SmartCentres’ ArtWalk breaks ground in growing SmartVMC community

Source: UrbanToronto

SmartLiving held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, September 29 for ArtWalk Condos, marking a pivotal moment for the SmartVMC community in the Greater Toronto Area’s Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC). This event celebrated the start of a new residential project while highlighting the ongoing development of a dynamic, connected community within SmartVMC.

ArtWalk Condos, the 2.2-acre project planned and developed by SmartCentres REIT‘s residential arm, SmartLiving, is a key development in the expanding SmartVMC community. The development will comprise four distinct buildings, ranging from 4 to 40 storeys, with a total of 569 units, designed by the acclaimed Hariri Pontarini Architects. Each building is crafted to offer an engaging ground-floor experience with a shared courtyard designed to foster activity and interaction among residents.

Situated at 101 Edgeley Boulevard, ArtWalk Condos will be adjacent to the VMC subway entrance. With direct access to TTC Line 1, residents will enjoy seamless connectivity to various city locales.

With Union Station approximately 40 minutes away via the subway, ArtWalk Condos offers integration into Downtown Toronto’s transit network. Additionally, the nearby VIVA Station on Hwy 7 provides RapidBus connections to Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, and Brampton, while the development’s proximity to the SmartVMC Bus Terminal further enhances its connectivity across Vaughan.

The development is a significant phase in the SmartVMC, a 100-acre master-planned city centre by SmartCentres in the VMC. ArtWalk Condos represents the 9th and 10th high-rise buildings to be constructed on the expansive site, with six residential buildings and two commercial buildings now completed.

The site is within walking distance of major employers, including KPMG and PwC, as well as community offerings, such as the YMCA, a Vaughan public library branch, and daycare facilities.

The development will also be adjacent to a 9-acre central park by CCxA — well known for local projects such as Love Park — providing residents with expansive green spaces featuring a dog park, trails, and sunken lawn for community events. The first phase of the park, consisting of 2.74 acres, is anticipated to start construction in 2024.

With over 30,000ft² of retail space completed and available for lease, the area has attracted a variety of tenants, including coffee shops like Balzac’s Coffee and major banks such as TD, BMO, RBC, and Scotiabank.

SmartLiving, backed by over 30 years of development experience across Canada, is at the helm of ArtWalk Condos. The condos are designed with a focus on sustainability, while also incorporating health-focused features and secure touch-free access to minimize health risks. The entire 12-acre development will be serviced from a centralized District Energy Plant (DEP), allowing for lower utility fees for residents and enabling future upgrades down the road.

ArtWalk Condos will integrate a suite of smart building features designed to enhance the living experience for its residents. These include Wi-Fi connections in all common areas, and smart thermostats installed in each unit. Keyless door entry systems will offer secure and hassle-free access to units, and a dedicated building app will allow residents to book amenities and common areas effortlessly.

The development also promises a range of amenities designed to foster community interaction, from co-working spaces and outdoor terraces to children’s play areas and barbecue areas.

ArtWalk Condos has a targeted completion of Summer 2027. For more information, you can visit their official site.

SmartCentres’ mixed use art district in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

Source: World Architecture News

The first phase of ArtWalk includes three residential buildings within walking distance of transit, urban amenities and a 9 acre park, with Hariri Pontarini Architects behind the architecture and interiors

Plans for the next block of SmartCentres’ 100 acre, 20 million sq ft SmartVMC city centre have been revealed. The ArtWalk district will include a block of mixed use developments, by SmartLiving, SmartCentres’ residential development brand. 

Bordered by Portage Parkway to the north and Apple Mill Road to the south, ArtWalk will be developed in four phases, the first with 38 storey and 18 storey towers on top of a shared podium, alongside a six storey mixed use residence building with retail at grade. 

Hariri Pontarini Architects’ plan calls for a variety of heights, floorplates, and suite sizes to accommodate the residents anticipated for the community. The architecture utilises natural materials and colour palettes, creating variation between the buildings, while crafting a striking skyline.

