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August 27, 2013
Outside the Box art project to improve the look of Toronto's street infrastructure
The City of Toronto is introducing a program called Outside the Box that will beautify traffic signal boxes while exploring techniques to reduce the impact of graffiti vandalism. The program will consist of two parts: hand-painted art projects on traffic signal boxes and wrapping of traffic signal boxes with a graphic, printed, anti-graffiti coating or wrap.

There are more than 2,200 traffic signal boxes at signalized intersections across Toronto. The boxes, which contain the hardware used to control the operation of traffic signals and their timing, are often covered with posters and are a prime target for graffiti vandalism.

"The Outside the Box project is a proactive, creative way the City can reduce the impact of graffiti vandalism while supporting local artists and contributing to the vitality and attractiveness of the streetscape," said Councillor Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. "We look forward to beautifying these boxes and hope that traffic-signal boxes around the city can become an impressive public art collection."

Hand-painted art projects
StreetARToronto (StART), a City initiative, issued a call for submissions for local artists to hand paint traffic signal boxes. A jury selected 11 artists to paint 20 boxes in various locations across Toronto.

The successful proposals are innovative in design, foster community pride, counteract graffiti vandalism by using all of the box's surface area, and contribute to a sense of identity for residents. Painting will take place between now and October 25.

Wrap projects
In addition, two images have been selected to be printed onto the wraps. Gary Taxali, one of Canada's leading graphic designers, has designed a specific print for the boxes, and a photographic image by the late Moira McElhinney will be used for the second wrap.

Taxali is an award-winning, Toronto-based illustrator whose work has appeared in galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe. In addition to his gallery shows and illustration work, Taxali serves on the Stamp Advisory Committee for Canada Post. In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint released a special edition of six Gary Taxali 25-cent coins.

The late Moira McElhinney, a native Torontonian who studied photography at Ryerson University, had a finely-tuned sensibility for composition, form and colour. Her work reflected her fascination with the beauty of the everyday world.

The Outside the Box initiative is part of the City's Clean Toronto Together campaign to keep Toronto streets clean and free of litter, posters and graffiti vandalism.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Steve Johnston
Senior Communications Coordinator



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