Month: September 2017

Yonge + St. Clair partners with the Canadian Cancer Society

For almost the last ten years, the National Headquarters of the Canadian Cancer Society has been able to call the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood their home. As one of the largest tenants here in the business community, it only seemed fitting to partner with them for our most recent activation: the Yonge + St. Clair Pop Up Store.

We sat down with Heather Norris, Manager of Corporate Partnerships here with the Canadian Cancer Society and asked her a few questions to learn more about what goes on within the National Headquarters, and how to raise awareness.

Can you explain your role within the Canadian Cancer Society?

My role is to engage corporate partners with the Canadian Cancer Society to help us achieve our mission. Each company has different passions and interests and I ensure that they are connected to the right program, service or research grant.

Tell us a bit about the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission, and what it means to all Canadians.

The Canadian Cancer Society is the country’s cancer voice. We fund the most promising cancer research, provide trusted information, help bring about healthy public policies and offer support services. We are changing lives for the better so that all Canadians can live more fully.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Impact. Since I was young, I have always wanted to make a difference in the world. The Canadian Cancer Society is doing amazing things to help eradicate cancer and support those living with cancer. I play a small role in making that happen and that is the reason why I wake up excited to come to work every day.

What exactly goes on in the Canadian Cancer Society’s National Headquarters?

At our office we collaborate with our colleagues across the country to do our mission work (research, information and support services for patients and their families, prevention and advocacy) and run our fundraising programs that support this work.

In your opinion, what is the most effective way to raise awareness?

With nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, people are already very aware of the impact that cancer has. At the Canadian Cancer Society, it’s our job to encourage people to take action to create a world where no one fears cancer.

Are there some surprising facts that you’d like for us to share?

Cancer isn’t one disease but more than 100 different types.

Last year, the Canadian Cancer Society helped almost 163,000 people through our information and support services. No one should face cancer alone.

What do you like best about the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood?

The neighbourhood is like a little community with everything you need – banks, grocery stores, shops, lunch spots and more. Through the summer I really love the Food Truck Thursdays!

Thanks Heather!

The Yonge + St. Clair Store

For two weeks (starting September 21) we’ll be selling custom, on the
spot screen-printed t-shirts featuring original Yonge + St. Clair-centric
artwork by Toronto artist Lucas Young in which 25% of all proceeds
will be donated to The Canadian Cancer Society.

Open 11am to 8pm Thursdays and Fridays
and 12 noon to 6pm Saturdays, September 21 to 30
at 1470 Yonge Street.

Spotlight: Steve Paynter from Gensler talks design here at Yonge + St. Clair

We recently sat down with Steven Paynter, Design Manager at Gensler here in Toronto. Paynter and his team were responsible for the Ravine Bench which is the newest addition to the urban landscape here at Yonge + St. Clair.

Hey Steven, for those who may not be familiar, tell us more about Gensler.

Gensler is the world’s largest design company. With over 40 offices around the world Gensler not only focuses on Architecture and Interior Design, but also product design, brand development and expert consulting services. It’s often said that Gensler has designed everything from the label on a wine bottle to the second tallest building in the world. Gensler first set up its Toronto office with a single person 6 years ago and we’ve since grown to over 80 people.

What is your interpretation or view of the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood?

Despite a great location, incredible residential options and a thriving community, the area’s architecture, retail and night life has been left to languish. Now really is St. Clair’s time as developers, landlords and the residents have pulled together to create something special. At Gensler we’ve tried to find the most meaningful features in the neighbourhood and combine them with the best opportunities to create something new and special.

Can you tell us a bit more about the ‘Ravine Bench’ that was designed for Yonge + St. Clair and how it came to be?

The bench started as a simple hand rail, but we thought it could be something more. When designing the new façade of the St. Clair Centre we wanted to create a more active and comfortable street life, but also had to deal with some difficult level changes between the interior of the stores and the side walk. For example, TD Bank’s storefront is 4ft above the ground and that meant having to add the ramp and stairs that you can see on site now.

The bench developed from this rail into something more intricate. The real design breakthrough came when we started looking at the wider neighbourhood and saw the opportunity to do something important here that can link to the south side of the intersection. These two areas on the east side of Yonge are the only places at St. Clair that are wide enough to do something meaningful to the streetscape, so it became an important area of focus.

The design itself is reflective of the ravines that cut through St. Clair. It is a combination of solid stone, plants and the abstracted levels and cuts that break the landscape here. We went through several iterations, but the ravine just felt right and fit so well with the building while also adding some softness and nature to the corner.

What are your thoughts on public space and its importance here in the City of Toronto?

Public space is something that Toronto really hasn’t got right yet, but we are getting there. A combination of narrow sidewalks, above-ground tree planters and a strange obsession with planting things right under power cables has meant that most of our sidewalks do little other than move pedestrians. Though there are some great examples, we still lack places to sit and watch the world go by or places to sit and wait for friends. I would like to see new developments start to add more pocket parks and public furniture. I’d also like to eventually see more generous sidewalks throughout the city; this is something we should all focus on over the next few decades as we reduce our reliance on cars.

Any other thoughts on design and public space as it pertains to Yonge + St. Clair specifically?

This year will see a lot of public space upgrades at St. Clair. The Ravine Bench is the first to be completed, but we are also replacing the sidewalk around the St. Clair Centre, and doing similar work at a couple of other locations as well. Last year we worked with Slate to develop an overall vision for the neighbourhood that allowed you to see green space from every vantage point in the area. With this in mind we currently have a new pedestrian laneway under construction between St. Clair and Delisle Park, between 30 and 40 St. Clair W. We also have another bench under construction at 21 St. Clair E. which will provide a sheltered seating area near the TTC station. This one is an important pedestrian friendly move at a location where the streetcar tracks obliterate the sidewalk.

Any ideas of where you see the Yonge + St. Clair neighbourhood in 5 years?

This is a great question. What I’d like to see is a mix of upgrades to the existing infrastructure and great new developments, all of which will build a place that feels like a great walkable neighbourhood. We will know we’ve succeeded in this vision when you go to St. Clair at any time of day and the public spaces, stores and restaurants are all bubbling with life.

Thanks, Steven!

The new Ravine Bench by Gensler can be viewed outside of 2 St. Clair E

Toronto screen printing and design collective: The Baitshop

We sat down with members of the Toronto screen printing and design collective, The Baitshop. They’ll be screen printing custom t-shirts live on site at our latest Yonge + St. Clair Store pop-up shop starting on September 21.

What is The Baitshop?

The Baitshop is a lifestyle brand and screen printing company with tentacles in design and experiential events.

How did it all start?

We began screen printing for brands in a former worm farm warehouse space in Parkdale in 2007. This space inspired our name “The Baitshop.” Slowly and organically, we became known for not only our screen printing but also our events for the skateboarding community. As demand continued to grow around the production business, we outgrew our space in Parkdale and relocated to the Stockyards in west Toronto.

What makes your approach unique?

We are a collective of like minded people who come together to offer something traditional and tactile in the digital age, but with a modern perspective. Our live-printing experience has now evolved to encompass live music, art, and screen printing. We have been live-printing since 2007, and have become quite comfortable with the process. Most people have never seen how a t-shirt is printed, so they’re quite captivated. We’ve become completely interactive and able to involve the customers in the process by allowing them to print their own garment or poster. We’ve also introduced music to our print process, where we print alongside a band or DJ to make some pretty original artworks.

What interested you about the Yonge + St. Clair Store idea?

Live Bait is a fun activation. It’s great to get out there and share the experience with any community. Working with new communities and people is really what we’re about. The opportunity to work with Lucas, Blackjet, and the Yonge + St. Clair Store is something we couldn’t pass up!

Of the designs that Lucas created for this project, do you have a favourite?

I’d have to say the “Racoon on the Bike.” Simple and comical. The “Commuter Squad” lock-up design is great too. Would be between those two.

The Yonge + St. Clair Store is open 11am to 8pm Thursdays and Fridays and 12 noon to 6pm Saturdays, from September 21 to 30 at 1470 Yonge St.

Learn more about The Baitshop here:

A Conversation with Yonge + St. Clair Store Designer Lucas Young

In anticipation of the September 21 launch of the Yonge + St. Clair Store we sat down with Toronto artist Lucas Young, who designed the neighbourhood-centric merch for the project. Here’s our conversation.

Yonge + St. Clair: A lot of your work blends typography and illustration. How did this aesthetic develop?

Lucas Young: I went to design school at York University and Sheridan College. That’s where I started to establish my aesthetic. I focus a lot on typography and I’ve always had a big interest in art. Illustration is something I’ve pursued on my own, I didn’t formally go to school for it, but it’s been an extension of my design and typography work. I focus a lot on illustrative typography and my style developed out of that. I’ve always had a strong black and white aesthetic, which is why a lot of my designs are heavy mono-lined stuff. There is a fusion of typography and illustration in my style, which has kind of become my signature thing.

Does your interest in typography date back to design school?

I’ve always been fascinated by it. I was really into graffiti in my teen years. Through design school I was able to turn that into a more tangible practice. Coincidentally, that was around the time hand lettering emerged in the market. A lot of companies were looking for expressive type work, something that feels more catered than the everyday message.

When you began working on the Yonge + St. Clair project, what was the process? Where did you start?

