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How this wooden post in Little Italy transformed into a Lego tower

After months of hard work, Little Italy community members helped transform a wooden post into a three-metre tall Lego tower.

Now, one of the artists behind the installation hopes to see Torontonians build more of them throughout the city.

“It’s been really one of the best street art experiences that I’ve ever had in my life,” said Martin Reis.

“I hope it stays there forever.”

Reis said he was inspired to start a Lego tower at the intersection of Harbord and Clinton streets when he saw a plain wooden post pop up this past winter. And while he’s been decorating the city with Lego projects for about a decade now, Reis said the tower is the first to really go viral.

A man stands beside Lego blocks put inside a wall made out of bricks.
Martin Reis says he’s been creating Lego projects around Toronto for around a decade. (Photo by Shari Kasman)

In fact, previous projects, done in collaboration with artist Sean Martindale, have “disappeared almost instantly,” he said.

“I was not expecting any of this,” said Reis. “It’s been really heartwarming, and it’s kind of like a community trust project.”

The tower was put together entirely by residents one Lego at a time, filled with little mini figures and balconies and little windows. The City of Toronto said the installation will remain unless it’s deemed a safety issue.

Emma Pakstas, a barista at the nearby Sam James Coffee Bar, said the tower has looked different each time she sees it. The tower brings happiness to people in the area and shows how “close-knit” people in the neighbourhood are, she added.

“I think it’s really cool,” she said. “People would add Lego to it and people would drop off Lego at the shop for Martin.”

Reis said he hopes the idea catches on.

“There was a older woman that walked by the other day and she said that she had seen children on a nearby street start their own tower,” said Reis.

“I think if the idea spreads that would be the best thing ever, and it certainly would inspire me to do more.”

A close-up of lego blocks.
A close-up shot of one part of the Lego tower that community members built near Harbord and Clinton streets. (Keith Burgess/CBC)

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