Call for artist and small business space!
Earlier this month I spoke with a number of artists, business owners and tenants currently located at 390-440 Dufferin St. The property owner will be redeveloping this site and I have been working with our City staff to provide assistance and resources to the effected tenants during this difficult transition period.
There are a number of artists, craftspeople, workshops and small businesses who are looking to rent new space to establish themselves and a new home for their businesses. If you or someone you know is interested or has space available, you can contact the tenants at [email protected] to see if the fit is right.
Have you heard? There's a new Mural at Dufferin TTC Station! Earlier this fall, our community came together for a mural unveiling celebration of Ward 18's newest mural, located at the Dufferin Station Russett Ave Exits.
Painted by artist Ted Hamer and local students from the Toronto School of Art, Sonja Clarke, Stephanie Steele, and Maryam Sadeghpour, this mural adds a colourful touch of new vibrancy to the station, adding to the wide range of fantastic murals and street art in the Bloordale neighbourhood.
The mural was created in partnership with my office and a first of its kind mentorship initiative between the Toronto School of Art, TTC, the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto Program and Bloordale BIA to beautify our TTC stations and combat graffiti. Thank you everyone who came together to help make our new mural a beautiful reality!
The first mural of our community's Create Your Path public art project is now complete! Created by renowned artists Bacon and Que Rockford's the artwork is inspired by Indigenous culture and Street Art language. I encourage you to check it out along the north side of the underpass near Dupont and Dundas.
The Create Your Path initiative is about transforming the West Toronto Railpath through new public art and the next set of murals will be painted in 2018 at the Wallace Station Lofts and the Canadian Red Cross Building, where crews have already primed the wall in anticipation!
We will be hosting more meetings in 2018 to discuss the next set of murals. I want to thank everyone who has been involved and shared their feedback on this project. I look forward to sharing more updates with you!
I am happy to share that the new Bloordale road mural is now completed on Emerson Ave (just north of Bloor). Designed by local artist Victor Fraser with the support of the Bloordale BIA and reflecting the diversity of Ward 18, this "carpet for the street" was completed during the Bloordale Cleanup on October 1st. Both community residents and Victor enjoyed this rare opportunity to get artsy in the street and mingle with neighbourhood residents. I invite you all to take a look at our community's beautiful new public art piece!
The new road mural is part of a pilot program launched by the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto Division to install new murals on low volume local streets and each mural is created in collaboration with local residents and artists. Thank you to everyone who came out and lent your hands and ideas to help paint it!
Earlier this month, I hosted a Ward18 Talks panel discussion focusing on the challenges in creating artist and cultural spaces in our city. Together with panelists including artists, cultural organizations, and the City's Community Planning and Economic Development and Culture Divisions, a wide variety of perspectives, challenges and ideas for solutions were shared.
In addition to the opportunities to share feedback at the event, I have also set up an online feedback survey at www.anabailao.com/artspaces_feedback in order to hear from community members who may not have joined us at the event. I encourage you to take a moment to review the survey and share it with your networks to help inform this important conversation.
In Ward 18 and in neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, these conversations need to continue and are important to making progress in our city. Thank you to everyone for continuing your interest, advocacy and involvement in Toronto's artistic and cultural landscape.
The City of Toronto's Market Gallery is showcasing the impact of immigration on Toronto from the 1700s until present in a new exhibit, Settling in Toronto: The Quest for Freedom, Opportunity and Identity, running from March 25 to July 15. The exhibit examines the experiences of new Canadians and illuminates how Toronto has grown and changed over time.
The exhibit will use videos, oral histories, artifacts and historical documents to reveal the evolution of Toronto through personal stories of struggle, triumph and celebration. The history of indigenous peoples in the Toronto area will also be highlighted. The name Toronto is derived from the Mohawk word tkaronto (meaning trees standing in water) and Toronto has been the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
The Market Gallery, one of 10 historic sites operated by the City of Toronto, presents exhibitions dedicated to Toronto’s art, culture and history and offers educational programs for school groups and adults. The gallery is located on the second floor of the South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/marketgallery.
This exhibit is presented by the City in partnership with the Ontario150 program to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Province of Ontario in 2017 (Ontario.ca/150).
This exhibit is also a part of TO Canada with Love, the City of Toronto's year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday. For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/canada150, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SpecialEventsTO, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SpecialEventsTO, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/SpecialEventsTO and Snapchat at SpecialEventsTO. The program hashtag is #C150TO.
This week, I joined with Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage, Melanie Joly and Davenport Member of Parliament, Julie Dzerowicz to welcome a $5.1 million grant allocation to the Museum_of_Contemporary_Art_Canada (MOCA) through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. This funding will help to catalyze the revitalization of the former Tower Automotive Building (Auto BLDG) heritage-designated building in the Junction Triangle into a new forum for contemporary art. Construction is well underway inside the building and outside to create the new museum, artists working spaces and community space which will anchor the revitalization of former industrial lands into a mixed use neighbourhood.