A lot of it starts from just getting a sense of what the project will be, just visiting the area itself. I spent time standing at the intersection of Yonge + St. Clair, doing a little bit of people watching and a little bit of exploration to get a feel for the neighborhood. I used to live at St. Clair and Avenue for a period of time, so I have a bit of familiarity with the area. From there you kind of take cues and think about how you can turn your ideas into artwork. I looked at transit, architecture, food – just the lifestyle of the area – things like yoga, the gym. You take all these elements and interpret them in different ways, whether
through illustration or type or both. And then at the end of it all you try to think about what people will actually wear.

How does the current neighbourhood compare to the Yonge + St. Clair you lived at?

It’s definitely on the come up. It seems like a younger work force is coming in, sort of like a new business area. There seems to be a lot more young professionals. I don’t want to offend anyone, but Yonge + St. Clair is not the old, blue suit and tie crowd anymore. They might be wearing a suit and tie, but they’re riding a bike, or skateboarding to work. You’re seeing a younger crowd and more culture emerging in the area, with more bars and restaurants. It seems to be generating a younger lifestyle in the area, which is

Did that influence your designs? Were you interpreting that youthful energy?

For sure. I think the new Yonge + St. Clair brand, with the bright colours, is really infusing a sense of youthfulness into the area. At the same time, I wanted to introduce some nostalgia in some of the designs for the residents that have been in the area for a while. Youthfulness isn’t always tied to age. It’s about an energy that is present in the neighbourhood.

Regarding this project specifically, what does success look like?

Validation would come through neighbourhood residents connecting with the designs. We’re really trying to speak to Yonge + St. Clair and the local residents are the ones who are going to gauge how authentic our interpretation is. I think it would be really interesting to see people from the area adopting these designs and supporting them. It would be really exciting and gratifying on my part.

Thanks, Lucas!

The Yonge + St. Clair Store is open 11am to 8pm Thursdays and Fridays and 12 noon to 6pm Saturdays, September 21 to 30 at 1470 Yonge St.

Learn more about Lucas here:

Call to Artists here at Yonge + St. Clair


Zebra Public Art Mgmt. is pleased to invite Ontario artists to submit works of art, for a juried themed group exhibition.

The exhibit will take place in a very busy, publicly accessible lobby area of a business tower in the heart of midtown Toronto, and will run between October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017.

The space encounters hundreds of occupants and visitors on a daily basis, this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for great exposure and all artworks will be offered for sale.

There is no application fee to submit.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm


“You have to take the Stairs” is the theme of this exhibition. The title is taken from the expression ‘There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs’.

The Exhibition area is physically located near the elevators of the tower. Building occupants vigorously use these elevators throughout the day, Monday to Friday. Many people use the elevators together as a means of travel through space, as part of the daily journey to the office, however their personal journeys always differ. Symbolically we can say that some have taken the stairs and climbed, others are still climbing, while some will continue to take the elevator indefinitely.

Artists are requested to respond to the theme and submit their own interpretation.
For example, works can relate to subjects such as perseverance, failures, movement, travelling, energy. etc.

• Works can be literal or abstract, representational or implicit.
• We encourage and invite artists from all career levels and welcome proposals by individual artists and groups.
• This call accepts all mediums. 3D works are welcomed as long as it can be secured to a wall.
• All 2D artworks should be framed and ready to hang/install.

We encourage all sizes, from miniatures up to 3 feet wide (no limit on height).

A maximum of three (3) works may be submitted by each artist.

• Artist CV (2 pages maximum, PDF format).
• Artist short Bio
• Images of the piece (up to three (3) pieces, separate images- JPEG files- not to exceed 5MB in total)
*In a separate PDF, or on image itself- provide information to support the image: title, date completed, medium, size, and valued price
• Artist Statement – short text on how does the submitted art relate to exhibition’s theme

Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 4:00pm.
Digital Entries Only. Please submit your application to

Chosen artists and their respective chosen artworks need to be available the week of September 25, 2017 to meet with consultants at Zebra Public Art Mgmt.

Fay Ringel & Alex Correia
Zebra Public Art Mgmt.
Like their Facebook page HERE

ZEBRA PUBLIC ART MGMT believes that public art plays a key role in shaping and defining places within our cities, our communities. Art has the power to make any place more memorable, attractive, and to connect us.
We engage processes that bring the worlds of creativity and commerce to enhance the experience of place through art.


The Yonge + St. Clair Store


For two weeks (starting September 21) we’ll be selling custom, on the
spot screen-printed t-shirts featuring original Yonge + St. Clair-centric
artwork by Toronto artist Lucas Young in which 25% of all proceeds
will be donated to The Canadian Cancer Society. In the coming days
we’ll be revealing the shirt designs and details about the September 21
launch party on our social channels, so stay tuned.

Shopping is better at Yonge + St. Clair.

Open 11am to 8pm Thursdays and Fridays
and 12 noon to 6pm Saturdays, September 21 to 30
at 1470 Yonge Street.