Yesterday, the City of Ottawa unveiled its newest underpass mural on Main Street, under Highway 417.
The mural is part of a City of Ottawa’s beautification and graffiti reduction program, which transforms grey underpasses into vibrant works of art that reflect the surrounding neighbourhood.
The artists of the Main Street mural, Dan Bergeron and Gabriel Spector, were selected amongst several candidates who responded to a call for artists in February 2017.
Even before the stroke of a brush on the walls, the artists consulted extensively with the community – including the Old Ottawa East Community Association and the Community Activities Group of Old Ottawa East. They also hosted an art workshop for grade four and five students from Lady Evelyn Alternate School – who also provided their ideas for the mural.
The mural on the west side of the underpass features cube patterns with floral displays that reflect the garden community of Old Ottawa East from its agricultural past to today’s shared appreciation of gardens and the environment. The linking of the cubes also reflects how residents connect with their natural surroundings and with each other.
On the east side, the wave pattern mirrors the close proximity of the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal and how the water further connects this historic neighbourhood.
“The underpass serves as a gateway to Old Ottawa East. These artists have captured the essence and the vibrancy of this tight-knit community – including their passion of greenspace and gardening. This vibrancy and colour will grace the walls for all seasons. We also thank the Ministry of Transportation for their support in allowing us to transform these concrete walls into works of art.”
Mayor Jim Watson
“We are pleased to have this important program that leads to both a reduction of graffiti and an artistic means to brighten the area with images that reflect the community and residents in the vicinity of the mural. The consultation process was a great way to engage local residents and students to get involved and take pride in their community.
Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the Transportation Committee
“The unveiling of the new mural in the Main Street underpass is a fitting prelude to this Saturday’s celebration for the completion of the Main Street Renewal project. The underpass adds a unique and colourful gateway to this redesigned street and the many amenities along it that capture the character of the community and its residents.”
Ward Councillor David Chernushenko