The Villaways complex, now known as Leslie Nymark, was redesigned and rebuilt in partnership with condo builder and developer Tridel; condos are now on site as well. And residents have now started to return.
A public art project, facilitated by charitable organization STEPS Public Art, aims to engage and unify the new community.
Pacho will create a large public artwork designed collaboratively with Leslie Nymark residents. The mural production, which will be on the side of two buildings, will begin in September and finish by mid-October, with an unveiling planned for the end of that month.
“Everything that we put into our proposal and the artwork came directly from feedback received from the community,” Pacho said. “At every step we’re taking feedback directly from the folks that live in the neighbourhood and adjusting our design based on the feedback.”
Pacho said the mural will tell a story through a roll of film that will stretch across the two buildings, adding that within the frames of the film artists will paint imagery that tells the story of the community.
“We do want to capture the community in a positive light. We’re definitely interested in showcasing Black excellence,” Pacho said. “Being that this community is predominantly Black and predominantly people from island descent, we definitely want to put things in this mural that folks living in the community can appreciate and identify with, and we’re interested in capturing the past, present and future of this community.”
The project also includes a number of skills-building workshops and employment opportunities for tenants.