Lifetime Developments unveiled two new public art murals by renowned artist, Ben Johnston, at a special event held in Liberty Village yesterday. The builder is one of the neighbourhood’s pioneering developers and currently have several projects under construction in downtown Toronto including Bisha Hotel and Residences, The Bond Condos, and Whitehaus Condos.
“Lifetime Developments acquired the Liberty Market Building in 2004 when the area was still raw and undeveloped, before its evolution into a thriving and vibrant community,” said Brian Brown, Vice President of Lifetime Developments. “Liberty Village has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade and has changed dramatically from when we started building here. It exudes an incredible energy and a lot of life, yet maintains its historical roots through the architectural style of the buildings within it.”
To capture the essence of what the neighbourhood represents, Lifetime commissioned Johnston to create two new art pieces that reflect the community’s industrial history, entrepreneurial culture, and resounding sense of pride. The result are two Instagram-worthy murals titled “LoveLiberty” and “Hustle” located within the open galleria of the Liberty Market Building at 171 East Liberty Street.
The art installations are designed with Johnston’s signature bold, vintage-inspired typography that provides a trendy and urban backdrop within the vibrant community. The developer also announced #LoveLibertyTO as a new hashtag to celebrate the murals and to stimulate a shared conversation about why residents, tenants and visitors love the Liberty Village community.
“Our goal for these murals was to stylize the text in a way that interacts with each wall face — the red brick for Love Liberty and the freight elevator doors for Hustle — and plays into the raw, industrial feel of the Liberty Market Building,” said Johnston. “We wanted the verbiage and aesthetic for each mural to stand the test of time and pay homage to the Liberty Village community and the people who live, work and play here.”
Raised in Cape Town, the Canadian-born self-taught designer is now based in Toronto and is known for other high profile projects within the city including a 130-foot mural commissioned by the 2015 Pan Am games. Johnson has also completed projects for renowned ad agencies and major overseas clients including Designlines Magazine, Lululemon and Nike.
“Ben’s globally renowned style has the ability to bring urban spaces to life,” said Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina and Fort York in a statement read by Special Assistant Lenita Lopes. “I would like to extend my thanks to Ben for bringing his skills to the streets of Toronto once again and I look forward to watching Liberty Village continue to grow into one of the riding’s key cultural hubs.”