There’s an interesting article in the Globe and Mail detailing events unfolding in Toronto’s Distillery District. Back in the closing days of the 20th Century, TTD developers took advantage of Section 37 to build higher and in exchange, granted below market rates to artists through Artscape for a period of 20 years. Sadly, that subsidy ends in 2022 and around 70 artists are being turfed out to make room for a college. These are the artists who created an interest in the area when nobody wanted to go there. There was hope that Artscape might be able to negotiate a new deal but it didn’t happen. The Globe article makes an excellent point, namely that bad architecture, which will be around for a long time was traded for an artist subsidy lasting only 20 years.
Perhaps this is a lesson that we can learn from in the future (and by we I mean Councillor Nunziata and local resident’s associations). Concessions made as part of Section 37 should be as permanent as the crappy architecture that generated them.
Another stage of the Weston Common story has unfolded with the announcement yesterday that the entire complex at 22 John Street has been sold to three sections of a real estate company by the name of Dream. The purchase includes the Artscape managed Hub, both the old and new rental towers along with the 26 artist live/work studios. According to an article in RENX.ca the company stated that, “Dream’s intention is to increase the number of affordable units provided on-site as per CMHC’s definition of affordable rent for the area.”.
Shakespeare in Action is bringing a number of really great events to the Little Avenue Memorial Park on the August 1 long weekend. It sounds like it will be really fantastic.
Musicians from the Weston Silver Band (100 years old this year!) will be playing on Thursday, July 29 starting at 7 p.m..
On Friday and Saturday,
The Weston Weekend of Music and Theatre program will include two danceworks choreographed by Neshama Nashman, one of which, a setting of J. S. Bach’s “Erbarme Dich” from St. Matthew Passion, was premiered last month to great acclaim by Ballett am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Rebanks Fellows performing in this event are: Jillian Bonner, mezzo-soprano; Michael Bridge, accordion; River Guard, tenor; Jessy Je Young Kim, violin.
Finally, on Sunday, August 1 at 3 p.m., Wajdi Mouawad will reprise his role in the very excellent one-man play Alphonse.
Alphonse is lost and walking along a country road, weaving an intricate web of stories, while everyone is searching for him: parents, friends, teachers, the police. What they find is the thing we often give up in order to grow up.
That’s my take on the launch of the Weston Artists Good Food Market at the Weston Common.
This exciting weekly summer event is focused on making fresh produce accessible to our community, at cost. One neighbour was so surprised when her large bag of produce came to $3.75, that she handed over a $5 bill and asked if she could just donate her change to the cause.
Philip Sutherland, the organizer, said the fresh fruit is popular—fresh raspberries, blueberries, and mangoes went fast. (They’ll have more next week.) He added that the Artists’ booth was postponed due to windy conditions, but it’ll be back soon. And he hopes to hear from more local artists, bakers, butchers, chefs and cooks who want to be a part of the Wednesday market.
But there’s more to this event than affordable produce. It’s organized by a few of the artists living in our community. They have brought their friends from Collective Arts Brewing along, selling some of the most original craft beer, sparkling teas, cider, and bitters I’ve ever seen.
The labels are adorned with literal art from unknown and emerging artists. The two staffing the booth were thrilled to be discovering Weston, “all the neighbours are so friendly and happy to see us…and we’re busier here than we are at our other two markets.” They’ve applied to be a part of the Weston Farmers’ Market starting Saturday June 5th.
This event is organized by the West Toronto Photography Club and sponsors like Access Community Capital Fund (a non-profit that makes small loans for people with big ideas).
The Artists’ Market is every Wednesday from 3pm–6pm until September 1st.
There’s a new market in town. Every Wednesday starting this week, you’ll be able to buy fruits, vegetables and more at the Weston Artists Good Food Market. There will also be “community booths, artist booths and Collective Arts Brewing”—which happens to be my favourite brewery.