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Tag archive: Downtown Yonge BIA (2)


Downtown Yonge BIA pays tribute to Toronto music heritage with second 22-storey mural

Today, the Downtown Yonge BIA announced a second Music Mural will be added to Yonge Street in Toronto, which will pay tribute to the music legends that played the area in the 1970s & ‘80s. The 22-storey fresco mural will cover the entire south wall of the Toronto Community Housing building at 432 Yonge St.

The mural, which is being developed by artist and musician Adrian Hayles, celebrates artists The Band, David Clayton-Thomas, Rush, GODDO, Carole Pope, Kim Mitchell, Salome Bey and Lonnie Johnson, as well as the landmark venues from the era, including Brown Derby Tavern, Gasworks, Piccadilly Tube and A&A Records. The 70-metre-tall piece is expected to take two to three months to complete.

“These murals are dazzling sights to celebrate amazing sounds,” said Downtown Yonge BIA’s Mark Garner in a release “They are a stunning visual reminder of the long, vibrant history of music in Downtown Yonge, which continues today.”

This mural compliments the first Music Mural on the north side of the same building, which was unveiled last year, and features luminaries from the 1950s & 60s, including Glenn Gould, Diane Brooks, Jackie Shane, Muddy Waters, Shirley Matthews, B.B. King, and Oscar Peterson. That mural was also created by Hayles, as was the mural on Reggae Lane, located at 1529 Eglinton St. West, Toronto, which honours the history and origins of Toronto’s reggae music scene.

“Great cities all over the world have murals as part of their public realm,” said Garner. “We think the music mural fits perfectly with the vision for a vibrant Yonge Street – combining visual and musical artistry.”

The mural is part of the Downtown Yonge BIA’s Music Strategy, the BIA’s multi-pronged vision to re-establish Yonge Street as a ‘Music Mecca.’ The three core components of the strategy, broadly, are:

  • Homage to Toronto’s Music Legacy
  • Activating Live Music
  • Paving the Way to Toronto’s Music Future

The mural is supported by StreetARToronto, a division of the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division, whose mission is to revitalize and engage communities through street art.

An artist rendering of the final version of the mural is available now on the Downtown Yonge website.


Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, receives first ever Music Canada President’s Award

“It is pretty obvious when someone from outside of our community has a deep passion for music and the people who make it.”

And with that, Music Canada President & CEO, Graham Henderson, awarded Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge BIA the first ever Music Canada President’s Award for his outstanding contribution to Toronto’s music scene.

President's Award - Mark Garner

Inspired by a similar award bestowed on Music Canada by Tourism Toronto in 2014, the award recognizes an organization or individual outside of the music industry that has an impact on the music industry.

Under Garner’s leadership, the DYBIA has created an action plan to stimulate music performance, creation, education and celebration in the downtown core of the city. Their music strategy builds on the rich music history in downtown Yonge in order to create an environment where music can succeed now and in the future.

“I’m encouraged every day by the teams and everybody around us…we’re not experts in the music industry…there’s a lot of people to thank that are connecting the dots for us. Everybody around us that is showing us how we can be that execution agent and supporting us in our efforts,” said Garner. “So this really a thank you for all of you, to thank you for the continued support and ongoing mentorship that we get from you on a day-to-day basis as we navigate this beast to help deliver the Music City vision on behalf of Toronto.”

Specifically, the Downtown Yonge BIA Music Strategy includes:

  • An integrated urban experience that allows visitors to pay homage to Yonge Street’s music legends through walking tours, historical plaques and neon sign installations;
  • Activation of public spaces including parks, squares and laneways with live performance events like Play the Parks, a series of concerts held in the summer; and,
  • A focus on education and incubation, beginning with an artist manager incubation program but building towards a multi-level, multi-disciplinary music incubator.

Video of the presentation is now available on Youtube, and is embedded below.


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