Emotional mural a warm-up for new XO Condos coming to Parkdale, Liberty Village neighbourhoods

Emotional mural a warm-up for new XO Condos coming to Parkdale, Liberty Village neighbourhoods

Artist Daniel Bombardier moved to Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood 20 years ago to live and draw inspiration from the local creative community.

“It was very diverse, more of a gritty area, which I liked. I was there before Liberty Village. It was just art and music studios, a much different neighbourhood then,” recalls the stencil and mural artist, also known as Denial.

To date he’s painted 200 murals to transform walls around the world, as well as in Toronto including at Hula Girl coffee shops and at Underpass Park in the city’s West Donlands. One of his newest creations now brings life to the southwest corner of King and Dufferin Sts., where the Liberty Village, Parkdale, King West and Queen West neighbourhoods converge: a massive, “strange love story” mural at the sales centre for XO Condos.

“What I liked about his murals is they are larger in scale and with XO Condos, we had the opportunity to do a larger exposed wall on Dufferin Street,” says Brian Brown, vice-president of Lifetime Developments, the builder of XO Condos. He discovered Bombardier’s work through a mutual artist friend’s Instagram feed.

“I liked how he used murals to create stories and thought it was very appropriate for the project and community,” says Brown.

Bombardier tapped into the excitement and curiosity surrounding a new condo development “and I wanted to play with that in the story.” As well, plans include repurposing the mural in the condo’s second-floor amenity space.

“When a person sees the entire side of a building painted, you can’t help but wonder who did that,” says Bombardier who lives in his hometown Windsor and has helped in the city’s downtown transformation, including turning neglected alleyways into outdoor art galleries.

“I’ve seen first-hand the effect public art can have on a neighbourhood. In a gallery, it’s more contrived, but when you see it in public where it’s not supposed to be, that’s when you’ll find people being inspired and it evoking an emotional response and hopefully, it brings some positivity.”

Brown says Lifetime residential projects like to feature artworks at ground level where people can interact, look and touch.

The builder’s first of the two-phase XO Condos structures will be a 14-storey building of suites ranging from 450-1,200 square feet, starting at the low $400,000s. It will have a brick warehouse esthetic along King St. W., with ground-level retail and residential entrance on Dufferin St., where it overlooks a park to the south. Lifetime will contribute a portion of the site to the city to expand the park. It will have a high transit score with access to King St. streetcars, the Dufferin St. bus and will be a block from the future King-Liberty SmartTrack station.

Brown says he expects buyers at XO Condos to be young crowd but not necessarily singles who first moved to Liberty Village since “that demographic has changed over the last 10 years. At this stage of life, they want slightly larger units where they can have a child and still live in a condo.

“People are raising kids in condos and the whole mentality of how people live and what they expect from their homes has changed. The lobby is your front door and the amenity space is going to be space that is well-used.”

Amenities will include an interactive indoor and outdoor kids’ zone, a dog-wash station and a shared workspace area with Wi-Fi and office space to facilitate working from home.

Source: Toronto Star

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