By Brett Poirier
SUMMERISDE - For more than a decade, downtown Summerside commuters had a colourful work of art to gaze at while waiting at the Water and Central Street intersection. Now there's just a brick wall.
The mural entitled, "Sleet Storm," located on the west side of the old Bell Aliant building on Water St., was removed by city crews on Wednesday.
City officials made the decision to remove the mural when debris began to fall from behind the piece.
"The city took it down for public safety," said City of Summerside spokesperson, Lorri Laughlin. "It's a high traffic area with lots of pedestrians walking under it."
The mural, along with four others around the city, were the works of Greg Garand. Theis "Sleet Storm" painting was inspired by a photograph taken in the mid-'50s after a winter storm hit Summerside's downtown strip.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and Niagara College, Garand has his own art studio in Kensington.
He was aware that this day would come and says it's been nice seeing his work up in such a busy area for so long.
"They all come to an end eventually," he said. "My 14-year-old son grew up with the painting on the building; it will be a change not seeing it there."
The mural took Garand over 350 hours to complete and stood 25 feet high.
An empty brick wall, with the outline of the painting is all that remains.
The city has no plans at this time to put another painting in its place. Garand is hopeful that something will replace it and says that he would definitely consider creating another mural for the city if asked to do so.