Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #15. Because We Make Room For Artists
It’s ironic that Trinity Bellwoods, the city’s artsiest neighbourhood, is too expensive to accommodate artists themselves: on average, commercial rent for a studio-size space in the area shakes out to a pricy $41 per square foot. Artscape, the utopian NPO known for creating artists’ colonies, is helping out with the price of admission. For their latest miracle makeover, they bought the Shaw Street School, a 100-year-old institution that the TDSB closed in 2000, and revamped the classrooms into bright studios. Artscape Youngplace, as it’s now called, opened last fall, offering artists the chance to rent workspace for around 50 per cent below area rates. Among the current inhabitants are sound artist Eve Egoyan (Atom’s sister); the Koffler Centre, a Jewish arts institution that occupies the old library; and the Small World Music Centre, which has a miniature concert hall. The building is buzzing with energy and optimism—kind of like the first day of school.