I am pleased to share with you that the Theatre Centre has completed its fundraising campaign. As an important space for artists and creatives in our community, the success of this campaign ensure that the Theatre Centre will continue to play a vital role in Toronto's arts scene.
The campaign successfully raised $6.2 million in private and public contributions towards revitalizing the former Carnegie Library in West Queen West and transforming it into an vital local arts hub and incubator. Through a Section 37 Community Benefits Agreement from nearby development, the City of Toronto is contributing $250,000 towards this landmark artistic space.
In honour of his 13 years of hard work and dedication which make all of this possible, the mainspace theatre was named in recognition of Theatre Centre Artistic Director and visionary, Franco Boni. Thank you to Franco for all of efforts and to Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain whose continued support helped to make this commemoration possible.
You may recently have read an article in the Toronto Star highlighting the challenges artists at 224 Wallace are facing to secure work space. With the rapid growth and development pressures our city is experiencing, these challenges are affecting artists across Toronto.
Ward 18 this year experienced some of the highest property value growth in the city which has in some cases produced additional financial strain for residents and businesses. With a significant number of artists calling our community home, it is critical that we work to enable the flourishing of artist spaces in our neighborhoods. As a city, we must work together to ensure that in the face of growing development pressures we create an inclusive city with space for everyone and which respects and invites those who have contributed so greatly to the vibrancy and vitality Toronto is known for.
In Ward 18, I have been working hard with community members to confront this issue and include living and work space for the over one thousand arts and culture sector workers who live in our community. Together with Active 18, City Staff and a development agreement, we secured close to 40,000 sq ft at 36 Lisgar St to support local artists and arts organizations. Our community has also been successful in securing other living and working spaces in the Queen West Triangle, through new developments including the Artscape Triangle Lofts, the inclusion of affordable live-work spaces in the 180 Sudbury St development in addition to the significant contributions made to the Theatre Centre's new home at Queen and Lisgar.
Maintaining affordability for small scale artisans and manufacturers has also been a priority in Ward 18 to support the various creative and entrepreneurial initiatives underway. As part of the proposed redevelopment of the employment lands at 440 Dufferin St, our community made clear that any redevelopment must preserve all employment space on site. Working together with City staff and our community we negotiated an agreement to construct a new 60,000 sq ft light industrial work building as part of the redevelopment. We also secured a 25-year long term agreement for below market rent spaces on the first and second floors in the building to support a manufacturing incubator program. This agreement ensures the complete replacement of current employment land square footage while providing the facilities and long term viability of diverse local manufacturing and artisan spaces in our community.
As part of the work underway to welcome the Museum of Contemporary_Art_Canada to our community, the former Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road will be revitalized to support the space needed for the museum and include dedicated working space. The development plans will also incorporate more affordable housing.
In addition to creating and preserving and creating spaces for artists in our community, it is also important that we continue to support artist initiatives through funding and programs. An important measure I am proud to support is an increase in per capita arts funding to $25 as of 2017. The City is also undertaking a review to determine what regulatory and tax mechanisms we have and which we can put in place to incentivize the creation and inclusion of spaces for small, independent businesses and operators. I look forward to the results of this study and will continue to advocate for initiatives which support our arts community.
The proposed redevelopments at the Galleria Mall and Bloor Dufferin TDSB School Lands are further opportunities to support arts and cultural activity and small business spaces which make our neighborhoods unique. It is critically important that as Toronto manages this growth, that we do not price out those who have contributed to building the vibrant city we have. I look forward to continuing to work with you to support the creative activities and artists who live and work in Ward 18.
In 2017, Canada is going to be 150 years old and I believe that it would be fantastic to celebrate this with a Toronto Biennale of Art. A biennale would consist of a large-scale, multi-month arts event showcasing the amazing contemporary visual art being created and curated in Toronto, and all across our country.
Two local distinguished members of the arts community, Patrizia Libralato and Melony Ward approached me some months ago with this idea and I am happy to support their vision. At the July City Council meeting a motion was approved to receive a report on the feasibility of hosting a Toronto Biennale of Art as a key feature of Toronto's 2017 celebrations. It would provide a great opportunity to showcase Toronto to the world as a global arts and culture destination.
Research has shown that having an active arts scene in Toronto has economic, social, and community benefits for Torontonians. There is a great tradition of the arts in Toronto and I look forward to working with Councillor Wong-Tam, Mayor Tory, Patrizia Libralato, Melony Ward, and others who are working to make this a reality.
You can find out more about this initiative from a recent article in the Toronto Star.