Riverside 40 Years, 40 Stories: Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP

As part of the ‘Riverside BIA: 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series, we’re putting a spotlight on a long-time Riverside BIA member and community pillar Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP. Behind their impressive facade there is a bustling team and lots of personality and community-oriented action taking place and we’re pleased to help share their story.

President and CEO of Baird MacGregor Philomena Comerford with her son Dylan Luft, a Baird MacGregor Broker and Senior Account Executive (photo credit- Fuze Reps, Arash Moellemi)

President and CEO of Baird MacGregor Philomena Comerford with her son Dylan Luft, a Baird MacGregor Broker and Senior Account Executive (photo credit- Fuze Reps, Arash Moellemi)

Originally formed in 1979, Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP eventually relocated from downtown Toronto and purchased their Riverside building at 825 Queen Street East in 1988. The company has over 40 years of history supporting individuals and the community. At the helm of the company is President and CEO Philomena Comerford, a woman with an outstanding career and a proven leader who is equally compassionate about her employees as she is about her clients. 

Like the eclectic Riverside community itself, Baird MacGregor has grown to include some unique features. For example, the second floor of the firm’s office – the 100 year-old building at 825 Queen Street East – includes a 1950s-themed diner complete with leather booths, a jukebox and lunch counter. The diner serves as employee lunchroom and venue. Furthermore, the brokerage is 85 members strong, with many long-time employees who now have the opportunity to have their children work alongside them. In fact, an example of this familial workplace relationship is Philomena Comerford herself and her son Dylan Luft.

Philomena shared more about the firm’s long- time ties to Riverside and what the company stands for.

baird macgregor riverside

Baird MacGregor President & CEO Philomena Comerford (centre) with local Councillor Paula Fletcher and Riverside BIA Chair Mitch Korman at their facade improvement project ribbon-cutting on October 19, 2017

At the 2017 Ribbon-cutting for Baird MacGregor's new Facade unveiling, Riverside BIA, Toronto

The Baird MacGregor Team and guests at the 2017 Ribbon-cutting for Baird MacGregor’s new facade unveiling, Riverside BIA, Toronto

 (Q &A) with Riverside BIA and Philomena Comerford:

Tell us what you’d like the neighborhood to know about your company. 

Baird MacGregors Insurance Brokers LP are not the traditional insurance broker. The firm has a long track record of success through caring for its clients, strong family ties and taking the time to have fun. Employees at Baird MacGregor have to be people persons. This is furthermore exemplified in Baird MacGregor’s long tradition of giving, whether it is to clothing drives, Interval House or the Fred Victor Centre, or the Riverside BIA’s annual holiday cheer event Light Up Riverside. It’s all about giving back, a virtue that Baird MacGregor values very deeply. 

 

You’ve been in this neighborhood for nearly 30 years – what’s made your firm stay here in Riverside?

As an east-ender myself, much like many of the associates at the firm, Riverside has always felt like home and from the start it suited the firm’s ‘outside of the box’ character. Originally, Riverside was a rougher neighbourhood but we saw its potential as a place that was changing for the better and we were right. Today, Riverside is a vibrant, colorful and artistic neighborhood that has an eclectic feel to it. It’s a bit of an oasis outside of the city. The area is convenient considering its closeness to downtown and major  highways so it was not a difficult choice to settle here.  Finally, we have invested a lot in the neighbourhood, and in 2015 our building (825 Queen Street East) turned 100 years old –  it has become an important part of our identity. 

baird macgregor

Sketch of Baird MacGregor’s offices by CEO Philomena Comerford, who is also an artist, 1989.

What is a fun fact people may not know about Baird MacGregor Insurance LP?

One of the more unknown parts of our firm is the 1950s-themed diner as well as the gym on our second floor. Also, our building has a long history – it turned 100 years old in 2015. One neat addition is our Art Deco front door, designed and installed by my brothers (Comerford Architectural).

Sneak peak of the 1950s style diner in Baird Macgregor's building, Riverside, Toronto

Sneak peak of the 1950s style diner in Baird MacGregor’s building, Riverside, Toronto

Art Deco front door by Comerford Architectural

What is your favourite part about the work that you do?

The relationships we build with clients, that is: supporting people in times of need, being of value to them, and earning their trust. The feeling of helping others is unmatched, and being able to do that must be part of your DNA in order to work here.

40 years 40 stories graphic

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES EACH WEEK 

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Welcome Back to Riverside’s Fitness Studios!

As Riverside community members start to get their feet wet enjoying all the wonders that the phases of reopening have to offer, we are so excited to celebrate the return of fitness studios today, Friday July 16th, inline with the Ontario Step 3 guidelines.

Look, we know that everyone is probably feeling a little less than in a peak physical condition and that’s okay. We survived many days at home and enjoyed every slice of pizza! But now Riverside is thrilled to welcome back it’s fitness studios to help you start crushing your personal fitness goals or maybe to help you develop a routine that is perfect for you! Whatever motivates you, the health, fitness and wellness community in Riverside is back and we have summed up everything you need to know about them below!  

Yes, gyms and studios of all kinds ARE BACK, and we have all missed them so its’s time to show them some love! Here is our rundown of Riverside-based fitness spots reopening today!

Important note: Photos may not properly convey, but all businesses are strictly following Public Health protocols for Personal Care Services including capacity limits, sanitation, masking, etc to serve you safely! Please ensure you check with the business and confirm your appointment prior to visiting them in person.

Power10 Fitness

IG – @power10fitness · 635 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1G4 · https://power10fitness.com/

Power10 is an experiential, immersive fitness hub bringing state-of-the-art indoor rowing, running and weight training to your doorstep. Expect revolutionary lighting and sound, total immersion and an experience like no gym you’ve known. If you didn’t already know, rowing is the holy grail of fitness, and the anchor of this high-performance space. There’s no better, safer, full-body workout. The Skillrow machines allow you to feel the thrill of a real boat race during electrifying team workouts. You’ll row together, in synchronicity, in a motivated, supportive and tight-knit group. If rowing is not your bag, POWER10 offers indoor running clinics, top-grade personal training and a timetable of inspiring talks. Check them out on instagram to stay up to date and book a class!

 

Komplete Strength

IG – @kompletestrength · 740 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H2 · https://www.kompletestrength.com/

Heard of cross training? What about functional fitness? Komplete Strength is the gym for combination workouts that touch on weight lifting, cardio and dynamic body weight exercises! Its the ultimate functional fitness gym to help you feel strong and ready to take on life! Plus your friends will be asking you to help them move when they see how great your form is picking up heavy objects! They offer online, small group and person training classes! Definably something for everything one here! Follow them on instagram to check out what classes they have coming up! 

Chi Junky

ChiJunky Yoga studio| Riverside

 IG – @chi_junky · 70 McGee St, Toronto, ON M4M 2K9 · https://www.chijunky.com/

Looking for that boutique yoga studio experience? Chi Junky is the perfect combination of refined and relaxing with full service with complimentary yoga mats, towels, alkaline water & organic tea. All you need to do is show up, relax, then let them take care of the rest. Head to their IG for updates and to take a class or become a member! 

Studio Lagree

IG – @studiolagree · 672 Queen St E 2ND FLOOR, Toronto, ON M4M 1G8 · https://studiolagree.com/

Looking for a full body grind? Studio Lagree is your spot! With the ultimate full-body workout created by Sebastien Lagree, the studios founder, the Lagree Method combines strength, core, cardio/circuit training and stretching into an intense exercise experience. A new and improved workout construct with appeal to men and women. The Lagree Fitness experience does delivers on its reputation. Plus they have amazing staff and customer service. Check them out to try a class today! Maybe this is exactly the group of people, gym environment and kickstart you need! 

Studio Spin

IG – @studiospincanada · 672 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1G8 · https://studiospin.ca/

Studio Spin offers technique-based indoor cycling designed to push you to your limits all while enhancing your form and technique. It’s the perfect way to take your rode bike skill and turn them into an exercise routine! Classes are programmed to help you build strength and endurance and get you the results you desire. With optimal speed and resistance combinations, the form-focused, streamlined workouts are more efficient therefore yielding stronger results. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner taking your first class, you will be challenged and motivated! 

Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories: ‘A Time for Pollinators’ Mural

As part of the ‘Riverside BIA: 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series, we’re putting a spotlight on the serendipitous story of the Riverside Pollinator Mural by Nick Sweetman at 777 Queen Street East in the heart of Riverside.  

