The perfect selfie spot is taking shape in Mississauga
With COVID-19 still active around the world, this summer is shaping up to look very different and most people are planning to spend most of their recreational time outside.
Fortunately for selfie seekers, nature lovers and those resigned to socializing in the great outdoors, the city’s growing Lakeview neighbourhood will once again be home to an incredible backdrop: 1 million sunflowers as well as new pieces of public art.
Planted by the developers behind Lakeview Village, the ambitious mixed-use development planned on the shores of Lake Ontario, the sunflowers first began attracting people from all over the GTA (because who doesn’t want a gorgeous photo in a field of tall flowers?) in 2019.
Recently, Lakeview Community Partners (LCP) announced that the sunflowers will be in bloom this month. The organization also announced that visitors will be able to check out 1,600 feet of original artwork from 19 artists.
“You may have heard: 1 million sunflowers are arriving soon and 19 artists are creating a beautiful canvas to share with you,” LCP said on its website.
“Lakeview Village is about to be transformed with foxes, butterflies, squirrels, bumblebees and eagles.”
Last year, LCP announced that it planted 25 pounds of sunflower seeds over 71 acres, for an estimated 1 million sunflower blooms in five distinct areas of the site. LCP said it’s part of remediation efforts on the site, as sunflowers are “phytoremediators” that purify the soil by absorbing toxins.
As far as the artwork goes, LCP and Artscape Atelier recently revealed the names of the 19 GTA artists who were selected for the project.
LCP says Ryan Longo (sculptor), Raquel Da Silva (visual artist), Lynn Taylor (painter), Duke Redbird (poet), Daniela Rocha (a visual artist who also uses the alias Planta Muisca), and 14 muralists—including several from Mississauga—have been chosen to animate the Lakeview Village site with art.
LCP says Longo was selected to create an interactive piece to be installed at the top of the sunflower field in July. The organization says the finished sculpture will serve as both a focal point and gathering place to view Lake Ontario.
According to LCP, Da Silva created an abstracted ‘flipbook’ that explores the theme of reconnecting with the surrounding nature, specifically that which is native to the Mississauga community.
“Taylor, based in Mississauga, will create a visual land and heritage acknowledgement and poet, Duke Redbird, has also been commissioned to complete the poetic narrative that describes Indigenous life along the waterfront,” LPC said in a news release.
“Both works will also to be incorporated into the construction hoarding design.”
LCP says Canadian-Colombian artist Daniela Rocha (Planta Muisca) painted a nature-inspired mural that will feature animals and vegetation native to the Mississauga region.
Fourteen other artists were selected to complete the Sunflower Lane Mural Wall Series, a multi-artist mural that will run parallel to the sunflower field to share “the message they believe the world needs to hear right now.”
LCP says arts and culture will be a central component of the future Lakeview Village development, which will feature housing, office space, retail space, restaurants, trails, parks, green space, and cultural and recreational amenities - all connected to transit and the nearby 64-acre Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.
Anyone who wants to enjoy the sunflowers and art can head to the site at 800 Hydro Road later this month (an official date has not yet been announced).
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