OCAD U artists are back with week-long art installation-
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2015
TORONTO (TNWS) – The Toronto Entertainment District BIA (TOED BIA) brings greater access to the John Street Cultural Corridor for all pedestrians with the launch of the John Street Pedestrian Initiative which commenced on May 4 and runs through September 21.
The John Street Pedestrian Initiative‘s project area focuses on the east side of John Street, between Queen and Adelaide Streets, because it has the narrowest sidewalk conditions and the largest number of patios in the corridor. The east curb lane traffic closure will positively influence how pedestrians experience and use the street by providing them with a safe, wide, pedestrian realm. The separation of the roadway and expanded pedestrian area have been delineated by new pavement traffic markings, signage, planters and armour stones. In addition, tables, chairs and umbrellas will enhance and contribute to the vibrancy of the surrounding area.
The now-closed east curb lane will host the second annual art project where three graduating OCAD U illustrators have been commissioned to begin a week-long art installation. Throughout the summer, the newly built environment will feature a setup of colourful Muskoka chairs paired with street-level murals and artwork. The project installation begins on Tuesday, May 19 and will remain onsite for the duration of the five-month pedestrian initiative. OCAD University’s collaboration brings functional art into a dynamic public space, the aim is to enliven an otherwise utilitarian roadway with a variety of graduating OCAD U illustration students in order to further the vision of what John Street might become.
The return of the John Street Pedestrian Initiative signals support for the long-term vision for the street. This vision includes numerous planned improvements for John Street, including wider sidewalks, gentler slopes from the sidewalk to the street, allowances for the space to be used as a plaza for events during road closures, the panting of additional trees as well as the addition of new roadway, pedestrian, traffic and event lighting. A Class Environmental Assessment Study of John Street was completed in 2012, the detailed design is underway and is expected to be completed this summer.
For Janice Solomon, Executive Director, Toronto Entertainment District BIA, “The long-term vision for the street is to create a grand promenade connecting visually and physically the key cultural destinations across the corridor. The John Street Pedestrian Initiative calls attention to this vision. We welcome the return of the OCAD University artists as they truly celebrate the potential of this cultural corridor.”
The plans for John Street are to transform it into a cultural corridor by redesigning the streetscape between Front Street and Stephanie Street. John Street plays an important role in the network of downtown streets by connecting many of Toronto’s key cultural institutions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, OCAD University, Bell Media, the CBC Broadcast Centre, the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandria Theatres, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Air Canada Centre, Steam Whistle Brewing and the Toronto Railway Museum at Roundhouse Park.
Because of its prominence, John Street is a priority pedestrian route. The John Street cultural project aims to create a better experience for pedestrians by enhancing the streetscape. These improvements will lead to an environment that is accessible, beautiful, and pedestrian friendly, and that accommodates the many events and festivals held along John Street.
BIA board member, Scott Henderson, Vice-President, Communications, Bell Media is supportive of initiative and the opportunities that it offers to pedestrians in the district. For Henderson, “Much needed improvements to John Street will create an environment that is accessible, beautiful and pedestrian-friendly for residents, employees and visitors, while supporting the many businesses and institutions in the area and improving the many events and festivals held along the street.”
For information on the John Street Cultural Corridor visit www.toronto.ca/johnstreet
About OCAD University:
OCAD University is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the University is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.
About the Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area:
Established in 2008, TOED’s mandate is to promote, improve and preserve a dynamic area of Toronto. Benefitting from economic, environmental and social factors driving downtown growth, the Entertainment District is in the midst of a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working and entertainment. From Air Canada Centre to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Entertainment District includes many of Toronto’s most iconic buildings. In the heart of the District is the CN Tower, Steam Whistle Brewing, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, MetroCentre, Rogers Centre, Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre and TIFF Bell Lightbox.
For more information, please contact:
Janice Solomon, Executive Director
Toronto Entertainment District BIA