Ottawa East News, Michelle Nash – This month an angel with wings will appear at the end of York Street to help brighten up the deadend road in Lowertown.
Part of the city’s Neighbourhood Connections Office Paint the Pavement project, the Lowertown Community Association, Action Sandy Hill, and three area schools, De La Salle Secondary School, York Street Public School and Sainte-Anne Catholic School, will be painting a mural on the street this Sept. 12 to help beautify and promote community pride.
Initially the idea was to place the pavement mural at the intersection of Chapel Street and Beausoleil Drive. That is why Action Sandy Hill became involved, said board member Suneeta Millington.
“ASH initiated the project because we thought the project would serve as a traffic calming measure at the base of those streets,” she said.
Millington added that children from three different school boards and a daycare walk past this spot every day, making it a high foot traffic area. When the group found out the area was not well suited for the paint the pavement project, they began looking a little more eastward, to the dead end of York Street.
“ASH stayed involved because we thought it would be a great opportunity to work closely with Lowertown,” Millington said. “There are already strong ties with Sandy Hill and Lowertown. This was an opportunity to engage outside of our own neighborhood with partners who we have shared interests with.”
The design was created by art students from De La Salle High, who were provided with a number of ideas related to Lowertown for inspiration.
At the centre of the design is the image of an angel – based on the book Angel Square – which is set in Lowertown in the 1940s and was written by Bryan Doyle. The painting will be led by De La Salle teacher Grant Holmes, a local muralist who has completed a number of community painting projects. Holmes’ students will act as team leaders for the day’s painting event. The teams will be made up of students from Sainte-Anne, Collège Samuel-Genest and York Street Public School, as well as residents, parents and teachers will be volunteering. Getting ready for the big day, Millington said she is really excited.
“It’s been really phenomenal. We have had tremendous support from all partners involved,” she said. “I think it will be great.”
Millington said she truly believes this will create pride in the neighbourhood.
“I think Sandy Hillers are happy to see this happen because it’s reflecting that they care about what is happening in Lowertown and it connects the neighborhoods,” she said. “In Lowertown, this is another element that is starting to make the area better, reclaiming this space and saying, ‘Hey this belongs to us. It’s ours and we take pride in it and we care about it,’ and I think it’s a message that should be resonating.
This is a place where people care and are engage.”
Neighbourhood Connections Office is funding the project.
One of the main criteria for the Paint the Pavement project is that the chosen spot has to be on a quiet residential street that doesn’t have a bus route – which means a street that sees fewer than 2,500 vehicles pass through in any given 24-hour period. The reason for limiting the paintings to calmer streets is to limit the amount of wear and tear the murals will have to endure.
The proposed design can’t cause driver confusion or imply any visual narrowing of the road or a tromp d’oeil effect -the creation of realistic imagery such as a hole in the road. It also can’t include any words or logos, as well as images that evoke traffic symbols, as that could cause safety concerns.
Locations must be supported by the community, particularly the owners of the properties abutting the painting. More information about the project is available on ottawa.ca.