Toronto basketball court transformed into giant street art
The City of Toronto has been embracing street art more and more in recent years, as evidenced by all of the vibrant murals they've commissioned to beautify alleyways, underpasses and even abandoned industrial silos.
With basketball fevers weeping the population (even more so than usual) following the Raptors' first NBA championship win, it's fitting that officials are now turning their attentions to outdoor public courts.
Exciting news as the @CityofToronto and @TOHousing will be unveiling the first basketball court mural this afternoon with a free community BBQ from 4-7pm at 90 Mornelle Ct in #Scarborough. #ProjectBackboard https://t.co/yBxg3g4bHA— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 23, 2019
StreetARTToronto, a city-run public realm improvement and community engagement program, officially unveiled what it bills as its "first basketball court mural" in Scarborough on Tuesday.
Designed by the internationally-renowned local muralist Jerry Rugg (aka birdO), the larger-than-life piece can currently be found underfoot at 90 Mornelle Ct.
Mural artist BirdO shares how the Mornelle community came together to help bring his vision to life! @StART_Toronto @Ainslie_Ward24 #ProjectBackboard pic.twitter.com/wqeMoQDraE— TO Community Housing (@TOHousing) July 23, 2019
Community members celebrated their wicked new wolf mural with a barbecue on Tuesday afternoon attended by the artist himself as well as community leaders including City Councillor Paul Ainslie and representatives from Toronto Community Housing.
Speakers explained that the mural was designed and painted with the help of the entire Mornelle community, making it a truly collaborative endeavour.
Ah Ah Ah! 🙌— d morales (@dmoralesTO) July 24, 2019
What an evening of celebration w/ #Mornelle community members, partners & supporters unveiling the new basketball court mural.
Happy to collaborate w/ the community, City of Toronto, Project Backboard & birdO on this opportunity. #LOVE 🧩👊 pic.twitter.com/Bch8qP8jbu
While only just unveiled in an official context, the court has been home to many a pick-up game for local youth since its completion in May — and it's far from the only court of its kind around the world.
The new Scarborough mural was created in conjunction with Project Backboard: A non-profit that works to transform old or underutilized public basketball courts into canvases for creative expression "in order to strengthen communities and inspire multi-generational play."
With a generation of basketball playing kids not having the ability to play over the last 12 years because of “Something is broken in the neighbourhood” policies #ProjectBackboard in the #EastEnd for 2020 would hit the right note HT @raptors @JohnTory @EastEndArtsTO #WeTheNorth https://t.co/dycvcdb4Su— Lanrick Bennett Jr. (@myonlinelifenow) July 23, 2019
No word yet on when we can expect to see another one of these colourful courts pop up in Toronto, but the city did say that this was "the first" of its kind — meaning that plans for more could very well be in the works.
The wolf motif for the Mornelle basketball court was inspired by Toronto's first men's basketball team, The Huskies. Maybe the next one will be dinosaur-themed?
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