Artscape in Conversation with 401 Richmond/Urbanspace Property Group

featuring Margie Zeidler, President + Founder, 401 Richmond/Urbanspace Property Group
Tuesday April 29th, 2014, 1:00 PM ET

Urbanspace Property Group owns and operates two heritage buildings in downtown Toronto, Canada. Urbanspace has been running 401 Richmond Street West for almost 20 years, and the Robertson Building at 215 Spadina Avenue since 2002.

Meet Margie Zeidler, Founder + President, 401 Richmond/Urbanspace Property Group
Margaret Zeidler’s company - Urbanspace Property Group - is a mission-driven real estate development company, specializing in the adaptive re-use of old buildings into spaces for artists and social entrepreneurs in downtown Toronto. Jane Jacobs’ adage: “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings.  New ideas must use old buildings.” provided the inspiration for her first project: 401 Richmond.  Twenty years ago this 200,000-square-foot former tin-lithography factory was transformed into a community for hundreds of practicing artists, galleries, cultural entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises and social innovators. Another project - the Robertson Building - is home to over a hundred tenants, including the Centre for Social Innovation, which was created by Urbanspace in 2004. She is a co-founder of Jane’s Walk, Centre for City Ecology and the Urbanspace Gallery (dedicated to local urban issues). Margie was awarded the 2003 Jane Jacobs Prize established to honour Toronto residents who are actively contributing to Toronto’s vibrancy and the Order of Ontario in 2004, as well as Toronto’s Untitled Best Friend of the Arts Award.  She is currently working on a web platform to enable civic engagement called: Shape My City.

Pru Robey, Director of the Creative Placemaking Lab at Artscape
As Director of Artscape’s Creative Placemaking Lab, Pru takes the lead in research and development for new projects. She led the research, partnership development and sector engagement process to build the vision and case for Daniels Spectrum (Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre) and leads  research and pre-project  development for Artscape’s next major facility, a centre for creative sector entrepreneurship, Artscape Launchpad. She is also taking forward research, consulting, community and sector engagement to advance the development community cultural facilities in Toronto’s inner suburbs. Pru advises communities across Canada on cultural facility development and strategies to support creative placemaking and directs a suite of programs and services at Artscape designed to build the capacity of communities to undertake creative placemaking projects. She has extensive research and consulting expertise, and substantial experience designing and facilitating community consultation exercises. She is a leading expert in Creative Placemaking practice and has authored and teaches Canada’s only university level course in creative Placemaking for the University of British Columbia.
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