Sidewalk Play Murals

Midtown Yonge BIA Connects! Through Community Animation & Art
Mural Artists:
Sylvie the Artist, Andreacataro, Hemangi Shroff, Shawn Howe, Morgan Groomsbridge.
There is small map that shows the locations of the mural between Eglinton Ave and Davisville Ave, on Yonge Street.

Tropical Snakes and Ladders, by Andreacataro
Located at: Yonge St at Millwood Rd, north east corner (1953 Yonge St)

This square mural is divided into a colourful 36 square grid with numbers on each grid space, like a large Snakes and Ladders board game. In different squares, there are butterflies, flowers, frogs, plants and leaves. The ladders have Monstera leaves.
Tropical Snakes and Ladders, by Andreacataro. Photo credit: Mirna Chacin

Mural Concept
A colourful 36 square board of Snakes and Ladders invites you to play within the game! In this game’s version, you will find butterflies, flowers, frogs, plants and leaves. The ladders will have Monstera leaves (as they are climbers).

Interaction and Play Instructions
The idea of snakes and ladders is to complete the board as fast as possible. If a player lands on a ladder, they climb it, but if they land on a snake, they must descend. It is a traditional game with a colourful and tropical twist. You can play with a dice to get moving.

Mural Instructions
The players will move through the board, starting at 1, following the numbers on the board. Each turn rolls a die and moves the number of spots that it lands on. For example, if a player rolls a 4, then the player would move their piece 4 places. When a player lands at the top of a snake, they will have to move or ‘slide’ down to the bottom of the snake. When a player lands at the base of a ladder, they get to move or ‘climb’ to the top of the ladder.

Artist Bio
Andrea Rodriguez (aka Andreacataro) is creative, bold and colourful. Latin American biodiversity is her inspiration. Through illustration and lettering, she showcases her obsession with flora and fauna. She holds a BDes in Graphic Design from OCAD U and MA in Art Direction from Penninghen.

Andrea has worked with Street Art Toronto, Bell Box Murals, Mural Routes, Publicis, Lacoste, the City of Toronto, different BIAs within Toronto, and numerous private clients. You can see her murals all around the GTA.

Artist Website

Artist Instagram

Animal Collision, by Hemangi
Located at: Yonge St at Glebe Rd W, south west corner (2008 Yonge St, beside Structube)

A circular maze with a twist. The maze features six pathways with an animal or insect at the beginning, its habits as the path, and its natural home at the end.
Multiple players can begin at the same time because the beginnings and ends of the maze will be outside of the main concentric maze like the rays of the sun.
Animal Collision, by Hemangi. Photo credit: Mirna Chacin

Mural Concept
This mural was conceptualized keeping in mind the local urban animal life that blends seamlessly with the culture of the city and the city itself. In this mural, we are reminded that they live among us and are an important part of our ecosystem. We are surrounded by colourful patterns and colours and it makes us stop and look for a moment with childlike wonder. The multiplayer interactive mural also encourages people to interact with each other while connecting with nature.

Interaction and Play Instructions
It is a circular maze which requires players to walk on the 6 colour-coded pathways from the starting point to the finish point.

The start point is an animal and the end point is its home and the pathway encourages you to follow the animal’s habits and movements.

The movement is mentioned at the starting point.

Single or multiple player game. If multiple player, they can begin at the same time from different starting points on 1,2,3 Go and the aim is to avoid collisions on the way with fellow players when the pathways cross.

Buzz through the Yellow Bee Pathway – stop over all the flowers to get some nectar and eventually reach the BeeHive on the other side.

Fly on the Red Cardinal Pathway – stop to pick up the worms on the way and get some bird seed to finally reach the Nest on the other side.

TipToe on the Brown Beaver Pathway – stop to collect twigs and sticks on the way and move through the stream to reach the Dam on the other side

Waddle on the Grey Racoon Pathway – go through the garbage lying around the pathway, munch on the apple cores to finally reach the garbage bin on the other side

Jump on the Orange Squirrel Pathway – pick up acorns lying on the grass on the way and reach the Drey in the tree on the other side to store all the acorns

Hop on the Pink Bunny Pathway – stop to chomp on the carrots and leaves to finally hop into the Burrow on the other side

The game encourages everyone to cross paths and interact while strategizing to avoid collisions. It is for all age groups.

The pathways are colour coded with a dominant colour as mentioned above to make it easier for the players to walk along it and find their way to its end. The crisscross of the pathways makes it more challenging and interesting for the players.

