Port Union-Rouge Park Mural: Gateway to the Rouge
Mural Routes, in partnership with Centennial Community & Recreation Association (CCRA), will be working this summer with artist Allan Bender to create the Port Union-Rouge Park mural on a plaza wall in Toronto’s Ward 44. The community mural project has been recommended for partial funding by the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto Partnership Program.
The mural will be created on an often graffiti-tagged wall in Centennial Park Plaza, at the intersection of Lawrence Avenue East and Port Union Road. The over 100 foot wall faces Port Union Community Centre, and is located at the last major street intersection on the Lake Ontario waterfront before entering the southern tip of Rouge Park from Toronto. It is also close to the Port Union Village, a site with historic significance to the settlement and development of eastern Scarborough. The project was conceived by CCRA to reflect the natural environment of the Rouge and its First Nations heritage, but also to share a timeline of local history with the surrounding community.
Lead artist Allan Bender says “There is such a rich historical heritage in the Port Union area to draw from for our narrative mural. We can go back as far as the late 1600s when the Iroquois first settled in the area, followed by the Mississauga First Nations and then European settlers. Port Union grew into a thriving hub of commerce, trade and transportation.”
The Port Union-Rouge Park mural will also support Mural Routes’ training and mentor programs, including a series of mural painting workshops at the Toronto Zoo in June targeted at emerging artists, and one student artist hired through the federal government’s Canada Summer Jobs program.
Allan was selected as lead artist by a committee from local community associations partially because of his long connections with the Rouge Valley as a mural painter at the Toronto Zoo. He also worked on the restoration of the nearby Highland Creek Village cemetery mural, a familiar landmark located close to the Centennial neighbourhood.
Karin Eaton, Executive and Artistic Director of Mural Routes says she is “very pleased to be supporting this community initiative that will not only provide opportunities for youth training and community interaction, but will leave a legacy of a beautiful mural for everyone in the neighbourhood to enjoy for years to come.”
Additional fundraising for this project is required within the local and business communities in order to complete the mural this summer. Donations over $10 to the project will receive a tax receipt from Mural Routes. To donate to the project using your credit card or PayPal account: