If you’re an artist with a proven track record of artistic creativity and your household income is below $46, 176, you may be eligible to apply for one of 26 brand new live / work spaces in Artscape’s Weston Common project that’s scheduled to open at the end of this year. Applications are being accepted until April 11. Artists must not own a home already
A total of 14 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units are available; all have ‘high ceilings, large windows and industrial style finishes’. Rents are affordable; $877 for a one-bedroom and $1022 for a two. Units face south or east.
For lots more information and application forms click here.
Churchill once said that, “History is written by the victors”. An article in UrbanToronto.ca, (basically a public relations organ for the local real estate and development industries) tells a sanitized version of the background story of the soon to be opened Weston Hub.
The article’s author, Dean Macaskill, has been involved in Toronto real estate since 1980 and was with the company given the GO Station parking lot listing back in 2012. The land was put on the market by the Toronto Parking Authority and according to Macaskill, the 5 offers received on the 1.42 acre site were, ‘at rather depressed pricing levels’.
What’s not mentioned in the article are thoughts at the time that the land belonged to the old town of Weston and that it should not be sold. Also, unlike the wealthy Wychwood Barns neighbourhood which received close to $20 million from the City for their Artscape project, poor old Weston received essentially nothing.
The message seems to be that no one wanted to invest in Weston until this development came along and since that time, developers have been falling all over themselves to buy into our community. He neglects to mention that his listing stated, “Area Is Undergoing Significant Change With Other High Rise Condominiums Planned In The Immediate Area.” Also missing in action is any mention of the 370 rental apartments and 40,000 square feet of storage units that came as part of the deal. The 8000 square foot space devoted to the cultural hub seems rather ungenerous by comparison. Another unmentioned issue of contention is the tight space given to the Farmers Market .
Now that the Hub is nearing completion, we’ll all have to make the best of it and hope it’s a success – but it could have been so much better no matter what shine is put on it.
Just to cheer you up, here’s a Metro Morning interview with Artscape’s Tim Jones talking to CBC’s Matt Galloway recently on the same topic.
UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action were announced this week as being program partners for the Weston Common community cultural hub coming on John Street. UrbanArts develops the creative assets of artists and residents and has worked locally for years from its two locations on the other side of John Street and in Mount Dennis.
Shakespeare in Action is a non-profit professional theatre company dedicated to spreading knowledge of the characters, language, and the stories of Shakespeare’s works through a variety of one-off school workshops or longer term internships.
Both groups will bring a positive and youth oriented vibe to the Hub while promising benefits for the whole community.
The two organizations hope to be installed in their new location this fall.
Artists interested in the Live / Work studios may add their name to a waitlist here.
Artscape is a non-profit arm of the development industry that works with planners and developers to incorporate affordable artistic spaces into building projects. One project now under construction is in Weston and it will be known as Weston Common. Read more on this project here, here and here. A quick search through our archives will pull up more articles.
Recently, Artscape asked for questions about the new Hub and five of them have been answered already. Here they are:
Q: How high will the ceilings be in the Hub’s studio spaces?
A: The approximate ceiling height from the top of the finished floor in the studio spaces is 4.75m (15 feet and 7 inches). Because the ceilings in the studio spaces are open, this estimated height does not take into account any servicing (ducts, lighting, etc.), so practical height will be somewhat lower.
Q: Is there additional storage available for occupants of the studios?
A: To ensure flexibility of use, storage has not been built into the studio spaces, and the studios do not include dedicated storage space elsewhere in the Hub. When thinking about the area of the studio spaces, also consider how to accommodate storage needs within that area.
Weston Web Comment: There will be 3,897 m² (40,000 square feet) of storage space next door available for a fee. Perhaps some sort of discount could be negotiated for artists in residence.
Q: Does the Hub have parking?
A: While the Hub does not have its own dedicated parking, there will be ample parking available with easy access to the facility. The Hub is located immediately beneath the parking decks of a large parking garage at 33 King Street, and those parking levels will be directly connected by an elevator that will exit on to the outdoor public space next to the Hub’s entrance. There will also be a new 70-space TPA lot built next to the project site. Finally, the Hub itself will have a loading entrance, accessible from the driveway between the Hub and the railway corridor.
Q: When might the studio spaces be delivered for fit-out?
A: Construction is proceeding on schedule, and spaces may be available for delivery to occupants as early as July 2018, but an exact date cannot yet be provided. The studio spaces will be delivered as open, flexible spaces, in a state that is suitable for occupation (flooring, lights, sprinklers, ductwork installed). If the occupant wishes to further sub-divide or fit-out the space, it will be at their own cost. Depending on timing, additional fit-out may be undertaken under Artscape’s building permit, or following completed of work on the Hub, under a new permit obtained by the occupant.
Q: Will the Artscape Hub be accessible?
A: Yes, the Artscape Hub at Weston Common will be fully accessible by Ontario standards.
Urban Toronto describes itself as, “Toronto’s premier website focused on condos, architecture, urban development and real estate.” It is read by many in the industry.
There is a recent article in the U.T. site that details future development projects in our area. They believe that the driver of this new activity may be the Eglinton Crosstown LRT with the possibility of a future connection to Pearson Airport.