New underpass artwork represents neighbourhood connection

Mayor Jim Watson, MPP Yasir Naqvi, and several city councillors were on hand for the unveiling of a new public mural underneath the 417 at Metcalfe Street as part of an effort to beautify the city ahead of the Canada 150 celebrations.

Cassandra Dickie is one of the artists that was chosen to design the mural.

She says some of the imagery represents the coming together of different neighbourhoods.

"We have the puzzle pieces to portray the connection because this underpass connects about five different neighbourhoods that are really significant in Ottawa," she says.  The mural also features nearby landmarks including the Aberdeen Pavillion, a dinosaur to represent the Museum of Nature, and the Rideau Canal.

Mayor Jim Watson suggested the idea for mruals on the city's underpasses during his state of the city address back in January.

He says had to jump through a few hoops since the underpass is the property of the province.  He says they were hesitant to allow it at first because they have to conduct regular safety checks on the overpass that could damage the artwork.  To make sure that wasn't a problem, the mural takes up only the bottom half of the wall.

A second mural of a Peregrine Falcon is also up on the Bronson underpass at Riverside, and Watson says Ottawa residents can expect to see more underpass artwork in the coming months.

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