There is a Central Blue Swirl that can be interpreted by the players on how to use it. For eg. If the aim is to avoid collisions, and if players collide, one player who is further down the pathway closer to the end has to stop and wait in the centre till someone else tags them on their way or another player collides and has to take the centre.

The game can also be played in many different ways how the players choose to interpret it.

Artist Bio
Hemangi Shroff is a multidisciplinary self-taught visual artist who is passionate about activism through the arts and devotes her practice to exploring socio-cultural issues like representation, feminism, decolonization, and diversity and equity. Her current works include a series of ‘cultural abstraction’ acrylic paintings. She uses her visual vocabulary to convey complex layering of stories focused on culture, gender, fabrics, and jewellery through the lens of a contemporary Indian woman. Colors, patterns, embroideries, and weaving in Indian textiles inspire her work. Since 2017, she has been an Artist Educator at Blank Canvases. In 2018, she also took the role of Education Coordinator and is currently a Member of the Blank Canvases Studio Collective. She has acquired Continuing Education certificates in Fine Arts Foundation and Cartooning and Illustration from George Brown College. Since moving to Canada in 2016, she has participated in group exhibits, community art projects, pop-up market, virtual residency, and produced a variety of mural projects.

Artist Website

Artist Instagram

Colour Paths, by Morgan Groombridge
Located at: Yonge St at Soudan Ave, south east corner (2149 Yonge St, beside Farm Boy)

This mural begins with a set of illustrated characters inspired by the local community. Each character is painted in a different colour which connects to a path that weaves along the sidewalk space until they converge into a rainbow at one end.
Colour Paths, by Morgan Groombridge. Photo credit: Mirna Chacin

Mural Concept
This mural has an innate sense of movement to follow with your eyes and feet, evoking the feeling of a map or a short maze game. The lines mirror how our daily paths cross, illustrating the connections created by public spaces, branching from a set of characters inspired by the local community. Colourful paths weave along the sidewalk space until they converge into a rainbow at one end. Each path is a part of a greater whole.

Interaction and Play Instructions
Choose a character and follow the paths back and forth as they intertwine and diverge, engaging with whichever character intrigues or connects with you most.

Artist Bio
Morgan is a queer identifying muralist and illustrator living in Toronto. The subject matter of her artwork is often light and whimsical, characterized by vibrant colours. She’s greatly inspired by children’s book illustrations and always creates with a young viewer’s gaze in mind. There is honest joy in her murals, encouraging others to embrace their interests while publicly sharing her own. Morgan says the best experiences she’s had with her artwork have been in the moments people feel seen and included. She likes to create diverse, welcoming designs.

Artist Website

Artist Instagram

Sky to Earth, by Shawn Howe
Located at: Yonge St at Manor Rd E, south east corner (2071 Yonge St)

This mural is bright and bold with all the colours of the rainbow. It is painted with Indigenous plants, flowers, planets and the Sun. There is a movement created by the flowers and plants that are weaved in between the circular planets. There are four planets in each corner connected to the Sun in the middle by a cosmic blue squiggly line. The plants and flowers are growing out of the Sun, in four different directions.
One planet is turquoise
One planet is Blue
One planet is Red
One planet is purple
One flower is purple and is shaped with seven circles
One flower is pink and is shaped with seven pink teardrops
One flower is orange and is shaped with seven triangle petals
One plant is green and is shaped with seven leaves
Sky to Earth, by Shawn Howe. Photo credit: Mirna Chacin

Mural Concept
“Sky to Earth” is about maintaining that connection with nature. It’s a reminder to reconnect and look around at all the beautiful plants and flowers and to remember to look up at the sky elements, and all the rainbow stars and cosmos. My idea was to create an interactive mural where people could “travel around in space”, here on Earth.

Interaction and Play Instructions
I wanted to make sure I was creating a play based mural where many folks with different disabilities and different ages could engage with, so there are many ways to engage, interact with and have fun at this mural. You can also make up our own creative play!

Mural Instructions
There are many ways to play on this mural. Here are some ideas below:

Individual play:
Get back to the sun without falling off of the planets and into space. Make sure to stand on each planet, and use the plants and flowers to help you get there.