The Riverside Pollinator Mural called ‘A Time for Pollinators’ was created by artist Nick Sweetman. Completed in 2016, the mural’s references to clocks and time continues in the theme of the ‘Time: and a Clock’ series in Riverside by Toronto artist Eldon Garnet, while celebrating Albert Edelstein, a founding member of the BIA, who was a local jeweller and watchmaker. The pollinator mural also highlights the many natural, hidden places in Riverside and the importance of pollinators (e.g. bees, people) in the community and environment.

Fun Fact: The Pollinator Mural is one of the stops on our Riverside Public Art Self-Guided Walk, and check out our Virtual Public Art Tour to see amazing footage of the mural and an interview with Nick Sweetman (around 18:00 min)!

riverside pollinator mural

Photo from August 2016 taken during the mural production by artist Nick Sweetman adjacent to what was once an unassuming parking lot.

The west-facing wall of Elbers’ Antiques at 777 Queen Street East, owned by one of our most enduring local business owners, Ron Elbers, was a long a neglected spot targeted by graffiti. For years, Ron and the Riverside BIA had been in agreement that the wall would be the perfect spot for a mural.  In 2016, the time was right (no pun intended), and the old wall was revitalized thanks to a City of Toronto mural grant, the amazing work of local resident and mural artist Nick Sweetman, and project management by the Riverside BIA.

The mural was launched in late summer 2016 on a rainy day. You would never know it with the vibrant colours of the mural shining through, along with all the smiles of those in attendance in this incredibly proud moment for the BIA and community. BIA founding member and former long-time Chair Albert Edelstein was on hand with wife Ruth and many generations of family members, along with artist Nick Sweetman, local elected officials from all levels of government and current BIA members.

Caption: MP Julie Dabrusin, MPP Peter Tabuns and City Councillor Paula Fletcher stand with Riverside community members including Riverside BIA Board chair Mitch Korman and Executive Director Jennifer Lay.

MP Julie Dabrusin, MPP Peter Tabuns and City Councillor Paula Fletcher stand with artist Nick Sweetman (at back, right), Riverside community members including Riverside BIA Board chair Mitch Korman and staff Jennifer Lay and Anjuli Solanki, and former BIA Chair and founding member Albert Edelstein (middle), his wife Ruth and many other family members.

As the mural launched, almost simultaneously there was another plan in motion. The owners of the parking lot at 771 Queen E (adjacent to the mural) had received interest from a landscaping company Queen Landscapes to create a garden centre in the derelict lot. With their expertise and resources, the team created the Queen Garden Centre. In 2018, it was launched with a focus on native perennial plants and remains so today, which in turn supports pollinator populations all over Toronto…talk about serendipity!

riverside pollinator mural

2020 Photo of the Queen Garden Centre with the Pollinator Mural as the backdrop. (Photo credit: Lana Malykh

About the Mural

The mural’s ‘Bees and Urban Pollinators’ theme recognizes Riverside’s hidden green spaces that maintain wildflowers and local hives, as well as the area’s growing bee-keeping culture in the east-end. Pollinators are essential for food production and the health of a city’s ecosystem.

riverside pollinator mural

The Riverside colourscape is used artfully with time and clock themes

The pollinator mural’s time and clock theme is an homage to Albert Edelstein, a long-time clockmaker and jeweller in Riverside who was integral to founding the Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the 1980s. Edelstein is also a personification of ‘The Pollinator’:  someone working hard on tiny things with thousands of moving parts, but the whole of the fruits of their work has an enormous impact. In the same vein, the ‘Gears’ in the mural represent small things working together to make big things happen – like bees in a hive, or a community in a neighbourhood. Like clockmakers, pollinators are important members of society and their toils must be given proper respect, as they play an essential role in allowing people to thrive and exist.

The ‘Time’ theme also continues in line with Riverside’s architectural and artistic history, referencing Eldon Garnet’s ‘Time & A Clock’ public art series that has been iconic in Riverside since 1996. The ‘Clock’ in the mural also mirrors the Ralph Thornton Centre’s iconic clock tower just west across the street, designed by famed Toronto architect E.J. Lennox. Meanwhile, the pollinator mural’s colours and style portray Riverside’s ebbs and flows through time and its vibrancy today.

