Murals on Underpasses

2015 Murals on Underpasses

Following its first year success, four new murals have been installed on the City of Ottawa’s underpasses in summer 2015. Murals were created by artists to beautify and enhance these underpasses as key gateways to the City with images that reflect and depict local culture, history or visions of artistic expression.

Outdoor murals are effective in managing graffiti vandalism, supporting arts and culture and contributing to economic development. 

Two underpass mural locations were selected for the 2015 project as follows;

  • 417 underpass at Bank Street
  • 417 underpass at Carling Avenue

Each location features a mural celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in 2017 painted by renowned local mural artist Nicole Belanger.

The opposite walls feature community inspired murals painted by local artists. Both pieces were designed in consultation with the local community where they are situated.

To provide comments on this project, for sponsorship opportunities, or for more information please call 3-1-1 or email mural@ottawa.ca

Location: Carling Avenue at Highway 417 Underpass
Mural Title: Felled
Artist Group: Adam Cutts, Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka

The Mural
This mural depicts a fallen Ash tree and the new lives it has taken on. Elements reference characters in the community, children's drawings from a local school, intricate wooden structures built in neighbourhood parks and other landmarks. A series of games and activities for creating surreal composite figures were done with local grade 2 classes to both demonstrate imaginative creative processes, and to guide the creative process and reference material used in this piece.

The team included artists Adam Cutts, Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka. Treating surfaces as a space for collaboration, the group crosses back and forth working on top of each others' sections, painting in and taking away to turn a very inhuman space into an opportunity for daydreaming and as a reminder that public spaces can be imaginative and whimsical.

Mural at carling avenue at highway 417 underpass

About the artists:
PA System, is comprised of artists Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, who work in textile, printmaking, painting, film and large-scale public art, internationally and particularly in Canada's high arctic.

Adam is an artist and aspiring urban designer working predominantly through collaborative community projects for creating and experimenting with new forms of public spaces. Adam's background and experience is in community engagement and creative approaches to planning and urban design.

Location: Bank Street at Highway 417 Underpass
Mural Title: The Heart of a City in Motion
Artist Group: AMPLove

The Mural:
The artists embraced the chance to turn a cavernous space in our cityscape into something bright and welcoming to locals. A co-dependence of community and nature is highlighted as a progressive city on the move; on foot, dancing, or flying. The multi-coloured palate celebrates the beautiful diversity of individuals from around the world who call Ottawa home. A city in motion is captured, recognizing it is its inhabitants who come together to celebrate nature, family and friendship, and, build the true warmth in the community. It is the people of Ottawa who create its heart.

The AMPLove team includes artists Drew Mosley, Troy Lovegates, and Labrona. The goal of AMPLove affiliated artists is to support the approach of flipping conventional (negative) understandings of graffiti and street art into a positive by using it as a means to inspire more beautiful and safe public spaces.

Mural at bank street at highway 417 underpass

About the artists:

Drew Mosley is an artist and carpenter and spends his days between studio practice and various building and woodworking projects around the Ottawa Valley. Drawing from the solitude and resiliency of nature, these influences figure prominently throughout Drew's paintings.

Labrona is known as one of the top one hundred street artists in the world. His work illustrates multi-colored faces and animals defined by dark features. Inspired by 80′s skate culture and German Expressionism, his work stems from his fascination with and desire to convey raw human emotion.

Troy Lovegates is a nomadic folk artist whose bright paintings criss-cross the globe on the sides of rail cars and appear both large and small on walls around the world in both the public realm and gallery setting.

2014 Murals on Underpasses

Four murals were installed on two underpasses during the summer of 2014 to brighten up the City of Ottawa’s underpasses as part of a new streetscape initiative.  Murals beautify and enhance these underpasses as key gateways to the City with images that reflect and depict local culture, history or visions of artistic expression.  Outdoor murals are effective in managing graffiti vandalism, supporting arts and culture and contributing to economic development.

The two underpass mural locations are:

  • Metcalfe Street at Hwy 417
  • Riverside Drive at Bronson Bridge

Each location features a mural inviting residents to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation which will occur in the year 2017, while local artists have designed and installed community inspired murals on the opposing wall. The "2017" murals at both locations were painted by renowned local mural artist Nicole Belanger.

2017 Murals

The community inspired murals were chosen by an independant panel of local artists and community members, and the designs were created based on extensive consultation with local community.

Location: Metcalfe Street at Highway 417 Underpass
Mural Title: "Connection"
Artist Group: Ottawa Urban Arts

This bright and beautiful mural welcomes visitors travelling along Metcalfe toward Centretown to the North, or towards the Glebe and Lansdowne to the South.   The mural theme is Connection, as this underpass serves as a point of connection between neighborhoods that each has their own unique identity.  This theme is represented using puzzle piece shapes connecting and breaking apart throughout the length of the wall, with images reflective of residents, community groups and of local architecture

The Ottawa Urban Arts team included artists Cassandra Dickie, Michael Dykman Davis, Dominic Laporte and Phil Laporte. Ottawa Urban Arts is a group of artists aimed to empower youth in our community and to provide spaces for their voice to be heard in positive and creative ways.

Metcalfe Street at Highway 417 Underpass

Location: Riverside Drive at Bronson Bridge
Mural Title: Peregrine Falcons
Artist: Christopher Griffin  

This mural provides a stunning entrance into the City via Riverside Drive. The mural depicts four peregrine falcons to represent the wildlife living in the area, and along the Rideau River. It celebrates the efforts of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club’s Peregrine Falcon Watch. Since 2011, this group has watched over a pair of peregrine falcons who have nested near Heron Road and Bronson Avenue.

Riverside Drive at Bronson Bridge

Riverside Drive at Bronson Bridge

The underpass mural project is a partnership between various departments at the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, and the National Capital Commission.