News / Toronto

Huge mural by Phlegm going up on Toronto building this summer

U.K.-based street artist known as Phlegm to create massive mural on the west side of 1 St. Clair W.

Phlegm is known for painting public realm projects with “mythological creations” and “strange contraptions” in cities around the world, like this piece in London, England.

Instagram/@phlegm_art

Phlegm is known for painting public realm projects with “mythological creations” and “strange contraptions” in cities around the world, like this piece in London, England.

A 12-storey building at Yonge and St. Clair will soon be covered in Phlegm — thanks to a company that’s coughing up most of the dough to pay for it.

The Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space (STEPS) initiative is partnering with the U.K.-based street artist known as Phlegm for a massive mural on the west side of 1 St. Clair W.

It’s a “unique space” that’s just yearning for something special, said Alexis Kane-Speer, founding director of STEPS, a group that collaborates on large-scale community artwork in the city.

“It doesn’t have any windows, which makes it a great canvas,” Kane-Speer said about the building’s facade. “And it’s so visible because there are no buildings blocking sightlines to the west.”

The building is owned by Slate Asset Management, which was looking to make some public realm improvements in the area around Yonge and St. Clair where it owns property, said Kane-Speer. Toronto city staff recommended the company reach out to STEPS, and the partnership was born.

STEPS contacted Phlegm because he’s one of a small number of artists seen as being up to the task of beautifying the tall, blank wall, said Kane-Speer. It’s a challenging space because it’s directly attached to a shorter building, meaning the artists will rappel from the roof and use swing stages in order to paint it.

“His work is pretty iconic, it’s known for having fantastical themes where he has mythological creations and strange contraptions,” she said. “It leaves the viewer asking questions.”

The work is set to begin this summer and will be primarily funded by Slate Asset Management.

STEPS is soliciting feedback on what should be painted on the building at 1. St. Clair W. For more information, visit stepsinitiative.com/projects/stclair.