Central Station launches in Toronto

A group of agency veterans have created the new shop, merging MonkWilliams and Zebra Studios.


Clockwise from left: Joe Angellotti, Brad Monk, David Williams, Paul Perkins and John Boniface.

Independent agencies MonkWilliams and Zebra Studios have merged to create a new shop called Central Station, based in Toronto.

The new agency is being led by by five partners: Paul Perkins, Joe Angellotti and John Boniface from Zebra Studios, and Brad Monk and David Williams of MonkWilliams, which the pair opened in early 2014.  Boniface, who previously worked with both Monk and Williams while at FCB, will be the president of Central Station.

The shop currently has about 30 people in its Toronto office. Its current client roster includes Nike, Molson Coors, Nestle, Hudson’s Bay Company, Weetabix, Lindt and Humber Regional Hospital. There were no client conflicts when the two shops merged, Monk says.

“Not only were there no conflicts, there was actually familiarity of the senior people involved [with some clients],” he says, noting that some of the partners at the two agencies have had experience working together in the past and on the various brands now under the one shop.

“There was some culture and chemistry there to begin with,” Boniface says of the merger. MonkWilliams brings high-concept creative and strategic thinking to the new agency, while Zebra’s team brings design, digital, retail capabilities, he says.

Recent work from MonkWilliams includes a campaign for Molson Coors’ Mad Jack brand, while Zebra led the retail designs for the Nike Women’s 15K run in Toronto.

The name Central Station is a nod to the shop’s philosophy of “Arrive Together,” meaning that the client should be on board with the creative process from the get-go and understand the various directions that an idea can take, Boniface adds.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise where you end up,” he says. “It should be a destination that you’re both vested in.”