The project’s amenity rich programming offers residents outdoor terraces with gardens, an outdoor movie area, intimate lounge seating with firepits, as well as outdoor dining space with BBQs. An indoor outdoor childrens’ play area will be offered, as well as a 2,500 sq ft co-working space facing the courtyard.

The double height co-working space features neutral tones and a community café. A spiral staircase leads to a reading lounge with a range of spaces that can be used for quiet time or chatting up with friends.

A shared courtyard is framed by common areas and amenities to encourage activity along the ground floor and build a sense of community. All residents will have access to the amenities in the development, offered across the three buildings.

Designed as a future ready building, WiFi will be offered in all common areas, amenities can be booked via a mobile app and suites will include smart thermostats and keyless entry. 

ArtWalk is located across the street from TTC subway access, the SmartVMC Bus Terminal, and provides access to Highways 400 and 7 within minutes.

ArtWalk’s Three Towers Will Overlook a Nine-acre Central Park and Aim to Give Toronto’s Core a Run for its Money

Source: National Post

It wouldn’t be surprising to find the artist birdO’s massive outdoor mural of a kingfisher, with its technicolor plumage and bright red beak, in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, where big, trippy murals trail more than 50 blocks. Or even in downtown Toronto.

But this is Vaughan.

“We wanted to bring people together in a COVID-free way,” says Mandy Mail, vice-president of marketing for SmartCentres, who explains the art initiative – along with food trucks and free drive-in movies – was to set the stage for a new mixed-use development called ArtWalk.

The project is part of the 100-acre master-planned community within the 400-acre Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, or SmartVMC, a development that comes with a subway on its doorstep, at Jane and Highway 7.

Developed by SmartLiving, the residential branch of SmartCentres — the retail giant responsible for Walmart-anchored plazas in Canada — the ArtWalk district shares its name with the condominium planned for its core.

In addition to murals, street food and movies, extensive public art is planned for the new community. The PXL Gallery, for instance, launched this past summer. “It’s like a giant Lite-Brite,” says Mail of the 10,000-square-foot outdoor installation. “Because it’s low-resolution, it has beautiful movement. It feels fuzzy, like a memory.”

She adds, “Out of all 100 acres, for me [ArtWalk] is the prime real estate within SmartVMC. It is kitty corner to a nine-acre central park and steps from a new library and a YMCA.”

A mix of materials and palettes are being used to impart variation among the buildings.A mix of materials and palettes are being used to impart variation among the buildings. PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY SMARTCENTRES

Bordered by Portage Parkway to the north and Apple Mill Road to the south, ArtWalk is unrolling in four phases. Phase 1 is three mixed-use towers: thirty-eight storeys and 18 storeys that are linked by a podium, alongside a separate six-storey “jewel-box residence” with retail at grade. Suites in the tallest tower range from 500 to 900 square feet. Pricing is not available yet; occupancy is set for January 2026.

Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the buildings will offer a range of floorplates and suite sizes. A European-inspired shared central courtyard will have retail at grade and an urban vibe. A range of natural materials and colour palettes are meant to create variation among the buildings.

Multiple outdoor terraces with gardens, an outdoor movie area, lounge seating with firepits, as well as an outdoor dining space with barbecues are in the plans.

There will also be an indoor/outdoor children’s play area and a 2,500-square-foot co-working space with a sculptural spiral staircase that faces the central courtyard.

Wi-Fi will be available in all common areas and amenities can be booked via mobile app. Suites will include smart thermostats and keyless entry.

SmartVMC has 20 million square feet of planned development; 3.5 million of that is built or under construction,” says Mail.

The monumental venture started with the launch in 2017 of Transit City, the five towers to the east of ArtWalk. “The demand was unprecedented,” says Mail. “There were 2,500 real estate agents lined up around the corner.”

Originally, it was only going to be one 36-storey tower, says Mail. But interest was strong and the design was adjusted to make it 55 storeys. Pretty soon, a second tower was added, followed by a third, fourth and fifth.

