Inspired Art Impact: A Toolkit For Mainstreet Cultural Tourism

Inspired Art Impact

Main Streets are areas that offer essential economic, social, and cultural functions and opportunities for communities. Recently, they have faced many challenges, including changing consumer behaviour, increasing social issues, and more, which COVID-19-related impacts have exacerbated. 

Through in-depth research, interviews, and analysis, STEPS and our partners and collaborators at Toronto Metropolitan University will identify ways to improve the main street vibrancy, aiming to provide metrics that demonstrate the value of public art to decision-makers. 

The study intends to develop and pilot a toolkit that STEPS, central street community groups, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), and city developers working to revive main streets and core spaces in cities can implement to evaluate and measure the impacts of public art projects.

If you require any project information provided to you in a different format or language, please contact us at

Artwork by: Oksana Hawrylak for Downtown Brockville BIA as part of I HeART Main Street
Photography by: Marc Beach Photography

Pilot Studies

Riverside BIA

Riverside BIA

Location: 721 Queen St. E, Toronto

Riverside BIA worked with artist Meghan Cheng to create You Were Here, a public art installation in Toronto’s East End neighbourhood. 

This installation includes hundreds of 3D-printed butterflies and interacts with community members by lighting up as passersby walk past the installation exhibited in a local business storefront.

You Were Here is also supported by I HeART Main Street and the CreateSpace Public Art Residency.

Eglinton Hill BIA

Location: Eglinton Ave W and Keele St, Toronto

Eglinton Hill BIA is working with artist Moises Frank to bring a new community mural in Toronto’s Eglinton Hill neighbourhood. Community surveys are being conducted to gather feedback about the mural concept and what public art means to residents and local business owners.


Upcoming Events

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Funders and Partners

This project is made possible through our partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University. We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the City of Toronto, MITACS, RBC Royal Bank, the Government of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. The City of Toronto’s Main Street Innovation Fund is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Inspired Art Impact funders including Toronto Metropolitan University, City of Toronto, Government of Canada, MITACS, RBC, Ontario Government, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts

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