Media Release: Safe Flight Home Animates TTC Stations

Safe Flight Home Bird-Safe Window Murals Animate TTC Stations

Photo Credit: May Shi

Toronto, ON –  Safe Flight Home, a public art project combining art, bird conservation, and placemaking, announces the anticipated installation of large-scale window murals exhibited at three Toronto Line 1 TTC stations this fall.

Produced by internationally-recognized artist Fatspatrol and STEPS Public Art, in partnership with FLAP Canada, a global leader in protecting birds from the hazards of our urban environment, these large-format artworks were designed in collaboration with 50+ North York community members who participated in online multidisciplinary workshops throughout the pandemic. “Public art provides a unique way to engage and connect people with songbird conservation and the bird-window collision issue, and transform built spaces into safer places for migratory birds,” shares FLAP Canada’s Executive Director Michael Mesure.

Safe Flight Home is an example of STEPS commitment to facilitating co-creation opportunities that inspire collective action. Our team looked for new ways to engage communities during pandemic restrictions. Participants received materials to produce artwork from home and with the creative direction of Fatspatrol the designs will transform the experience of 58,000 rides passing through these stations daily,” says STEPS’ Executive Director Alexis Kane Speer.

With installation timed with fall bird migration, these temporary vinyl murals not only protect Downsview Park, Finch West, and York University stations against bird collisions, they have already begun raising awareness about a lesser known environmental issue. “Programming was informative while providing space for us to be creative and meaningfully contribute to our community!” says community participant Maggie Lau. Participant Angela Walcott shared, “I feel more confident in knowing how to help protect migratory birds within my community.” 

For artist Fatspatrol, “the project speaks about freedom of movement, resilience, vulnerability, and hope within the context of our experience over the last year whilst putting a spotlight on the impact of human intervention on the natural world; the project in many ways helped contextualize and process our current human situation. We covered a lot through a single beautiful symbol—the bird.”

A City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot Signature Project, and part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, Safe Flight Home offers a free cultural experience for North York transit users and visitors alike.

STEPS is a Canadian-based public art organization that fosters dynamic, inclusive and resilient communities through one-of-a-kind art initiatives. Follow @stepspublicart for updates and programming.

A City of Toronto Cultural Hotspot Signature Project and as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022, Safe Flight Home is in partnership with FLAP Canada and made possible with the support of Toronto Transition Commission (TTC), Ontario Arts Council, funding provided by the Government of Ontario, Councillor James Pasternak, and Councillor Anthony Perruzza.

Funder logos including FLAP Canada, City of Toronto, ArtworxTO, Ontario Arts Council, and Government of Ontario
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