EDMONTON -- A new attraction on Whyte Avenue called Rainbow Road is garnering attention with its colourful and unique design.

The mural was done by Amos Kajner-Nonnekes of DESIGN, et cetera and his team.

“It adds a little pop of colour and whimsy to Old Strathcona,” said Kajner-Nonnekes. “We kind of specialize in enhancing spaces and turning spaces into people-friendly spaces through a little bit of urban design, some public art”

Rainbow Road on Whyte

The mural is a reference to the classic, and infamous, Rainbow Road level in Mario Kart, something Kajner-Nonnekes wanted to evoke with the design.

“It’s that new whimsical level and it’s colourful and poppy and so cool. We wanted to bring that experience to Whyte Avenue.”

It occupies the Spur Line Alley north of Whyte Avenue between 104 Street and 105 Street.

 “Something you don’t see very often is a mural on the ground, you can kind of walk through and see yourself going down this rainbow road,” said Kajner-Nonnekes.

Rainbow Road on Whyte

The alley was originally changed from a parking area for vehicles to a public plaza by the city as part of the Whyte Ave Alley Project.

The city previously had some designs on the ground in the alley but they “didn’t really fill out the roadway” according to Kajner-Nonnekes.

The project took around 35 gallons of paint to complete and was delayed because of the uncertain Edmonton weather.

“We’ve been painting for the last 36 hours… my back and knees are sore but it’s been great.”

Kajner-Nonnekes also said that this project will be good for Whyte Avenue as people start to venture out again during the pandemic.

Rainbow Road on Whyte

“Adding all this colour and all this space it really invited people in and invites them to experience Whyte Avenue in a safe and distanced way and have a new experience.”

The new mural was commissioned by the Old Strathcona Business Association and is something that Kajner-Nonnekes said has the Whyte Avenue feel.

“It’s always something a little weird, a little whimsical, and to come around the corner and see this magnificent pop of colour in an alleyway, something so Old Strathcona about that and so special.”