Mail believes COVID concerns have spurred the trend of Canadians relocating from downtown.

SmartVMC gives them the benefit of life north of the city, but they don’t lose the energy and vibrancy of being in the city centre,” says Mail, who notes a Buca restaurant will be opening in the base of Transit City’s Tower 1, with a goal to bring in additional culinary offerings in the future.

Amenities include a 2,500-square-foot co-working space with a sculptural spiral staircase that faces the central courtyard.Amenities include a 2,500-square-foot co-working space with a sculptural spiral staircase that faces the central courtyard. PHOTO BY PHOTO COURTESY SMARTCENTRES

But one of the community’s biggest draws, Mail adds, is transit connectivity.

“As I’m looking out my window, I’m two steps away from the subway station. You have the TTC on site, you have the regional bus terminal. You’re five minutes to York University, and 40 minutes to downtown Toronto.”

The construction of the subway was a game-changer in VMC’s story. In the 1990s, SmartCentres focused on finding key locations to introduce Walmart to Canadians.

“We would typically buy 25 to 30 acres of land,” says Mail. “But the seller of [the VMC parcel] at the time refused to split it.” Serendipitously, they ended up with 100 acres.

Then SmartCentres’ founder Mitchell Goldhar got “the call every developer dreams of,” says Mail. The TTC asked if they could extend the subway line so that it terminated at the property.

“Nobody is going to say no to that,” says Mail. “A subway is typically built in a densely populated area to relieve traffic,” but the City recognized that the vacant land had potential.

Cities like London or Paris revolve around open space, Mail notes. “You think of the square: the piazzas in Italy, the big parks in London. Instead of maximizing density and financial gain, the first thing we planned is a nine-acre park.”

The green space runs one block across the property. “It’s the true heart of the community,” says Mail. “We think of open space as the music and the architecture as the lyrics. The building is built around the open space to complement it versus building being the prime focus.”

Suites in ArtWalk’s 38-storey tower range in size from 500 to 900 square feet. Pricing is not available yet. For more information, visit

SmartCentres Unveils ArtWalk Condos at SmartVMC in Vaughan

Source: UrbanToronto

It doesn’t seem all that long since the centre of Vaughan was just big box stores amid acres of parking… but then the subway arrived with the opening of Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station, and the area has been on a tear ever since. SmartCentres REIT, who own 100 acres adjacent to the station, took the opportunity of the new direct accessibility to Downtown Toronto to make best use of the land through a master plan they developed, gradually bringing a new 20M ft² City Centre to Vaughan surrounding a 9-acre central park.

Transit City, Smart VMC Bus Terminal, PwC Building, Library, VaughanLooking through the proposed Central Park at SmartVMC, designed by Claude Cormier + Associes for SmartCentres REIT

The plan, developed with Diamond Schmitt Architects and Claude Cormier + Associés, has quickly brought quite a bit of new development to the area that’s just a minute’s drive from Highways 400 and 7. “With five sold out world-class residential towers, and two leased out award-winning office towers, SmartVMC is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada,” Mitchell Goldhar, Executive Chairman and CEO of SmartCentres REIT told us. “This emerging city centre has unparalleled transit connectivity, including a TTC Subway Station and York Regional Bus Terminal on site.”

Transit City, Smart VMC Bus Terminal, PwC Building, Library, VaughanThe first three Transit City towers behind the Smart VMC Bus Terminal, and PwC Building with Library to the left, image by Edward Skira

While current construction immediately to the east is adding more residential buildings, the next parcel of land to be developed has now been revealed; just to the west of Transit City will be the mixed-use ArtWalk District. Launched this past summer with a series of “accessible, experiential art and culture activations,” the ArtWalk District was kicked off with 30,000 ft² of murals painted by acclaimed local and international artists including Ricardo Cavolo, birdO, Ben Johnston, and Jeremy Shantz. Currently, the murals provide a colourful backdrop for ArtWalk’s food truck market, and for a series of free drive-in movies that run every Thursday and Saturday evening.

