In July/2013, a drug-related police car chase across an Esplanade basketball court left a trail of dislodged pink plastic tiles. Then some tagging ‘artist’ finished the job with a graffiti scrawl. What to do? The beating heart of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood simply had to be restored. With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, CORPUS, the ESP Community Group, St. Lawrence Recreation Centre, StreetARTToronto, and Proaction Cops and Kids, the whole community came together to rebuild this much-loved facility.
MONTREAL artists ELISA (SHALAK ATTACK) and JULIAN PERIQUET and a number of neighbourhood children volunteered to work on the project. The court itself is now being restored using a seamless poured surface, tough enough to withstand cleated shoes. (York University uses this same material to surface its outdoor running track.)
The Esplanade Basketball Court mural was unveiled on a Saturday afternoon in July/2014 – one year after it was tagged.