Mural goes big

Community members in St. James Town created the tallest mural in Toronto, and maybe even the world.

The phoenix rising up from it's ashes. 

At 200 Wellesley Street East, a yellow and orange phoenix rises up and reaches for the sky.

The phoenix is a mural and it might soon be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest mural.

STEPS initiative in Toronto facilitated the project, through their emerging ARTivist program, said Mojan Jianfar, program coordinator at STEPS.

“We’ve been talking about things that they wanted to see change in the community, connecting with residents and tenants and community members as well to see where a project could go,” said Jianfar.

“One of the things we talked about was how to use these vertical buildings in a way of looking at that as a form of public space.”

Sean Martindale, lead artist on this project worked with over 40 young people in the community and together came up with the idea of painting the mural on the whole side of the building.

Martindale said that at first they were only going to paint the lower parts of the building, but realized that they wanted to take it farther, adding that it was important because of all of the visual obstructions, like lamp posts and trees. Once they wanted to make it taller, the ball started rolling.

“We’re already going to be using the equipment we might as well see if we can go the whole way up,” Martindale said. “At that stage nobody knew that it was going to be the tallest mural in the world but I had a feeling that it would be at least the tallest in Toronto.”

Whether or not the mural is officially the world’s tallest, it still is a special addition to the colourful graffiti art in Toronto and is a positive symbol of how community members can work together and create something special.

About this article

By: Naomi Grosman
Copy editor: Madolyn MacCallum
Posted: Oct 20 2013 2:14 pm
Filed under: Community