When the owner of 118 Stirling Avenue had a mural of her dog, Imelda, painted larger-than-life on the side of her home it created a lot of buzz at the time. Ottawa City Bylaw tried to have it removed, which is when the community, and finally the politicians, united to allow Imelda to stay. The story is a testament to the amazing heart and fabric of the Hintonburg community.
The local news covered the story in October 2018 and the Councillor a the time, Jeff Leiper, was quick to support the mural but the bylaw exemption process can be slow, so he began by requesting the City not to enforce the bylaw. By a wonderful twist of fate, however, while the CBC was interviewing the home owner, campaigning mayor Jim Watson happened to pass by. After confirming the homeowner approved of the mural, he told her to send him an email and sped off. In no time at all, the mural issue disappeared. As the owner says, “I hit pay dirt given the election – the mayor put forward the motion to exempt and it was supported unanimously by council. Further, council ordered City Bylaw to review the existing rules to provide exemptions for residential properties. That was the first legal mural on a home in Hintonburg, and paved the way for residents to do the same through precedent.”
The homeowner has her home on the market and is moving on, but Imelda has become a landmark and will stay behind. New owners will be able to enjoy the colourful mural every time they leave their home – just as anyone walking or driving along Armstrong Street has for two years.
Learn more about Hintonburg here.
See the whole CBC story here.