Mural by renowned Barcelona-based artist Ricardo Cavolo at ArtWalk, Vaughan, image courtesy of SmartCentresMural by renowned Barcelona-based artist Ricardo Cavolo at ArtWalk, image courtesy of SmartCentres

New developments will transform the art district with a four-phase block of new, mixed-use developments from SmartLiving, SmartCentres’ wholly owned in-house residential development brand. The first of these is ArtWalk Condos Phase 1. Goldhar continued “ArtWalk Condos represent our next phase of new residential buildings within SmartVMC; a pedestrian and public art-oriented neighbourhood within a vibrant new city centre. ArtWalk Condos is located at the nexus of a brand-new YMCA and public library, a series of striking public art installations, and a spectacular 9-acre central park that will serve as the heartbeat of the whole community.”

ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, Vaughan, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REITLooking southwest to ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REIT

Designed by renowned Hariri Pontarini Architects, the first phase of ArtWalk is just to the west of the library, an arrangement of four buildings that will rise around an integrated courtyard. HPA is leading both the architecture and interiors for this phase, bringing varying building and suite sizes to accommodate a diverse range of people and lifestyles. The design is detailed and welcoming, featuring natural materials and colour palettes, “purposefully creating variation between all the buildings while crafting a striking skyline.”

ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, Vaughan, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REITLooking southwest to ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REIT

The tallest of the four buildings is a 38-storey residential tower at the east end of the courtyard and fronting Buttermill Avenue. It will be joined by a 3-storey podium to an 18-storey residential building on the north side of the courtyard. To the south will be a 6-storey residential building, low enough to allow sunlight to flood the courtyard. At the southeast corner of the site, at the corner of Apple Mill and Buttermill will be a 4-storey mixed-use building. The base of the 6-storey building will feature a co-working space and café which spills into and animates the courtyard. Coverage of the site is 4.63 times, with a total gross floor area of 51,124m², in a mix of 50,281m² of residential space and 590m² of retail. The three buildings count a total of 627 residential units. A single-level underground garage provides 220 parking spaces to serve residents, employees, and visitors, while parking for 383 bicycles is also included.

ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, Vaughan, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REITCourtyard at ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REIT

Residents of all three buildings will enjoy access to a full roster of amenities in the development, arranged around the courtyard to foster activity and interactions between residents, creating an urban neighbourhood feeling and build a sense of community. Amenities will include multiple lushly landscaped terraces with gardens that variously boast an outdoor dining space with barbecues, intimate lounge seating with firepits, and even an outdoor movie area. Families will benefit from an indoor/outdoor children’s play area, while those working from home will have use of an expansive 2,500 ft² co-working centre facing the courtyard. The double-height co-working space is designed with neutral tones to provide a calming, focus-supporting environment, and a community café will be at hand. A spiral staircase, see below at the back, leads to a breakout area to chat with co-workers or friends.

ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, Vaughan, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REITCo-working space at ArtWalk Condos Phase 1 at Smart VMC, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for SmartCentres REIT

ArtWalk will be future-ready when delivered, with WiFi will be offered in all common areas, and an app available for all residents to book amenities, control smart thermostats in suites, provide keyless entry, and more. According to Goldhar, the same holistic approach to master planning SmartVMC has been applied to ArtWalk, including “the active integration of art and culture, the pedestrian focus, and the thoughtful consideration of connectivity with the surrounding amenities.”

A look at four zany and psychedelic new murals in Vaughan

Source: Toronto Life

ArtWalk is a new culture venue in the developing Vaughan Metropolitan Centre area. It’s part of a 100-acre master-planned hub, SmartVMC, and launched this summer by transforming a vacant warehouse with 30,000 square feet of art. The space is an attractive backdrop to ArtWalk’s daily food truck market and drive-in movie screenings, running every weekend through September. And the murals, by local and international artists, were painted over a three-week period in June using 1,000 cans of paint. Here’s a closer look at the art.

