New Leslieville mural to be officially launched Thursday
A new Leslieville mural created by artist Jabari “Elicser” Elliott is pictured at the corner of Queen Street East and Jones Avenue in this publicity image for the mural launch. (Handout)
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, September 14, 2016 2:04PM EDT
An update to a Leslieville landmark will be inaugurated Thursday when a new mural is officially unveiled at Queen Street East and Jones Avenue.
The new mural by well-known graffiti artist Jabari “Elicser” Elliott features an elderly man sitting with legs crouched, gazing out from under a tree. The design also features ‘Leslieville’ written prominently in lettering that pays tribute to the original mural from the site. The maple tree in the scene also recalls poet Alexander Muir, author of “The Maple Leaf Forever,” who was featured in the original mural.
“The mural theme ‘In days of yore, on Leslieville shore, put down your phone and daydream under a Maple Tree’ pays homage to the past, present and future of Leslieville by depicting a typical Leslievillian, contemplating the future, while resting under a giant maple tree,” the mural committee says on its website.
The original mural at the site featured ‘Leslieville’ written in distinctive lettering against a yellow-gold background. It also contained an image of a tree and Canadian poet Alexander Muir, who lived in Leslieville and authored “The Maple Leaf Forever.”
When the mural and the wall it sat on were deemed to be deteriorating last year, some residents wanted the original artist to be brought back to recreate it on the replacement wall. However there was no record of who actually painted the mural and city staff recommended that it would be improper to copy the work without having the artist’s permission.
So a design contest was launched last year to come up with a new mural for the wall. In January six finalists were announced and the mural committee set up a website to solicit feedback from the public on the various designs. The committee – comprised of the wall owner, representatives from the Leslieville BIA, Leslieville Historical Society, the Ralph Thornton Centre, area residents and Councillor Paula Fletcher’s office – made its final decision sometime in March.
“It was very important for Leslieville residents that the mural be the right fit for this important corner," Fletcher said in a news release. “Three very talented artists shared their designs with the community, and residents were moved by this modern take.”
The new mural was completed this summer, but will be officially launched with an attending plaque Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at a celebration at Queen Street East and Jones Avenue.