foundry toronto

Ontario in ridiculous fight with Toronto neighbourhood over construction hoardings

There's a petty war of paint versus protest art happening at the Foundry site in Toronto right now. 

Though the razing of the Dominion Foundry buildings has been delayed for now, the walls surrounding Toronto's 100-year-old complex have become a back-and-forth between construction company Quantum Murray and locals protesting the Foundry's demolition. 

Earlier this month, supporters and members of the group Friends of the Foundry erected an art installation on the south side of the site. 

The installation, which transformed the plywood attached to the south building into a piece de resistance, was decked out with photographs and posters protesting the proposed demolition. 

Wooden hoarding surrounding the north and west sides of the property also got some protest artwork, with phrases like "Save The Foundry" and "Save History" painted on. 

But by May 13, construction workers had been ordered to cover those phrases with black paint. 

Within a few days, community members had wheatpasted some new art on the hoarding: images of construction workers removing the Foundry historic plaque, very meta. It was swiftly painted over. 

Since then, community members have repainted "Save the Foundry" only to have it blacked out again, followed by more graffiti, and so on, like a nightmarish Toronto version of Groundhog Day. 

MPP Suze Morrison penned a letter to Wes Hall, the executive chairman of Quantum Murray, asking that workers stop painting over the hoarding, and that the art installation be left alone. 

"The community feels they have been denied the right to a fair planning process," said Morrison in the letter.

"This art installation is a type of peaceful protest and resistance. The posters and messages that have been posted as part of the art installation are not offensive and do not interfere with your work on the site." 

But as of late last week, the art installation on the southern site of the Foundry had been removed and new plywood installed, thanks to an order from Infrastructure Ontario, says Friends of the Foundry. 

That hasn't stopped the community from making a mark, though.

The latest development: People who are trying to save the Foundry are using chalk to mar the black paint on the hoarding. They're even providing the chalk. 

Lead photo by

Save the Foundry

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