TORONTO -- A group of artists is bringing ‘love’ back to south Etobicoke and offering support to a family whose commissioned mural was the subject of hate mail. 

“The owner received some hateful mail,” says Julia Prajza, a muralist with the group Neighbourhood Love. “The mural artist who painted it, Natalie Very B, and the mural community in Toronto, we came together to paint more murals in south Etobicoke to show our solidarity with her.”

“I am so very lucky to have all these amazing muralists here to support me and to create something amazing out of it,” Natalie Very B tells CTV News Toronto. “We will not stand for something horrible like this to happen.”

Source: Andrea Rodriguez                                                                                                                       (Source: Andrea Rodriguez)

Looking to turn the negative situation into a positive one, and show the home owner that she is not alone, the campaign ‘Neighbourhood Love’ was created. Artists rallied and agreed to volunteer their time and skills to create murals free of charge in the community. They put out a call to about 400 residents in the south Etobicoke neighbourhood to see if anyone would be interested.

“The response has been incredible,” says Prajza. “Really overwhelming, really positive.”

“We’ve actually had to turn away home owners because we just had so much interest,” says Julii McMillan, another muralist with Neighbourhood Love. “There’s over 75 lawn sign out there expressing support, there’s even more posters.”

Murals can now be found at 25 different sites, on garage doors, mail boxes and more.

“You see a lovely garage painted and it just brings you a little bit of joy to your everyday life,” says Prajza.

Source: Julia Prajza                                                                                                                                    (Source: Julia Prajza)

“I think it’s amazing that the entire neighbourhood became a public art gallery,” adds Very B.

McMillan notes that while there was plenty of positive support for the affected family online, she felt that the visible display of support was perhaps even more important.

“The fact that the community is actually coming together and making a visible show of how they feel, and the kind of neighbourhood they want to be, is pretty amazing,” she says. “That person who wrote the letter does not stand for everyone in the neighbourhood.”

The Neighbourhood Love campaign was made possible by sponsors and donations from the public to a GoFundMe page.

The artists have created a ‘Mural Map’ for anyone who would like to enjoy the art on display, and the locations can be found here.

Neighbourhood Love                                                                                                                              (Source: Julii McMillan)

As for Very B, she says Neighbourhood Love has turned a heartbreaking situation into something worth celebrating.

“I’m honestly the luckiest artist in Toronto to have such an amazing support system,” says Very B. “We all have to stay apart, but we can come together in this one beautiful symbol of love.”