Here Comes the Sun

Ricardo Cavolo is a Madrid-based artist known for eccentric and comic-inspired creations. His mural takes over the southern façade of the warehouse, and he directed the painting from Spain. “The worst part of this process was not being there, but the best part has been realizing this kind of magic is possible even when I’m in a different country,” says Cavolo. The bold colours and sunny, vibrant illustrations are meant to symbolize the power of sharing your inner light with the world to get through turbulent times.

Better Together

Toronto artist Ben Johnston—who has painted murals in Serbia, India, Colombia and across North America—stamped his characteristic typography onto the northern façade of the building, using bold pinks and reds. “The colours are associated with joy, warmth, sunshine, enthusiasm and optimism,” says Johnston. “Now more than ever, we need to work together to create a better future.”

Birds of a Feather

Multidisciplinary artist Jerry Rugg, known in street-art circles as BirdO, added his signature blend of animals and geometric shapes to the western façade of the warehouse. For this project, Rugg wanted to include a long-beaked kingfisher, which would fit his horizontal canvas perfectly. “My style is a merging of my interests: graffiti that pops up in unexpected places, surrealism that’s conceptually strange and graphic design that assembles the parts in a harmonious way,” says Rugg.

An Exploration of Our Timespace

The central figure in Montreal-based Jeremy Shantz’s abstract piece on the eastern façade is a disembodied character floating in a liminal space. Shantz created the drawing and worked with local artists to complete the project, in order to illustrate the different elements it takes to build a community. “Mural art is a fantastic platform for collaboration,” he says. “The talented artists interpreted the drawing through their hands, creating the most beautiful work of art.”

Have an artistic flair? Then you should check out the Toronto events on this week

Source: The Hamilton Spectator

Ready to get out and be creative? If so, you’re in the right place as Toronto is the only city in the country designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts. With the arts on our minds, here’s a roundup of the happenings around town

Immersive Van Gogh exhibition

It starts right on our home turf, with the ImmIt starts right on our home turf, with the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition inside the Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge St. Continuing the trend of immersive digital art experiences, the exhibit delivers one of the greatest artists of all time through art, light, sound, movement and imagination. Opens July 29. To buy tickets, visit

imagineNATIVE at the DriveInTO

Enjoy a free outdoor film at Ontario Place on July 27 at 9:30 p.m. As part of DriveInTO, imagineNATIVE will screen Falls Around Her, a dramatic feature that follows a world-famous Anishinaabe musician Tantoo Cardinal returning home. The film was the opening gala film at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where it won the Air Canada Audience Choice Award.

ROM reopens

The ROM is now welcoming back visitors, with safety measures like timed-ticketing and wider spacing for physical distancing in place. Current featured exhibitions include The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons, and Great Whales: Up Close and Personal. To get tickets, visit

ArtWalk at SmartVMC

It’s a summer-long art celebration in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. ArtWalk features massive art murals, free drive-in movies and a food truck market. For more information, visit

Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

Your mission awaits at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Running from July 29 until September inside Yorkdale Mall, the experience boasts 25,000 sq. ft. of fun for all ages. ​​Interact with sets, props and costumes, uncover Avenger backstories and test your worthiness lifting Thor’s Hammer. Visit for ticket information.

Walking tours at Toronto History Museums

Select City of Toronto Museums are now offering exterior walking tours through HistoricTO. Join Alan Colley from Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours every Sunday from now until the end of August at Todmorden Mills, where you can learn, in a meaningful way, Indigenous cultural teachings. Visit Toronto History Museums to plan your visit.

From food trucks to drive-in movies, ArtWalk district opens in Vaughan’s emerging downtown core


ArtWalk features 30,000 square feet of vibrant “Instagrammable” artwork

What’s the value of a downtown area if there is no art, street food or entertainment?

This is exactly why Vaughan’s emerging downtown core saw its first-ever art district, also known as ArtWalk, recently open up with a “collection of experiential activations,” according to a press release by SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust.

