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Toronto’s Biggest Creative Community Needs Your Help



In Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, JB describes an art studio he rents as a sanctuary where “you made art because it was […] the only thing, really, you thought about between shorter bursts of thinking about the things everyone thinks about.” The art studio is where he’d form connections and “emerge from the fog of his painting and sense that all [the artists who also rented the space] were breathing in rhythm.” This is the space that Toronto’s Artscape provides.  

In a way to support the city’s art scene and address an affordability crisis pushing artists out, Artscape has been providing spaces for art, culture, and community in Toronto for over 30 years. Managing more than a dozen buildings, Artscape provides homes and space for artists to work or live. To keep up with their mission to support the creative community, Artscape took on debt to expand its offerings and, like many services following the pandemic, has struggled to return to a normal flow. While they have begun seeing success in rebuilding and stabilizing operations, the level of debt payments proved to be unsustainable. 

Though they’ve seen struggle, through the dedication of staff, members, tenants, funders, sponsors, government, and community and industry partners, Artscape is still able to carry out their mission of supporting artists. Reducing debt costs meant the targeted sale of the ADL property at 130 Queens Quay East. Unfortunately, the inability to sell the property led Artscape into receivership. When a company is placed under a receivership, this means it typically loses control of its assets to a licenses trustee acting as a receiver. The non-profit developer’s chief operating officer, Kelly Rintoul called this a ‘devastating’ outcome they would work hard to resolve. 

Through these descriptions, Artscape maintains their mission of supporting artists by providing financial support such as a Wage Earner Protection program [WEPP] and actively work with partners and lenders to seek further solutions. The organization has not yet put a statement exposing just how much debt they are facing or whether tenants are in danger of losing their homes. 

Their latest campaign to continue their support is a campaign called “Support the Creative Community” inspired by the community and partners contributing to support their efforts which ends on October 31st 



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