When it comes to the business of real estate marketing Rene DeSantis, President of Montana Steele Strategic Marketing is considered one of the best. But long before Montana Steele designed its first piece of award-winning creative for a client, Rene was already looking for new and innovative ways to promote the City of Toronto.

In 1974 Rene, then a 21-year old graphic design student at George Brown, beat out almost 700 submissions to win a citywide competition to design the Toronto flag. When the city amalgamated in 1999, Rene’s design once again stood up to the competition. Doug Holyday, former mayor of Etobicoke, summed up the general sentiment saying, “in view of what we’ve seen, I don’t think there’s anything better.” 25 years after that initial competition, the adage that good design stands the test of time holds true. And today, almost half a century later, the vision Rene had for the city is still flying high.

The City of Toronto flag includes a stylized white ‘T’ made up of the two architecturally distinctive towers of Toronto City Hall against a blue background, accented with the red Canadian maple leaf. Clean, simple, and uniquely representative of our city, the flag demonstrates all the rules for creating a memorable brand, rules that Rene and the team at Montana Steele have applied with passion and rigour to more than 800 successful projects, creating iconic corporate and destination brands that have achieved both market success and industry accolades across North America.

Today, along with the expert team at Montana Steele, Rene continues to help shape the face and skyline of Toronto, a city he is so proud to call home.