The Official Flag of Toronto Designed by Rene DeSantis in 1974

THE OFFICIAL FLAG OF TORONTO

THE DESIGN

Designed by Rene DeSantis in 1974, the flag of Toronto showcases an abstract white linear graphic representing the towers of City Hall, placed on a predominant blue background. Also visible is a "T" for Toronto, as well as a red maple leaf at the base, representing the Council Chamber and incorporating Canada’s heritage and flag.

THE HISTORY

The City of Toronto Flag Design Committee selects Rene DeSantis’ Toronto flag design as the winner of the flag design competition.

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1974

The City of Toronto Flag Design Committee selects Rene DeSantis’ Toronto flag design as the winner of the flag design competition. On August 28, 1974 the City of Toronto Flag Design Committee launches a competition to select the new Toronto flag design. The Committee receives over 700 submissions from residents of all ages from Metropolitan Toronto. On November 6, 1974 the Committee unanimously selects the design of 21-year-old Rene DeSantis, a George Brown College graphic design student. The next day, the official flag raising ceremony is held in Nathan Philips Square, acknowledging DeSantis’ work.

1974

The CN Tower opens as the tallest building in the world.

1975

1975

The first Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place under the name "The Festival of Festivals".

George Brown College expands with the new St. James Campus offering programs in business, community services, deaf and deaf-blind studies, and more.

1976

1976

1976

Canada’s Wonderland opens, drawing families and thrill-seekers from around the world.

1981

1981

The Roy Thompson Hall opens, designed by Canadian architects Arthur Erickson, Mathers, and Haldenby.

1982

1982

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau visits George Brown College students at the Nassau Street Campus in Kensington Market.

1983

1983

The George Brown College Foundation is established to offer scholarships, bursaries, and larger initiatives for students.

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre opens and goes on to host many large-scale events ...

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1984

1984

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre opens and goes on to host many large-scale events such as the G20 summit, the G7 summit, the Canadian International Auto Show, Canadian Idol auditions, and So You Think You Can Dance Canada auditions.

1984

The SkyDome opens and is later renamed the Rogers Centre.

1989

1989

Julia Child visits George Brown College to sign cookbooks, taste local foods, and perform a cooking demonstration for culinary students.

1991

1991

The Toronto Blue Jays win Canada’s first World Series title. They would go on to win again in 1993.

1992

1992

Using the design skills he learned at George Brown College, DeSantis launches Montana Steele Strategic Marketing...

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1993

Using the design skills he learned at George Brown College, DeSantis launches Montana Steele Strategic Marketing, offering design and branding solutions for real estate companies across the Greater Toronto Area.

1993

East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto and York merge to form the new City of Toronto.

1998

1998

A second competition is launched to find a design for the newly amalgamated City of Toronto flag...

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1999

A second competition is launched to find a design for the newly amalgamated City of Toronto flag, and DeSantis’ design is selected as the winner again. The Committee doesn’t choose any of the 161 entries from the public. During the process of evaluating the city’s design proposals, DeSantis suggests his design remain, with a few minor adjustments the Committee was looking for. After months of debate over the new flag design, it is decided that the slightly modified design by DeSantis is the clear favourite.

1999

The Sheppard Subway Line opens, further connecting Toronto’s boroughs.

2002

2002

The Northeast Blackout occurs, leaving many Ontario residents without power.

2003

2003

The National Post holds a failed flag re-design contest and is mocked for offering a National Post coffee mug as the grand prize.

2006

2006

The G20 Toronto summit is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, sparking major protests downtown.

2010

2010

George Brown College President Anne Sado is appointed a Member of the Order of Canada ...

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2013

George Brown College President Anne Sado is appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and is recognized for her role in improving Ontario’s college education system and bringing a new vision to George Brown.

2013

Toronto hosts the Pan American Games and Parapan American Games...

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Toronto is nicknamed "The 6" (or "The 6ix") by Toronto-born musician Drake.

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2015

Toronto hosts the Pan American Games and Parapan American Games, drawing athletes and sports fans from across the continent.

2015

Toronto is nicknamed "The 6" (or "The 6ix") by Toronto-born musician Drake.
Photo from Wikipedia

2015

The Toronto Raptors undergo a rebrand, retiring their purple and red style in favour of a fresh, modern look.

2016

2016

Chanel opens their astounding Canadian flagship location ...

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Toronto hosts the Invictus Games, an international multi-sport event ...

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On a promotional tour in Toronto, American boxer Floyd Mayweather mistakenly states...

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Prime Miniter Justin Trudeau visits George Brown College’s Casa Loma Campus...

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2017

Chanel opens their astounding Canadian flagship location on Yorkville Avenue, with Toronto flags waving at the entrance.

2017

Toronto hosts the Invictus Games, an international multi-sport event created by Prince Harry for veterans and army personnel who are wounded, injured, or ill.

2017

On a promotional tour in Toronto, American boxer Floyd Mayweather mistakenly states, “I’m wearing that Toronto flag” while wearing a t-shirt with a red and white maple leaf design.

2017

Prime Miniter Justin Trudeau visits George Brown College’s Casa Loma Campus to greet students and staff, tour the facilities, and hold a press conference.

2017

In January 2018, the School of Design at George Brown College works with DeSantis on a design challenge...

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Canadian actor Seth Rogan becomes the new voice of TTC announcements.
Photo from Wikipedia.

2018

In January 2018, the School of Design at George Brown College works with DeSantis on a design challenge in their studio lab course to create a City of Toronto flag logo, website, exhibit, and related products.
The partnership continues to execute the ideas that came out of the course, offering students a chance to work on a real project that aims to elevate the visibility of the Toronto flag and the unique identity it brings to Toronto.

2018

2018

In October 2019, Rene meets with Toronto City Councillor Mike Colle (Ward 8) to discuss the history of the Toronto flag and its importance as a local symbol.

Rene DeSantis commemorates the 45th anniversary of the flag with a visit to the Mayor’s Office...

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Rene DeSantis visits City Hall and is acknowledged in Council Chambers...

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2019

2019

Rene DeSantis commemorates the 45th anniversary of the flag with a visit to the Mayor’s Office. He presents Mayor John Tory with an autographed print of an artistic interpretation of the Toronto flag to mark the occasion.

2019

Rene DeSantis visits City Hall and is acknowledged in Council Chambers. He meets with Speaker of Toronto City Council Frances Nunziata and presents each member of Council with an autographed print commemorating the Toronto Flag.

2019