About the Mural Artist 

Nick Sweetman is an independent, multidisciplinary artist living in Riverside. He holds an MFA from OCAD University, and has led and contributed to numerous mural projects around the city, collaborating with many of Toronto’s best artists. His studio practice is based in painting, but over the years his work has explored photography, video, installation, and mixed media. He is interested in drawing attention to physical and conceptual sites of fracture and intersection between natural forces and human-designed objects and spaces. By this he hopes to encourage consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants.

Thanks to Community Partners

A special thanks to property owner Ron Elbers, who provided the wall space, and Vivienne Grace Ziner from Urban Quest for access to her property to complete the mural. The Ralph Thornton Centre and the Toronto Public Library Queen/Saulter Branch were instrumental in engaging the community in the mural’s design. The STEPS Initiative and Wipeout Specialty Cleaning donated mural materials and time. Thank you to the City of Toronto for providing funding toward this project.

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OF THE RIVERSIDE BIA? SUBMIT YOUR STORY

40 Years, 40 Stories: Recognizing macFAB’s Legacy in the Riverside BIA

As part of the ‘Riverside BIA: 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series we’re putting a spotlight on former BIA member and community-builders extraordinaire Dale and Patrick from macFAB. This blog was originally shared in March 2018 and is being reshared in July 2021 as part of our 40th anniversary story series!

Thanks to former Riverside BIA Executive Directors Anjuli Solanki and Perry Lupyrypa for contributing this Guest Blog (originally published in March 2018):

While macFAB made its final exit to new digs on Bayview Ave some years ago in 2018, we’re looking back to recognize the many contributions owners Dale Sonier and Patrick Kennedy have made to the Riverside BIA community over the years – from the Riverside Bridge Lighting, to the Riverside Magazine.

A flagship store in Riverside for close to 10 years, macFAB left a lasting legacy in the area.

macFab Store in Toronto's Riverside neighbourhood at 755 Queen E in 2011 (Google Streetview)

macFab Store in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood at 755 Queen E in 2011 (Google Streetview)

In 2010, Dale and Patrick recognized the potential of Toronto’s Queen St East and moved their well-established Queen St West macFAB Fabrics retail shop to  734 Queen Street East as macFAB Sews, and a year later, they launched macFAB Home at 755 Queen St E.  Committed to being a part of the community, Dale and Patrick joined the Riverside BIA Board of Directors in 2011. In this role they advocated to beautify Riverside’s streetscape through funding from the City of Toronto pilot for tree pits in Riverside. The project was piloted on one block in 2012 and expanded by 2014 to include the entire Riverside BIA.

Although both Patrick and Dale were actively representing both of their separate macFAB businesses for the first two years on the board, Dale became the key representative for the remaining 5 years and was a key champion for changes in the area.

Dale Sonier, Owner of macFAB inside the then MacFab location at 755 Queen Street East in 2015

The Riverside Western Gateway Project  2012- 2015

In 2012, the BIA held a long term strategic planning session. Seeing the opportunity of the Pam Am Games in 2015,  Patrick declared that with the Pan Am Games Athlete’s Village being located in neighbouring Corktown, that “the eyes of the world” would be on the Riverside’s western gateway.  This inspired a 3-year branding and beautification plan for Riverside’s Western gateway through a high impact bridge lighting and public art way-finding initiative.  This project has become an iconic symbol of Riverside and entry point to Toronto’s East End.

Also in 2012, Dale was instrumental in extending the Riverside BIA boundaries to include the Queen St Viaduct, recognizing that it would be prudent for the BIA to officially include the bridge and ancillary properties as the BIA was embarking on the Riverside Gateway Bridge project.  As one of the area’s biggest advocates Dale knew that, while transformative, this project would be expensive. From 2012 through to 2015, Dale helped the Riverside BIA continue 12 months of planters and season streetscape decorations, while delivering almost $100,000 of streetscape cost savings by sourcing the shrubbery and decorating the planters rather than out-sourcing this work.

Over the three years it took to realize the project, both Dale and Patrick invested considerable time and energy meeting with artists, city planners, lighting and electrical specialists.  They were able to work with the project steering committee (composed of Riverside BIA members, The City, artist Eldon Garnet, and project installers) to include the installation to maintain a more dynamic colour pallet, rather than plain white.

