For the last decade, a long, colourful, cartoon-like train mural lined the back wall of the Truro Centre.
Through the years, though, the once bright and vibrant mural has become faded, dull, cracking and is now being covered by new industrial siding.
“We just thought it was time to upgrade,” said Erin Eisner-Melanson, commercial leasing manager for the Truro Centre, on covering up the mural.
“From far away the mural didn’t look too bad, but up close it was starting to look quite shabby. It wasn’t anything anyone could really fix without repainting it and starting over again.”
The siding installation began in October 2017, covering the left half of the mural, and is expected to go straight across the back of the building and wrap around to the front.
Although there have been a few comments on social media asking for the mural to stay as it is, they haven’t heard much in the way of actual feedback.
“I know the guys who were putting up the siding out back had gotten a few comments, but nothing serious,” said Eisner-Melanson.
“It seems generally mixed, as we’ve heard people say they wished we kept the mural, but others would tell us how nice the building looks without it. It was just one of those things, we liked the mural too but it became time to update and change.”
For Holly Lennox, who painted the mural, the decision to cover it is bittersweet.
“It made me feel kind of sad,” said Lennox.
“I thought the mural gave the wall some character, but now it looks kind of industrial now.”
Lennox, along with students from her Digital Animation class from NSCC, began painting the mural in 2003 after being approached by the town’s Communities In Bloom Committee about the idea.
Before the Truro Centre mural, Lennox had painted a mural on the old Home Hardware building on Willow Street as part of the same project.
Although she is sad to see the mural go, it isn’t a surprise.
“I knew the mural was going to deteriorate,” said Lennox.
“It took many years to paint it to begin with, and I could tell when I was getting close to the end that the beginning of the mural was already starting to deteriorate.
“The thought of having to start all over was intimidating; I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life painting one wall.”
When asked if she would consider repainting the mural if asked, Lennox simply said, “I don’t think I would, no.
“I could put more paint on the mural, but it isn’t going to stop the deterioration. It’s an awful lot of work for something that is just going to fall apart.”
The rest of the siding will only take about a month to install on the Truro Centre, but with the winter in full swing, the rest of the mural will remain in its place until the spring.
“And who knows,” said Eisner-Melanson.
“Maybe there will be a way for us to get some artwork back there again.”