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Painting streets to make a point

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

I recently learned that the Wellington Village Community Association will be holding an event to paint a mural on Clarendon Ave. on June 7. The reason for painting the pavement? To help reduce speeding on the street, which creates a boundary along one side of Elmdale School.

Painting of pavement originated in Portland, Oregon. Then St. Paul,  Minnesota took it up. Citizens in Halifax, N.S. have put their mark on residential intersections, too, using street-grade paints and designs often donated by local artists. Now, it’s coming to Ottawa.

st pauls painting oaks

The oak motif on this example from St. Paul caught my eye during a presentation by Katie Paris at a Safer Streets meeting last Thursday evening, sponsored by Wellington Village. St. Paul is seething, it seems, with this kind of pavement art.

I have had visions of a mandala featuring oak acorns and leaves somewhere in Champlain Park. The desire to slow speeding drivers is probably as strong here as it is across Scott Street where Wellington Village lies. And we have our signature bur oaks to provide inspiration for the design.

If anyone in Champlain Park would like to know more about the process for getting funds from the City of Ottawa, I can put you in touch with Katie, who is the force behind the upcoming event on Clarendon Ave. --Debra Huron

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