“In days of yore, on Leslieville shore, put down your phone and daydream under a Maple Tree”
These are the words that Elicser used as inspiration for the piece. He noted that it people were reluctant to let go of the old Leslieville mural, stating in an interview with the Toronto Star: “Leslieville needed a fresh outlook on the landmark. It’s hard to let go of nostalgia but we did our best to improve it.” With that in mind, he set about crafting a mural that acknowledges the past, while looking towards the future.
This sense of nostalgia is very evident in the final work. Sight1’s lettering reflects that of the original mural, but he’s updated it somewhat to give it a contemporary aesthetic. Elicser’s colour palette, while bright and modern, incorporates tones from its forebear. He completes his palette by incorporating colours used in the Leslieville’s Business Association’s branding, acknowledging the work that goes in to keep the area dynamic and vital. It’s a great way to tie the neighbourhood together visually, and as a result, the piece is refreshing, yet feels very familiar within the confines of the neighbourhood.
The mural features an older man sitting in contemplation under a maple tree looking towards Lake Ontario. The gentleman that some have described as Muir has a pencil tucked behind his ear, suggesting that while he may be resting it’s only a temporary pause before he gets back to work. This is a great description of the neighbourhood. It’s a place full of hustle and bustle, people moving, traffic flowing. It never feels so rushed however, that you can’t stop for a moment to take a breath and be still, regardless of whether there is a maple tree nearby or not.