Bridge ."
After a stretch break, nice dinner and presentation from the Bridge Committee this is what you shared with us at the group discussions.

The bolded items below, were put forward by multiple groups

How do you feel about bridge?
  • Happier about it than its predecessor
  • Boring and functional
  • Nice view
  • Not safe enough
  • No shade in summer, too cold in winter
  • More buses should go across
  • Ability issues are hard given narrow sidewalks
  • No snow removal
  • Suicide in fall makes people rush across
  • Fear of area under the bridge because it is isolated and possibly dangerous at night
  • Long, difficult walk
  • Communication between the two sides is difficult
  • People on the Galloway side are not interested in going to the Orton park side
  • Feel unsafe because of speed of traffic
  • Not attractive to pedestrians
  • Path to under the bridge is too steep
  • Convenient for driving – bad for walking

What would you like to see change on the bridge?

  • Safety – traffic barrier to separate pedestrians from road
  • Beauty
  • Visuals
  • Murals
  • Festival
  • Walking groups
  • Security camera
  • Signage
  • Weather guard
  • Better lighting
  • Flower boxes on sidewalk
  • Planters to help slow traffic and make area more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Street festival with lots of colour
  • Information about the path, park and activities under the bridge
  • Stairs to park below
  • Pay phone in middle of bridge
  • Put benches and garbage bins under bridge
  • Park/playground
  • More community activities under bridge
Our Special Thanks to:

St Stephens Presbyterian Church & Bridge Committee & Storefront Volunteers-
Doreen Iman, Ruth Antony, Hazel Trent, Amna Anushan