Riverside Bridge, Toronto (Queen St Viaduct)

Riverside Gateway Bridge Lighting Project, completed in 2015, Photo credit: Ford Thurston 

Riverside’s First Mural 2012-2013

In 2012, higher impact re-branding efforts were made to reflect the area’s name change from Queen Broadview Village BIA to Riverside District BIA (which had become official several years prior). A relic to the area’s former name Queen Broadview Village was still present and highly visible on the west side of then Jilly’s Adult Entertainment (now The Broadview Hotel).

Riverside BIA Board Chair Mitch Korman made the initial contact with the management of Jilly’s to replace the Queen Broadview Village sign with a Welcome to Riverside Muraldesigned by local artist Jessie Durham and to be painted by another local artist Melissa Luk.  At the time, Jilly’s owners agreed to the installation.

In early 2013, the BIA was awarded a city of Toronto Mural Grant for the Welcome to Riverside Mural.  Artist Melissa Luk needed space over the summer to draw and paint ten 4″ x 8″ wooden panels which would then be installed on the side of Jilly’s. Dale and macFAB generously provided an artist’s workshop for over 6 weeks, clearing away some valuable storage space to enable the BIA to realize this important branding initiative.  Dale accompanied the BIA staff to a pre-installation meeting with Jilly’s owners – only to learn there was a wrinkle in a plan. The BIA learned that the owner planned to have a 20′ x 8′ sign, with a large exotic dancer silhouette alongside the Welcome to Riverside mural.  As a result the mural was delayed until a more appropriate wall could be found to accommodate the mural’s dimensions. Dale, with his effervescent and persuasive personality, reached out to Harry Lazarous, owner of 742 Queen East, and he agreed to host the mural just one week before the grant installation deadline expired.

Welcome to Riverside Mural

‘Welcome to Riverside Mural’ at 742 Queen St E (the mural is now located on the wall of 651 Queen St E)

Riverside Office Space 2013-2017

In 2013 a developer had taken possession of the three properties immediately west of  macFAB Home. Knowing that it could take a significant amount of time for them to develop their plans, Dale was presented with the opportunity to manage these sites and keep the streetscape active, expanding macFAB into two locations. Rather than renting the third space out, he offered it to the Riverside BIA at a far below market rate value for four years. Prior to this, the Riverside BIA maintained a small cubicle at the back of the former Hangman’s Gallery of the Artists’ Network of Riverdale (then located at 756 Queen St E, the address has ever since been home to the Irish Design House). This new expanded office space at 765 Queen St East enabled the Riverside BIA to dramatically increase its branding and programming impact to both members and the broader public, as well as  host additional staff and volunteers.

In 2014, the Artists’ Network had to leave their long time gallery space.  Dale offered up the space next door to the BIA office at 765 Queen St E.  By supporting this non-profit artist organization that hosts the annual Riverdale Art Walk (which has taken place annually for over 20 years), Dale supported a critical part of the Riverside community. Both the Riverside BIA and the Artists’ Network maintained this office space as home for 4 years.

Riverside Magazine 2013- Present

When it came to the Riverside BIA, Dale always thought big.  Having spent time in the city’s west end, Dale would bring copies of the glossy King West magazine as a model for what the Riverside BIA should strive to launch. Riverside BIA Chair Mitch Korman further advocated the launch of the Riverside Magazine in 2013. In order to support the initiative, Dale committed to purchase the back cover (the most costly and valued ad space) and supported the advertising outreach – selling enough advertising to cover print costs and distribute 5000 copies.  With Dale’s continued support in 2014 the Riverside Magazine expanded distribution and  hosted the Magazine’s 2014  launch party at macFAB.  The magazine continued to expand to 15,000 copies distribution until 2019 as an important promotional and informational tool for Riverside.

Riverside Magazine

Riverside Magazine Volume 3 Cover Page (2015)

Dale and Patrick and macFab are as strong today as ever, and the Riverside BIA is proud to look back and recognize their incredible contributions as important movers and shakers in Toronto’s Riverside.

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OF THE RIVERSIDE BIA? SUBMIT YOUR STORY

40 Years, 40 Stories: Welcome to Riverside Mural

As part of our ‘Riverside 40 Years, 40 Stories’ series, we’re sharing the story of Riverside’s first mural, simply named ‘Welcome to Riverside’. This story showcases Riverside’s pride and its passionate community spirit.  Read on for its story and check out a short narrated video here.

