A Win for West Queen West! The community started it all. Active18 organization continues the campaign to preserve an art and culture-friendly neighbourhood with a major achievement.
A gleaming 36,000 square foot Art Hub will be built into the bottom floors of The Edge condo development at Lisgar and Queen. The exciting new neighbours will be the Toronto Media Arts Cluster (TMAC). Gallery TPW, Interaccess, Le Labo, Canadian Film Distribution Centre, Charles Street Video, Toronto Animated Images Society and the Images Festival – are a group of internationally renowned photo and media galleries, film, video and animation production and training organizations, and film and video festival operations. These types of not-for-profit organizations, peppered throughout Toronto for 35+ years, have all been pressured by the gradual and not-so-gradual gentrification of the city.
Active 18 was instrumental in negotiating them a permanent ‘home’.
The Toronto Media Arts Cluster will offer a retractable 200 seat cinema and social area overlooking the new public park to the north of the building. This exciting project along with The Theatre Centre relocating into a smartly renovated Carnegie Library, the Artscape Triangle Lofts housing studios for working artists + designers (already built), a contemporary Artist Books and Multiples shop, gallery, archive and project space – all anchored by the venerable Woolfits Art supply store – we have an example of a new way of building and sustaining culture in our city.
Urbancorp is a major Toronto developer headed by Alan Saskin currently developing two sites in the West Queen West Triangle. The Edge and The Epic will be the buildings that house these cultural centres. The community worked closely with Mr. Saskin and his team by bringing the project and TMAC to the table. Urbancorp’s commitment, including financial, to see this project through has been remarkable. We commend them for being open to embark upon challenging projects with unorthodox concepts.
Urbancorp, Active18, and TMAC then worked on the project details with City Planning and Culture departments and found great support by Ward 18’s new City Councillor – Ana Bailao. Councillor Bailao immediately saw the commitment to these projects by the community. She stepped up and worked closely with the community, navigating the project through its various stages with great facility and understanding.
Years of working on these projects has garnered a ‘happy beginning’. This new vital contribution to our city will hopefully show what can happen when people work together.
We look forward to seeing you in the new park, at an exciting cultural event, strolling through the new streets and sharing the neighbourhood!