Down the garden path

[attach]5504[/attach]A beautiful new garden has appeared at the corner of Danforth and Amroth Avenues.

Just don’t try to walk into it.

The picturesque scene is actually a mural painted on the east wall of Value Village.

The mural, which features a pathway painted onto the sidewalk leading into the artwork, was done on behalf of the Danforth Mosaic BIA.

“I like the fact that it has that little walkway and it goes into a pleasant space,” said BIA chair Jason Manos. “It’s like a fairy land.”

Funding for the mural came from the city after the association applied for a mural grant as a means to deter graffiti and beautify the area.

“There’s a lot of graffiti all over the place and we want to avoid all that,” Manos said. “The idea is to have some murals so that when people drive by or walk by they look at something beautiful, something pleasant.”

Painter Deanne Lamirande, owner of Airways Airbrushing & Sign Company, received the $5,000 grant to create the piece. She began on Nov. 29 and was nearly finished when she spoke with the Town Crier.

The mural site the association originally chose was deemed unsuitable and unsafe by Lamirande due to hydro lines that could not be avoided. But after much legwork, Lamirande found her canvas.

“I spent four days pounding the pavement taking pictures of every wall form Westlake to Jones,” she said. “I eventually got permission from the property management company of the Value Village who said that they wanted a wall mural two years prior.”

According to Lamirande, the store had a contract with a graffiti removal company to get rid of graffiti that would repeatedly appear on the large and highly visible blank wall.

“They were already spending money to stop graffiti so they figured that because murals are a good graffiti deterrent, that if they had a nice mural there maybe they would leave that wall alone,” she said. “There is an artists’ respect in general.”

Lamirande said she has already received positive feedback from the community members who pass by as she paints, including Ward 32 councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon.

“People thank me on a constant basis which is just amazing,” Lamirande said. “It’s been so inspirational, kind of like a live art performance.

“That’s the beauty of murals, the community is part of it as it’s being done.”