Newly unveiled Charles Street mural brings needed colour

On a dreary day on a dreary stretch of city street it can be a welcome respite — a tall patch of colourful creativity to brighten the day.

The large mural, painted on the side of a Green P parking garage at 20 Charles St. East to be seen from Yonge Street, was unveiled by Germany’s most famous street artist Justus Becker and Frankfurt mayor Peter Feldman, along with local dignitaries on Sept. 15.

The mural is part of an exchange project to celebrate the long relationship of sister cities Toronto and Frankfurt. It incorporates the landscape of each city. (Look in the lenses of the glasses in the painting above the large fingerprint.)

Also at the unveiling were Toronto deputy mayor Michael Thompson and representatives of the Toronto Parking Authority and the Goethe-Institut.

Frankfurt resident Becker worked on the mural more than six days, assisted by local artists Alexander Bacon, Quentin Rockford, Christina Mazzulla and Kyla Buium.

“Diversity is what Frankfurt and Toronto hold in common, and that very much influenced my concept,” Becker said. “The vibrant and colourful pallet represents the diversity of people in Toronto and the fingerprint represents the idea that each one of us has an impact in our society.”

As part of the exchange, a Toronto street artist will go to Frankfurt to work with German artists in creating a similarly themed mural there.

Frankfurt mayor Feldman noted that in 1989, when the friendship between the cities was sealed, Germany was in the middle of the historic period as the the Berlin Wall fell. “Today we are standing once again in front of a wall, but on this happy occasion there is no dark background,” he said. “The Frankfurt-Toronto friendship mural is a colourful symbol of our vivid transatlantic co-operation and Frankfurt’s gift to the City of Toronto and its citizens to mark this 30th anniversary.”

Both cities can no doubt do with a little more colour.