SmartCentres is behind the 100-acre master-planned city centre in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

The ArtWalk has 30,000 square feet of vibrant “Instagramable” artwork, painted by four acclaimed international and local artists.

“The murals are the backdrop for ArtWalk’s daily Street Eats food truck market, and a free series of drive-in movies, running every Thursday and Saturday through September,” the release added.


Starting July 10, SmartCentres launched a bi-weekly series of free drive-in movies to compliment the ArtWalk murals. The outdoor theatre runs every Thursday and Saturday evening through September, screening a variety of cult classic and family-favourite movies in a safe and fun environment.


Rounding out ArtWalk’s summer activations, SmartCentres has engaged Street Eats to set up a food truck market on site. From authentic Latin tacos to BeaverTails to Toronto’s “OG” mac ’n’ cheese truck, the market has something for every palate, with more vendors that have yet to be announced.

ArtWalk Street Eats is open daily at 101 Edgeley Blvd. in SmartVMC, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The hours extend to 10 p.m. on drive-in movie nights.

For more information on the ArtWalk activations, including movie listings, showtimes and registration, please visit

A massive mural, drive-in movie and food truck festival just landed in the GTA

Source: Curiocity

artwalk vaughnPhoto via LNDMRK - It’s going to one heck of a time!

Hey Toronto! Feeling excited about all the amazing new things you have to check out now that things are reopening? Well, get this, a new summer-long event with massive art murals, free drive-in movies, and a food truck market is happening right now in Vaughan. Sounds cool right? Let’s check it out.

This event is part of ArtWalk, SmartCentres’ new art district within SmartVMC. One of the first things you’ll notice about the event is the massive murals. There are 4, each by a different artist, on the outside of an abandoned warehouse. The murals were painted over just 3 weeks in June and you’ll see Instagrammable works by both emerging and acclaimed artists.

When it comes to movies, you’ll be able to check them out Thursday to Saturday evening now through September. You can watch a variety of films including cult classics and family-favourite movies. While you’re at it, you definitely have to check out all of the tasty food trucks. You can find items ranging from tacos to BeaverTails, to mac n’ cheese. And the market hours are extended on movie nights to ensure you have the tastiest movie-watching experience.

This is yet another fun thing and COVID-19 safe thing to check out as we all get back into the swing of things. Go solo, with a friend or two, or turn it into date night. If you’d like to learn more you can click below. Have fun out there folks!


When: Until September 30th
Where: 101 Edgeley Blvd
Cost: Free/Varies

Free drive-in movies, food trucks, huge murals now at former GTA Walmart

Source: Daily Hive

A former GTA Walmart that’s now covered in 30,000 sq ft of murals is serving up fun this summer.

Real estate investment company SmartCentres has taken over the space, located at 101 Edgeley Boulevard in Vaughan, and transformed it into their newest project called ArtWalk. The outside of the now out-of-use warehouse is coated in colourful murals from four artists who each designed and painted one side of the building.

gta walmart muralsLNDMRK

But art isn’t the only entertainment planned. On July 10, SmartCentres launched a bi-weekly series of free drive-in movies in the parking lot. They’ll take place every Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer, screening a variety of cult classics and family-favourite movies, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Shrek.

Street Eats

And of course, what’s a movie without great snacks? As part of the experience, there will also be a food truck market happening onsite. The food trucks, which will have everything from tacos to Canadian classics like Beaver Tails, will be there every day from 12 to 8 pm, and until 10 pm on movie nights.

Street Eats

“Art and culture are synonymous with great communities. They contribute emotionally to an area’s identity, bonding people to spaces and to each other,” said Mitchell Goldhar, executive chairman of SmartCentres. “ArtWalk murals, free movies and food trucks are all accessible, immersive and engaging outdoor events.”

ArtWalk is part of SmartArtWalk is part of SmartCentres’ SmartVMC project, which is creating a new city centre at Highways 400 and 7 in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Five sold-out condo buildings, two fully-occupied office towers, a nine-acre park, TTC subway station and bus terminal are all part of the new expansive development.