In January 2020, Toronto City Council “endorsed the replacement of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts with a new reimagined centre that is a state-of-the-art cultural and civic hub for the city’s creative communities and the community at large.”

For more information about the City Council decision, please refer to the staff report.

TO Live and CreateTO were directed to engage in a public consultation process to reimagine the STLC and report back to City Council with a building program, business model, and funding strategy to support an inclusive and visionary civic solution.



On March 26th, TO Live hosted a public Town Hall to share more details around the future of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The design team of Hariri Pontarini Architects and LMN Architects with Smoke Architecture and Tawaw Architecture Collective presented the inspired design concepts for STLC to become a multi-faceted performing arts destination. Members of the community engaged in a lively discussion and Q&A period following the presentation. 



KerrSmith is an independent third-party facilitator, that assisted in developing and executing community engagement. Feedback received through this process supported the creation of a vision, design principles, and design brief that informed the building program.

The consultation process included an extensive series of meetings and engagement sessions with local arts, community, and neighbourhood groups. The consultation was specifically designed to prioritize an equity lens to place-making, access to equity-seeking groups, and the use of state-of-the-art technology to support the next generation of creative talent in Toronto.

Stakeholder Working Group
A Stakeholder Working Group (SWG)
was also created to represent a wide variety of audiences including those from the arts disciplines (music, dance, theatre, visual arts), Black communities, Indigenous peoples, people of colour, and neighbourhood and community groups. As an advisory group, the SWG used a consensus-based approach, with members looking for general agreement before giving guidance and advice to the Project Team. The consensus-based approach let participants openly discuss ideas, perspectives, and viewpoints, and develop common ground to help make sure most of the group was in agreement.

June 2021 Background Research Report

July 2021 Survey Findings

September 2021 Building Program Report




The members of the SWG are listed below.

Mehrdad Ariannejad
Sarah Bay-Cheng
Bear Bergman
Wayne Hawes
Tanya Hayles
Brendan Healy
Barry Hughson
Sadie Marshall
Sharon McMillan
Dwayne Morgan
David Norsworthy
David Pell
Onika Powell
Aislinn Rose
Jennifer Taylor
Diana Weir
Russell Winkelaar
Mouhanad Youssef

The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood Association

“The St. Lawrence neighbourhood is a vibrant and thriving neighbourhood. We look forward to what is next for the St. Lawrence Centre Centre for the Arts for increasing programming for the city as a whole. Locally speaking, these venues are an anchor for the public realm and stitch together Berczy Park and the St. Lawrence Market. This is an important gateway for our community.”

Suzanne Kavanagh, Member
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association

The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA

“The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood has been blessed to have two of the city’s premier theatres within our catchment area…Their presence has a large influence on all aspects of our area and BIA: tourism, restaurants, retail, residents, new developments and commercial properties to name a few…We need them, and we need them operating at capacity. They are an integral part of recovery that will respond to the task by getting artists and arts companies back to work and reconnecting with their audiences.”

Al Smith, Executive Director
St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood BIA



The Original 6 Nations Peace Treaty

Quentin “Que Rock” Commanda
Artist Statement

The Original 6 Nations Peace Treaty:
A Visual Healing Art Experience

Visual land acknowledgement (June 2021)
Spray paint on vinyl

This mural is meant to be a visual healing experience. The seven rings around Grandfather Sun represent the seven Grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe people: Wisdom, Love, Humility, Respect, Honesty, Courage, and Truth. There are many layers of sacred geometry patterns on the mural.

The skyline includes the medicine-wheel teachings, Grandmother Moon and the 13 grandmother clan systems. The turtle shell represents North America’s creation story, the 13 full moons per year, and the seven grandfather teachings.

The entire mural also represents the original Peace Treaty of the Six Nations on Turtle Island (North America). The story of the Six Nations Treaty starts with the original five Nations of Turtle Island: the Plant Nation, the Insect Nation, the Bird Nation, the Fish Nation, and the Animal Nation. All five Nations had to agree to let the Human Nation live here on Mother Earth. All five Nations agreed to be humanity’s teachers and the Human Nation was invited to share the land.

The Human Nation was given instructions on how to live on Mother Earth, walk gentle on Mother Earth, learn one new thing every day, and share with one another. These are some of the original instructions given to the Anishinaabe people. The bear represents a Medicine Clan. The Mukwa (bear) is a healer, it is the only animal who communicates with all Six Nations.

The bottom panel represents my story from the past, present, and future. The first character with the microphone is the future and present me. The second character represents my past as a native child with my dog Miangun and the path of healing I have taken to decolonize myself back to the Anishinaabe child I was born to be.

My mother is a residential school survivor and so was my father. I am no different than the 215 children found in Kamloops, B.C. I survived to tell you this story and share my experiences. My community is still here and so am I.

The Artist is from Nbiising or Nipissing First Nation, his traditional name is Manitou Nemeen (Spirit Dancing) and he is from the Miangun Dodem (Wolf Clan).

The orange background on the mural represents the missing/murdered Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.


TO Live is a non-profit charitable arts organization and an agency of the City of Toronto. Our venues include Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre), St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts). TO Live is at the heart of creative Toronto, presenting an unmatched breadth of entertainment, spaces for artistic expression, and a commitment to Toronto’s diverse community.


TO Live

TO Live. All Rights Reserved. © 2024.