Toronto, Canada

A Rising Phoenix in St. James Town

StreetART Program, City of Toronto

May 31, 2018

Public arts build social bonds

Soaring above a busy intersection, this community-led art initiative transformed a 32 story modernist social housing high-rise into a vertical canvas for the world’s tallest mural. An enormous bird flies up the side of the building towards the sky. Emblematic of a phoenix rising from the ashes, the design includes a subtle reference to the six-alarm fire in 2010 that forced out over a thousand residents. The award-winning mural by artist Sean Martindale represents the new, more vibrant outlook the project hopes to bring to the building and surrounding area in one of Toronto’s most densely populated neighbourhoods.

The mural and phoenix design weaves themes of diversity, accessibility, safety, happiness and other aspects of local culture into its story of community transformation.  It is the result of over a year of engagement with St. James Town youth and hundreds of local community members working with the City of Toronto’s StreetART Program in partnership with the St. James Town Community Corner and Toronto Community Housing Corporation.

“Beautification of our public spaces is an essential component of building and maintaining healthy communities,” said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre – Rosedale). “This spectacular mural is a shining example of the resiliency and creativity of the young people of St. James Town, and stands as a beacon of pride in their community on display for all of Toronto to enjoy.”

Full Good Idea Coming Soon!

Themes: Plan