rainbow tunnel toronto

People in Toronto raise money to repair iconic rainbow tunnel after it's destroyed with graffiti

A group of Toronto residents is raising money to repair Toronto's well-known rainbow tunnel mural after someone marked it with a huge tag.

"The Rainbow Tunnel has been tagged. Again! Our gratitude goes to the original artist BC Johnson and local community members for making Mural Routes aware of this," reads a page where organization Mural Routes is taking donations to help with the repairs.

"Mural Routes has taken responsibility for keeping the Rainbow Tunnel in good condition, with support from the City of Toronto. In the past, we have covered the expenses associated with repairs which come out of our own operating budget."

The tunnel can be found along the East Don Trail, just past Moccasin Trail Park. Mural Routes, which describes itself as a "member-based not-for-profit arts service organization in Canada dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art," was first notified it was tagged on Feb. 21.

"The huge tag is preventing Torontonians from enjoying one of the most iconic public art pieces in the city. It's also impacting another
artist's artwork.

"We believe that addressing graffiti tagging early sends
a powerful message: the artwork is loved by the community and it's
being taken care of," Program Manager for Mural Routes Jenneen Beattie told blogTO.

"Mural Routes is working with artist Rob Matejka, who led the restoration of the Rainbow Tunnel in 2012, to address the tagging as soon as possible. Given the time of the year, it will be difficult to use latex paint to cover the tagging, but we will find alternate solutions."

Without donations, the non-profit has to take funds for repairs out of their own operating budget. Mural Routes also runs programs like mural-making training.

"The funds raised will be used towards purchasing materials as well as
paying the artist, not only this one time, but in the years to come," says Beattie.

While the scale of this tag is much more noticeable than usual, Mural Routes vigilantly deals with smaller repairs regularly.

"Fortunately, huge tagging like this is not frequent but there is
occasional smaller tagging happening every year and Mural Routes
addresses it as needed," says Beattie.

Lead photo by

Rob Matejka

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