TORONTO, July 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Toronto Entertainment District BIA (TOED BIA) has brought greater access to the John Street Cultural Corridor for all pedestrians with the launch of its John Street Pedestrian Initiative (JSPI). This six-month John Street vehicle lane closure and pedestrian opening will have its first cultural partnership celebration during a week-long art installation at the hands of Rosena Fung and Michael Pitropov, OCAD University graduates as they re-interpret twenty red Muskoka chairs over the course of five days, beginning on Monday, July 7, 2014.
For Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President, "…John Street presents a unique opportunity for the city to allow the public to experience part of our civic realm in a whole new way. The Entertainment District is going through extraordinary growth and John Street will provide this community with a unique destination not unlike many great cities around the world. We are pleased to be the first to play a role in bringing art to this transformative public space." The students' collective efforts, referred to as "John Street – Toronto's Red Carpet" will remain on display along the John Street Cultural Corridor until October 12, 2014.
The John Street Pedestrian Initiative's project area places a focus on the east side of John Street, between Queen and Adelaide Streets, because it has the narrowest sidewalks and the largest number of patios in the corridor. The east curb lane traffic closure positively influences how pedestrians experience and use the street by providing them with a safe, wide pedestrian realm. The separation of the roadway and expanded pedestrian zone will be delineated by new pavement traffic markings, signage, planters and armour stones. In addition, tables, chairs and umbrellas enhance and contribute to the vibrancy of the surrounding area.
The long-term vision for the John Street transformation includes wider sidewalks, continuous double row of trees on the west side and flexible curbs resulting in calmer traffic and greater programming opportunities.
The detailed design is underway and will be completed in 2015. A Class Environmental Assessment Study of John Street was completed in 2012. Programmable lighting, convenient access to electrical conduits and coordinated paving treatments will be some of the many elements under consideration.
The vision for the street is to create a grand promenade connecting visually and physically the key cultural destinations across the corridor. For Janice Solomon, Executive Director, Toronto Entertainment District BIA, "The long-term vision for the transformation of the street to a beautiful cultural corridor will be kick-started with the launch of the art project in partnership with OCAD U."
The City Staff report on the John Street corridor project can be found here -http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-44944.pdf
The John Street Cultural Corridor, from north Queen Street West to south of Front Street West, is recognized as a route of civic and cultural importance in the City, encompassing major facilities and institutions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, OCAD U, Bell Media, the National Film Board of Canada, the CBC Broadcast Centre, the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra Theatres, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Air Canada Centre, Steam Whistle Brewing and the National Rail Museum at Roundhouse Park. City Council, in considering plans and studies of this area at various times over a number of years, has designated or identified John Street as a "Cultural Corridor," an "Avenue of the Arts" and a "Pedestrian Priority Route."
About the Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area
Established in 2008, TOED's mandate is to promote, improve and preserve a dynamic area of Toronto. Benefitting from economic, environmental and social factors driving downtown growth, the Entertainment District is in the midst of a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working and entertainment. From Air Canada Centre to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the Entertainment District includes many of Toronto's most iconic buildings. In the heart of the District is the CN Tower, Steam Whistle Brewing, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, MetroCentre, Rogers Centre, Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre, Royal Alexandra Theatre and TIFF Bell Lightbox. www.torontoed.com
About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of the imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
Image with caption: "John Street Art Installation - Artist Rosena Fung at work (CNW Group/Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140709_C2293_PHOTO_EN_4159.jpg
SOURCE: Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area
For further information: Janice Solomon, Executive Director, Toronto Entertainment District BIA, 416-926-1337 [email protected], torontoed.com, facebook.com/ torontoed, twitter: @toronto_ed