The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is working with Toronto-based arts organizations East End Arts, Women Paint, and Native Women in the Arts to envision public art murals in the laneway north of Queen Street East, south of Thompson Street, east of Munro Street and east of Broadview Avenue. 

About the Riverside Laneway Art Project: Women Paint Riverside

As part of the Riverside BIA’s Streetscape Master Plan published in 2019, the laneway north of Queen Street East between Carroll Street and Broadview was the first core area identified for a quick start implementation as a Laneway Art Program in partnership with local property owners, StreetArtToronto, the Outdoor Mural & Street Art Program and others. Currently, the privately-owned buildings, garages, garbage receptacles, and walls along this laneway are frequent targets for tagging/vandalism.

The City-owned laneway is the backing for many popular local businesses and has high visibility from the nearby Thompson Street Dog Park, The Broadview Hotel, Eastbound Brewing Co, Thompson Parkette, Broadview/Queen E TTC Stop, the Legion, Boulton Daycare, nearby residences, and Broadview Avenue as a core corridor in Riverside. The laneway is also a frequent and important passage for delivery vehicles and people on their way around the neighbourhood. 

Experience has demonstrated that mural art is an effective means of deterring tagging, vandalism, improving safety, and improving community space for local residents and businesses.

As part of pandemic economic recovery, local businesses are increasingly interested in looking at this valuable outdoor space for additional dining and retail opportunities. Making the area a more attractive space is crucial to success in this area.

The first mural in this laneway was implemented in 2020 as part of the East End Arts Girls Mural Camp in Riverside, led by experienced Toronto artists Bareket Kezwer and Monica Wickeler and supported by local property owners, the Riverside BIA, East End Arts and funding from City of Toronto, and provincial and federal level funders.

‘Women Paint Riverside’ led by East End Arts and co-curators Bareket Kezwer of Women Paint and Ariel Smith of Native Women in Arts will be a continuation of the Riverside BIA’s collaborations with Toronto arts organizations and a variety of funders.

This project is made possible by supported from StreetArt Toronto, City of Toronto BIA office, Hullmark, and Streetcar Developments.