The City of Mississauga recognizes the importance of murals and street art in contributing to vibrant neighbourhoods. The City occasionally commissions large mural projects on publicly-owned spaces (buildings, fences, walls, ground, etc.) through the Public Art Program in accordance with the City Acquired Art Policy.
If you are a property owner, developer, artist or community group interested in installing mural artwork on privately-owned property in Mississauga, you will need to get the appropriate permissions and may require a permit from the City.
A mural is an artwork applied directly to a large surface in a public space. As a form of street art, murals are distinguished from graffiti vandalism based on consent – not artistic style. Learn more about this important distinction:
Well-produced murals often become neighbourhood icons and can have a dramatic impact on communities and passers-by. The artwork can allow people to shape their community and create a sense of place, identity and pride. Murals in highly visible locations can often bring a community together and improve spaces for people passing by.
There is a connection between mural art, real estate, and the displacement of long-time residents – a process known as gentrification. This is an important aspect to consider when deciding whether or not to start a mural project.
Before you begin a mural project, ask yourself the following questions:
When thoughtfully planned, mural projects can be used to address issues of gentrification, reclaim Indigenous history and rights, and highlight the importance of environmental protection.
You should receive written permission from the building owner for the installation of a mural on the designated surface (wall, ground, ceiling etc.) of their property. It may also be helpful to engage the local Business Improvement Association (BIA).
Based on the location of the proposed mural art and whether certain accesses are required to complete the work, you may need to apply for a permit.
Some advertisers use murals as a large-scale visual medium to attract clients or customers. Murals that attract attention to a specific subject matter for identification, information or advertising purposes and include an advertising device or notice require a sign permit and are subject to the City’s Sign By-law.
It is best to contact the City if you are unsure if your mural meets the City’s definition of advertising, especially if you wish to include sponsorship logos in your mural or accompanying signage. Please call 311 (905-615-4311 from outside City limits) or email email@example.com.
Artists are entitled to certain personal rights that connect them to their work. These rights cannot be assigned or licensed, however the artist can contractually waive them. These rights include moral rights (an artist’s right to be associated with the work and the integrity of the work) and intellectual property rights (legal rights that pertain to ideas and creations in the artistic field).
If you are working with a professional artist, you should have a written agreement that outlines ownership, copyright and maintenance obligations. This protects artists from facing losses – creative or financial – that result from the misappropriation or corruption of their original creations. It can also protect a property owner from disagreements or legal disputes arising from misunderstandings.
If you are a local business, building owner, developer or community group looking to develop a mural project, get in touch for advice on design, fabrication, installation and how best to proceed. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.