This project is the second collaboration between artists - Monica Wickeler and Indigenous artist Nyle Miigizi Johnston - and urban design and placemaking not-for-profit The Laneway Project (TLP). They have combined their skills and artistic styles to transform a neglected public laneway into a beautiful, welcoming shared neighborhood space. Part of 2021 Park-ing Projects.
Animating Toronto Streets
This project is an excellent addition to the Year of Public Art 2021, celebrating a second in a series of collaborative mural projects between Nyle Miigizi Johnston (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation) and Monica Wickeler (Luxembourg LGBTQ2+) creating a destination Indigenous / LGBTQIA2S+ public art mural/Creative placemaking in a community ready for a transformation. Community members and visitors to the lane now have a chance to learn from and experience this piece of cultural legacy and enjoy a newfound sense of community pride. We have partnered with Finding Our Power Together to engage Indigenous youth in the ‘laneway jam’ and the teachings during the final ‘launch’ where Nyle shared his interpretations of his storytelling. In a time of reconciliation, it is important for all people to know that we exist and have such a strong, beautiful legacy of stories and teachings from the Anishinaabe Nation that are grounded in my experience and identity. - Miigizi
The community has engaged in the ‘Healing Garden’ where they were encouraged to help during planting days and be committed to the upkeep of the Garden creating community pride and ownership. It is easy to forget that we are all children of Our First Mother of Creation. Examples can be found throughout nature that connect us to our First Family and Plant Nation relatives. From the flowing river systems that are our veins, to the cedar tree that is our brain stem, the patterns of connectivity are not only beautiful but also inspiring.-Miigizi
This was the final laneway transformation project that Michelle Senayah, Founder and Executive Director of The Laneway Project, completed before she unexpectedly passed away in June 2021. Michelle’s work has had a profound impact on Toronto’s public spaces, and this project is a real testament to the legacy she leaves behind. It speaks to the values she brought to her work and the vision she had for our city — a greener, more vibrant and people-centered place where the diverse stories and cultures of our communities are made visible.
The Storytelling Mural and Healing Corridor have been innovative in its use of arts and culture to foster the transformation of Central Hospital Lane in these ways
-Toronto’s first Healing Corridor theme connects the surrounding Healthcare Centers and the values in the Indigenous Cultural story of the ‘Gift of the Jewelweed’ mural with the medicinal plants in the healing gardens. This combination of ideas all centered around the idea of Healing comes at a time when these communities need it the most.
-using the mural story ‘The Gift of the Jewelweed’ to share in Miigizis Cultural Legacy, teachings, and storytelling we have shared this piece of legacy with the public in this creative placemaking and to promote learning.
-our partnership with The Laneway Project has fostered new city-building ideas in combining not only visuals but whole experiences thru hosting community planting days and also youth paint jams. During this project, we saw an overlap of communities not only creatives but healthcare and culture, a shared understanding and sense of comradery were very satisfying.
Tim Jones Creative Placemaking Award - we are thrilled to be a Finalist
The Tim Jones Creative Placemaking Award is an annual award bestowed by Toronto Artscape Foundation and Urban Land Institute Toronto that aims to:
Celebrate excellence in creative placemaking within Greater Golden Horseshoe communities
Make arts and culture more central to city-building by promoting and celebrating the practice of creative placemaking within the arts and urban development communities
What is "creative placemaking"?
Placemaking is a practice advanced by urbanist Jane Jacobs and others in the 1960s that promoted multi-dimensional approaches to planning, designing and managing public spaces. The term “creative placemaking” was coined by former Artscape CEO Tim Jones in 2006 to assert that there was a unique way in which arts, culture and creative pursuits could be leveraged to add transformative value to neighbourhoods. The notion behind creative placemaking is not simply about undertaking placemaking in a creative way, but rather it is about leveraging art and culture as a catalyst for urban and community development.