Red Moon Bakery Mural Controversy in South Etobicoke

A new mural located outside Red Moon Bakery at Lakeshore Boulevard West and Fifth Street has become the centre of controversy since it recently went up. The artwork features influential rappers Sidhu Moose Wala, Tupac Shakur, and Biggie Smalls alongside acting legends Al Pacino as Tony Montana from “Scarface,” and Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone from “The Godfather.” Initial concerns arose from the portrayal of Sidhu Moose Wala holding a gun, leading to some community residents threatening to boycott the bakery. Red Moon promptly responded by removing the gun from the mural.

Previously, the wall displayed a mural depicting a train at Islington Station, which I had recently photographed while writing about the opening of Red Moon Bakery, whose owner has an inspiring origin story. I thought it was interesting that the bakery (whose first location is in Brampton) chose to evolve the mural and pay homage to Sidhu Moose Wala, a prominent Punjabi rapper from Brampton who was considered a key figure in opening the door for Punjabi artists into mainstream music. He died from gun violence and faced criminal charges for promoting gun culture and violence at the time of his death, possibly conveying the artist’s message. Regardless of how each of us may interpret this mural, this incident is a reminder of the importance of supporting artistic freedom and engaging in meaningful conversations.

The mural at Red Moon Bakery is located in the New Toronto neighbourhood of south Etobicoke at 2864 Lake Shore Blvd West, Etobicoke, Toronto.

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