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A STEPS PROJECT

St. Clair Mural

Commissioned by Slate Asset Management, this eight-storey mural produced in collaboration with British artist Phlegm has transformed Toronto’s sleepy midtown neighbourhood into a cultural destination.


PROJECT AT A GLANCE

Location: Midtown, Toronto (1 St. Clair West)

Artist(s): Phlegm

Year: 2016

Services: Creative Placemaking, Public Art, Artist Capacity Building

100,000

people experience this mural each day

72,000

community members engaged in
project activities

5,916

sq. ft of
public artwork

13

paid opportunities
for local emerging artists and
arts workers

8

storeys of a building 
turned into a canvas

“We couldn’t have anticipated the positive response and interest that the mural has generated from the community. The success of this project has given us a new energy and way to look at how we would like to see the area develop.”
– Katie Fong, Director Asset Management, Slate

PROJECT DETAILS

Yonge and St. Clair was once filled with busy restaurants, bustling shops, and vibrant public space, but over the years, the neighbourhood lost its identity. Office buildings became dated, restaurants came and went and the area became overlooked. Slate Asset Management saw an opportunity and soon had acquired all four corners of
Yonge and St. Clair. 

As an example of their creative thinking, Slate invited STEPS to reimagine how Yonge and St. Clair could be transformed through contemporary street art that complemented their vision for the area’s revitalization. The striking #StClairMural became a local landmark and gained international recognition. Yonge and St. Clair is well on its way to becoming one of Toronto’s premier live-work neighbourhoods.

“Yonge and St. Clair is one of Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods, and creating a landmark piece of public art in collaboration with one of the world’s most influential street artists reflects the area’s unique geography.”
– City Councillor Josh Matlow, Toronto-St Pauls

STEPS curated a shortlist international acclaimed artists who would have the technical skills for this project. We needed to use a swing stage to produce this work, and had to navigate unique site challenges like no ground access, and a variation of wall compositions. We produced this eight storey mural in collaboration with acclaimed British artist PHLEGM, a muralist and illustrator known for his fantastical, ethereal scenes. His work is instantly recognizable and can be found across the world adorning high profile institutions, houses, factories, and in the interstitial spaces of cities everywhere.

While this project was international in scope, it was inspired by insights shared by hundreds of local residents and business owners about what the neighbourhood, and Toronto, mean to them. Look closely and see if you can spot any familiar places!

While not too long ago, the area was a sleepy commercial district, Yonge and St. Clair is now home to some of the city’s most notable public art, and it all started with the #StClairMural. When the revitalization is completed, it will have a vastly improved pedestrian experience, state of the art office space and top-notch retail shops and restaurants along streets lined with the mural’s imagery! Meanwhile, its recently launched business improvement area continues to leverage the notoriety of the #StClairMural to inspire other arts, culture and design initiatives in the area.

“I have tremendous gratitude for STEPS
and their partners. They truly believed
in me, as an Artist Assistant, a woman
and as a mother. This project was my
dream come true.”
– Stephanie Bellefleur, Artist Mentee 

PROJECT PARTNERS
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