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is well known as a diverse community with strong support for a variety of eclectic public art initiatives.  After many decades as ‘Queen-Broadview Village’, the decision was made to re-brand and revert to its original roots as ‘Riverside’ (the area’s namesake since the 1880s).  As part of its efforts to re-introduce this identity and promote the new brand, the BIA commissioned its first mural: the “Welcome to Riverside” mural in 2012.

Riverside Mural painting

Painting the 10 panels for the 20 x 16 ft mural (Photo Credit: ArT ExploratioN General Contracting)

The mural art was designed by Toronto artist Jessie Durham, an alumnus of OCAD, and was inspired by Part 1 of Time and A Clock by Eldon Garnet which was previously commissioned by the BIA and the City of Toronto to sit atop the Queen Street bridge with the phrase “This River I Step In Is Not The River I Stand In”.  Artist Melissa Luk who was a fan of Jessie Durham’s work, was commissioned to paint the design onto 10 large wooden panels in order to create the 20’ x 16’ mural with the assistance of several other local artists including Emanuel Ciobanica, Shira Haberman, Andrea Manica and Nicole D’Amario.Painting the 10 panels for the 20 x 16 ft mural (Photo Credit: ArT ExploratioN General Contracting)

At the time, Perry Lupyrypa, the former Riverside Executive Director shared: “Riverside BIA was thrilled to be awarded a grant from the City of Toronto Economic Mural Program. This mural is the first part of the beautification plan for the westerly side of the BIA, in preparation for the 2015 Pan Am Games, when the eyes of the world will be on Riverside”.

Melissa’s feelings about public art were very clearly expressed in Rebecca Field’s article that was published on November 15, 2013 on Toronto.com when she said, “It’s so easy — it opposes the idea that art can only stay in the gallery, art is only for people who have the time and the money to experience it.  It’s this thing that can be out in the open. It can be this wild, free part of your everyday environment.” 

Riverside Mural

Panels of the Welcome to Riverside Mural (Photo Credit: ArT ExploratioN General Contracting)

The Riverside community was also invited to contribute to the creation of the mural during the Eats & Beats StreetFEST on June 1, 2013.  During the festival, the neighbourhood came together to paint words, pictures or abstract marks on the mural that answered the question: “What makes Riverside special?”.  The mural was then completed and weatherproofed before being unveiled on the wall of 742 Queen Street East on October 26th, 2013.

Riverside Mural

Unveiling the Welcome to Riverside Mural in 2013 at 742 Queen Street East (Pictured: at left, mural artist Melissa Luk & former Riverside BIA Executive Director Perry Lupyrypa).

The choice of location for this mural that was to be the reintroduction of the Riverside identity, was an important one.  It’s interesting to note that at one point, the mural was to be installed on the wall of 106 Broadview Avenue which was, at the time, home to the infamous Jilly’s.  Although this venue has since been transformed to the popular and upscale Broadview Hotel, it might have been an intriguing home for this “welcoming” mural. The final decision was made to install the mural on the east facing wall of 742 Queen Street East where indents were made to the mural in order to be accommodated on that wall. 

In 2017, a request by the property owner was made to rehome the mural and after an intensive search for a suitable wall, the west facing wall of 651 Queen Street East was chosen. The mural panels were then disassembled and reassembled by the same team that had originally mounted them.

Reinstalling the  Welcome to Riverside mural panels on the wall of 651 Queen Street East

Reinstalling the Welcome to Riverside mural panels on the wall of 651 Queen Street East

The Mural’s new home at 651 Queen Street East (Photo Credit: Lana Malykh)

The Mural’s new home at 651 Queen Street East (Photo Credit: Lana Malykh)

Fun fact: The Welcome to Riverside Mural was featured by the TTC as part of its neighbourhood art series on the February 2018 Metropass!

Welcome to Riverside Mural on the TTC’s February 2018 Metropass

Welcome to Riverside Mural on the TTC’s February 2018 Metropass

Today, the Welcome to Riverside Mural is just one of the many incredible stops on the Riverside Public Art Self-Guided Walk as well as a feature on the Riverside Virtual Public Art Tour that showcases the incredible diversity of art in the Riverside BIA (both tours are easily accessible from the comfort of home).  Be sure to check out some of the other stops on these tours!

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.

FIND THE SERIES HERE AS WE SHARE NEW STORIES

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OF THE RIVERSIDE BIA? SUBMIT YOUR STORY