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Mural marks anniversary of ‘Leslieville’ being added to street signs

Leslieville residents on Sunday marked the 30th anniversary since the unveiling of new street signs with the presentation of an installation paying tribute to the neighbourhood.

Terry Brackett and her husband, Bruce, commissioned a local artist for the project and raised money for it through local businesses and personal contributions.

The 12-by-7-foot mural has a sprawling apple tree across the centre — paying tribute to Leslieville’s former apple orchards — superimposed on community newspaper clippings and a neighbourhood street map.

“Reading all of the different events and trying to piece them together in an important way made me realize that the fabric of this neighbourhood is very, very rich,” said Lauren McKinley Renzetti, a local artist and instructor at the Art Gallery of Ontario who was commissioned to create the piece.

“There are a lot of cultures within this neighbourhood.”

The installation, entitled “Yesteryears — Here and Now,” is on display in the lobby of St. Joseph’s Place on Curzon St. between Dundas and Queen Sts.

Brackett, a Leslieville resident of over 70 years, used to question how her neighbourhood was perceived among the other pockets of Toronto.

The 74-year-old said she remembers telling Mary Dobell, another well-known Leslieville lifer, “I feel like we exist like a ghost town between Beach and what was known then as Queen-Broadview village, which is now Riverside.”