Today's Throwback Thursday serves as a reminder that as in all redevelopment plans, there are pros and cons to be carefully considered no matter the size of the project at hand. In the case of the nearly complete Brixton Flats, the 6-storey apartment block has replaced an empty lot with some much-needed rental units and an improved pedestrian experience, but has come at the cost of a significant piece of public art. 

Laozi Mural, E Pender St and Gore Ave, May, 2012, image via Google Street View

Unveiled to great fanfare in 2010, the Laozi Mural depicts Chinese philosopher Laozi sitting on the back of an ox, accompanied by an inscription which reads, "It takes knowledge to understand others, but it needs a clear mind to know oneself. It takes strength to surpass others, but it requires a strong will to surpass oneself."

Brixton Flats, sans mural, July, 2018, image by Forum contributor Roundabout

Lost in the fray of the site's redevelopment, the mural suffered major vandalism during construction, and has since disappeared from view. Despite early proposals to recreate it, perhaps even on the current structure, such plans have apparently gone by the wayside, leaving Chinatown residents to guess when, or if, the mural and its words of wisdom will return.

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