News Release: Leslie Nymark community to collaborate with graffiti artist Jessey (Phade) Pacho this summer on large-scale community art project

TORONTO, May 21, 2021— Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), Tridel and STEPS Public Art have commissioned Toronto-based graffiti artist Jessey (Phade) Pacho to create a large-scale public art work this summer, to be designed collaboratively with Leslie Nymark residents.

TCHC, Tridel and STEPS put out a Call to Artists in March 2020, inviting Ontario artists and artist collectives to submit qualifications for a juried review process for the TCHC Leslie Nymark revitalization community. The project will be designed this summer with community input, and the installation of the work is planned for fall 2021. 

The Leslie Nymark Public Art Project offers a unique opportunity for tenants of the revitalized Leslie Nymark community to work directly with a lead artist, and contribute to the content and design of a new public artwork in their community. The artist and community will be drawing on the past and shaping a vision for the future. Embedded within the public art process are numerous skill-building workshops and employment opportunities for tenants, to ensure the project will leave a lasting legacy in the community.

Leslie Nymark, near just north of Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue East, is in its last stages of revitalization, as TCHC partners with Tridel to create new homes and amenities for both existing and new tenants. The public art project offers returning residents new ways of engaging with their community.

With 20 years' experience in public art, Mr. Pacho has dedicated his life to building community, arts education, and mural making. Beginning in June 2021, community members have the opportunity to work alongside Mr. Pacho and his collaborators Moises Frank and Alex Poplevakis, sharing their stories that reflect the past, present and future of the neighbourhood.


"Toronto Community Housing is thrilled to partner with STEPS to celebrate important stories of the Villaways tenants and provide inspiration for both returning tenants and new community members."             

– TCHC Chief Development Officer Vincent Tong

"This exciting public art project is the perfect way to welcome back long-time residents of the Villaways, introduce new residents, and help them create a neighbourhood together."                         

– Councillor Shelley Carroll, Don Valley North

"An important element of city building and creating communities is providing room for artistic expression to reflect the character and heritage of the neighbourhood, and the residents that call it home. We are thrilled Jessey (Phade) Pacho is creating a dynamic and meaningful art piece that will be a timeless keepsake for the people who live in Leslie Nymark."  

– Dino Carmel, President, Tridel Group

"I grew up in Toronto Community Housing and what excites me about this project is the chance to create something truly meaningful with a deserving community, in an artform [graffiti] typically overlooked and stigmatized."

– Artist Jessey (Pache) Pacho

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About Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing ( is Canada's largest social housing landlord, providing homes for nearly 60,000 low and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city. We are wholly owned by the City of Toronto and our 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.

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This project is facilitated by STEPS, a Canadian-based public art organization that fosters inclusive and resilient communities through one-of-a-kind art initiatives and engagement strategies. Follow @stepspublicart and #STEPSPublicArt for project updates.

STEPS Media contact: Bebhinn Jennings, 416-366-6565 (ext.4);