  • Start on any circle
  • Hop around onto each flower and plant
  • Make your way back to the Sun in the middle

Sensory game play:

  • Bring a bean bag, coin or sensory item
  • Each person can stand on a planet and take turns tossing their item into the circle
  • Whoever gets the item the closest to the middle of the Sun, gets to make their first move onto a petal on one of the plants/flowers
  • Continue tossing
  • The player who makes their way around all petals and back onto the sun, will end the game.

Additional interactive engagement alternatives:
Pause and reflect at each plant or flower to reflect:

  • Orange: “What makes you smile when life is tough?”
  • Pink: “What brings your heart joy?”
  • Green: “What’s your favourite plant or flower”
  • Purple: “What’s your favourite memory on the land?”

Artist Bio
Shawn Howe (They/Them) is Anishinaabe, Irish, Scottish and French. They are a queer non-binary trans, neurodivergent, disabled person living in Tkaronto. They come from Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, with membership in Sipekne’katik First Nation.

They work as a co-facilitator for Our Stories our Truths (OSOT) which is a community art program for Indigenous youth and they also co-run Earth Sky Collective, which is a mural collective for 2SLGBTQIAP+ Indigenous people in Tkaronto. Shawn has also spent over 10 years working in the urban Indigenous community in Tkaronto. They have a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters degree in Indigenous social work.

Shawn draws inspiration from their culture, community, kin, queerness, and their love and relation to the land. They create art that embodies a fluid and infinite way they see the cosmos, animals, water and ancestors. They seek to create visual stories/murals where love and joy can be felt and where we can engage in deeper conversations to move beyond oneself, and think about our relations with the land and each other.

Artist Instagram

Natural Connections, by Sylvie the Artist
Located at: Yonge St at Baillol Ave, south east corner (1867 Yonge St)

A pattern map loosely informed by an aerial map of park trails and waterways in the area–from Sherwood Park, to Oriole, and the Beltline; and
3 lines connecting native plants to their respective pollinators.
Natural Connections, by Sylvie the Artist. Photo credit: Mirna Chacin

Mural Concept
Toronto is known globally as the “ravine city” because it is home to one of the world’s largest ravine systems–spanning just over 11 000 hectares of woodlands. Midtown Yonge BIA in particular is home to one of the city’s longest and most well-known recreational walking trails called the “Beltline”, which runs from Mt. Pleasant Cemetery West to the Allen expressway, connecting Midtown to the lower Don River Trail.

Natural Connections consists of 2 key parts:

  • a pattern map loosely informed by an aerial map of park trails and waterways in the area–from Sherwood Park, to Oriole, and the Beltline; and
  • 3 lines connecting native plants to their respective pollinators

Interaction and Play Instructions
Identify as many plants and animals as you can in the Natural Connections mural, and find them along the Beltline Trail.

Quick Play
Follow the different coloured lines to learn which native wildflower corresponds to each pollinator.
Here are the answers:

  • The orange trumpetcreeper connects with… the ruby-throated hummingbird.
  • The sweetclover connects with… the clouded sulphur butterfly.
  • The yellow coneflower connects with… the red-belted bumblebee.

Time Play
For more fun, visit the nearby Beltline trail to see if you can spot these native wildflowers and pollinators for yourself. Keep in mind that each plant blooms in its own time, so it may be a few months before you spot everything you see in the Natural Connections mural in real life. Take a picture of your adventures in every season and post about your experience with the #midtownyongeconnects! :)

Artist Bio
Sylvie Stojanovski (she/they) is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, creative facilitator and community organizer who is passionate about inspiring social change through creative entrepreneurship and community art-making. Recently named one of Canada’s top 25 under 25 environmentalists by The Starfish Canada, she is a fierce advocate for using art as a catalyst for conversation to address the most pressing environmental and social justice issues of our time. Sylvie creates alongside nature and communities, inviting them to become active participants in the genesis of work. Since 2016, she has designed and delivered over 20 different “art-ivations”—interactive art installations and workshops in the greater Toronto area and abroad that invite people to see the earth as an extension of themselves.
As the founder of the youth-led working group, Artists 4 Sustainability and co-founder of the hyperlocal artist collective, Scabrite, Sylvie supports emerging creatives in building their capacity to work with natural materials and mobilizing art for social change. Often found brainstorming and bringing BIG ideas to fruition, outside of work she loves cycling, hiking, and making ephemeral sculptures out of natural found objects.

Artist Website

Artist Instagram

This project was made possible with funding from The City of Toronto (Main Street Innovation Fund), Government of Canada and FedDev Ontario.

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