Canadian Furniture Retailer Brings City's Outdoor Street Initiative In-Store

Urban Barn partners with the City of Toronto for 2016, with plans to expand the initiative

TORONTO, June 16, 2016 /CNW/ - Urban Barn, Canada's much-loved furniture and home accessories company, announces its partnership with the City of Toronto's Transportation Services Division and their Outside the Box art beautification program. The goal is to help further promote local artists who have been selected to improve the visual appearance of Toronto's urban landscape. The artists' original designs and artwork painted on traffic signal boxes support the City's mandate to target graffiti vandalism.

Outside the Box is now in its fourth year, with nearly 120 boxes hand-painted across the City of Toronto. Artists submit their proposals, and a jury selects the winning designs to get turned into works of art on traffic signal boxes throughout all of Toronto.

"We are a community-driven company, always looking for opportunities to support in meaningful ways. In this case, it's an urban mandate to eliminate graffiti vandalism and contribute to more vibrant cityscapes," says Linda Letts, President of Urban Barn. "At Urban Barn, we are committed to recognizing and encouraging expression through art, and this partnership allows us to help build a platform for artists who otherwise may not have an opportunity to get their work noticed."

Ten artists have been commissioned by Urban Barn to develop a canvas version of their work, in the form of paintings, which will live in the retailer's Queen Street West and King Street East store windows beginning in July.

The artists selected for the 2016 initiative include: Jeff Blackburn, Makes Collective, Jen Bulthuis, Yi Zhang, Spudbomb, Random, Jackie Saik, Olga Voronovska, Pam Lostracco, and Colin Davis.

"This is a very exciting partnership for us. When we were approached by Urban Barn, we quickly realized that the proposed partnership made a lot of sense; the retailer's interest and values are a great fit with our mission to bring art and creative flair to the streets," says Lilie Zendel, Manager of StreetARToronto (StART). "Having a company like Urban Barn on board is testament to the success and impact the Outside the Box program has had, and this partnership will provide a new platform to showcase the outstanding artistic capacity of Toronto. It's gratifying to see a retailer that specializes in furniture and home décor take such a keen interest in local art and design, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship with this great and innovative Canadian company."

Urban Barn has plans to grow their involvement in these initiatives on a national level, building partnerships with municipalities operating similar programs from coast-to-coast.

About Urban Barn
Urban Barn offers well-appointed furniture, home décor and accessories. With nearly 50+ retail locations across the country, the Vancouver-based company first opened its doors in 1990 and continues to pride itself on offering a successful combination of value, quality and great design. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Urban Barn

Image with caption: "Urban Barn (CNW Group/Urban Barn)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Sneak peak of Yi Zhang's traffic box signal design. He is one of ten local Toronto artists Urban Barn commissioned for the Outside the Box partnership. His artwork can be seen on Instagram: @yi_o_ (CNW Group/Urban Barn)". Image available at:

For further information: To learn more about the program and traffic signal box locations, please contact: Emily Kett, elevator communications inc.,, 416.363.6444 ext. 226

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