Glossary



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Abatement
: Reduction of rent, interest, or an amount due.

Accessibility: Conditions that allow the most amount of people to access a project or place. Barriers to accessibility are posed by financial, environmental, physical, social, religious, political and/or cultural barriers.

Adaptive re-use: Reinterpreting the function of a building/site/place/location for something different than its initial use. (e.g. the adaptive re-use of the Artscape Wychwood Barns converted a vacant streetcar repair facility into live/work studios, community space, not-for-profit office space, public space, a greenhouse and educational facility).

Additional rent: Expenses above the base rent payment applicable to the management or operation of a facility paid by the tenant. Cost related to additional rent may include: utility expenses, property tax, maintenance costs and insurance.

Affordable housing: Defined in Canada as monthly rent or mortgage payments that do not exceed 30% of gross household income.

Amortization: The period of time required to reduce a debt to zero when payments are made regularly. Amortization periods are most often 15, 20 or 25 years long.

Anchor tenant: The first tenant(s) in a development/place whose reputation may help market and attract other like-minded or complimentary tenants, services or investment.

Appraisal: A process that determines the market value of a property or item. The market value may or may not match the purchase price of the home. An appraisal done for mortgage lending purposes is carried out for the benefit of the lender or the mortgage insurer.

Appurtenance: An accessory, a belonging.

Arrears: Rent that is unpaid, but due to be paid.

Artist live/work: The City of Toronto artist live/work zoning is exclusive to affordable housing, and is described as “a suite consisting of a studio area used for the production of art, and a living area containing not more than one habitable room”.

Artist squat: A building not zoned for residential use in which artists live and work illegally.

Asset: The entire property of a person, association, corporation, or estate applicable or subject to the payment of debts.

Assign: To transfer one’s right to property.

Assignment of lease: Occurs when an existing tenant “assigns” or transfers his or her lease to another person. This is sometimes called a substitution. The assignee will agree to all terms and conditions in the head lease between the landlord and the original tenant and will be legally liable for the obligations contained in the lease.

Assignee: Person to whom property is transferred.

Authentic: The genuine or real article, feel, mood, fact or style as it applies to individual, collective and communal memory, emotions, experience, attitudes, stories, history, cultural attributes and creativity.


Bankruptcy: Insolvency

Base rent: Measured by the usable square footage of the studio. Additional rent includes charges that cover a proportionate share of the common space in the building.

Below-market rent: In Canada, below-market rent is typically based upon 80% of market value (e.g. if market rent for an apartment or office space is $1,000/month, then a below-market rent for a comparable unit would be $800/month).

Breach: Break.

Brick and beam: Style of architecture found in turn of the century industrial buildings constructed with brick exteriors and wooden beam posts and flooring. The attractive stylistic quality of many brick and beam buildings in North American cities has led to adaptive re-use.

Brownfield: A site contaminated as a result of its former use (e.g., industrial or manufacturing). Brownfields often lie vacant as a result of required cleanup before new development can take place.

Building codes: Laws specifying minimum standards of building construction for the protection of public health and safety

Capital budget: Assets that support business operation determined by all sources of revenue and cash flow and used to assess the worth of pursuing a potential project.

Capital repairs: Are those repairs related to capital as defined by GAAP. (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).

Capital reserve fund: Used by the landlord for the purpose of paying for repairs, maintenance and replacements required to be made to the complex that are of a capital nature (capital repairs), as determined by the landlord, acting reasonably.

Charrette: A technique for consulting with some of the most interested community stakeholders early in a project. It typically involves intensive meetings, whereby municipal officials, developers, organizational leaders, community members and potential tenants are invited to gather and discuss issues, challenges and desires related to the project

Chattels: Moveable property (e.g. furniture).

Collateral: Property (as securities) pledged by a borrower to protect the interests of the lender.

Commercial sublease: Occurs when a lessee transfers leasing rights to a third party. 

Common area: Space that is not used and occupied exclusively by tenants, such as lobbies, corridors and stairways.

Community: A group of people who reside in a specific location and/or share common values, interests, heritage, culture or beliefs.

Community building: An applied art – not a science; involving the design and application of collaborative strategies to the resolution of issues; management of change; strengthening capacity, building leadership and effectively engaging all elements of the community in the processes.

Community development: Change in the social, economic, organizational or physical structures of a community which improve welfare and positively enhance community wellbeing.

The complex: Refers to a specific property or lands and the title by which they are known municipally.

CPI: Means the Consumer Price Index for all items as published for the city of Toronto by Statistics Canada or any and all of its successors.

Conventional mortgage: A mortgage loan up to a maximum of 75% of the lending value of a residential property.

Cost recovery: A financing model whereby all costs associated with a project/program are recuperated so that total costs balance with revenue. 

Covenant: To enter into formal agreement.

Creative advantage: The competitive edge that an organization, community or city has by virtue of their ability to sustain creativity and innovation.

Creative capacity: The relative ability of an organization, community or city to generate ideas, goods and services; the strength of creative assets and resources of an organization, community or city.

Creative cluster: A geographical concentration (often regional in scale) of interconnected individuals, organizations and institutions involved in the arts, cultural industries, new media, design, knowledge building and/or other creative sector pursuits.

Cultural and creative sector: A broad, complex and evolving mix of industries that range from the performing and visual arts to magazine publishing, digital media and design. While there is no broadly recognized definition of the breadth (i.e. industry and occupational composition) and depth (i.e. extent of the value chain) of the sector internationally, there is emerging consensus on the key industries that constitute its nucleus. 

Core creative fields: Focuses on the production of "originals" (e.g., visual arts, artisan crafts, designer-makers) and "experiences" (e.g. live theatre, dance, and music as well as heritage).

Cultural industries: Focuses on the creative content producing industries, whether private or public, which exploit intellectual property through mass production (e.g., film and television production, broadcasting, record companies, book and magazine publishers, computer games and leisure software).

Creative services: Based around providing creative services to clients, earning revenue through fee-for-service and providing intellectual property that has a high degree of both expressive and functional value (e.g., design consultancies, advertising agencies, architecture practices, digital media firms).

Creative hub: A multi-tenant centre, complex or place-based network that functions as a focal point of cultural activity and/or creative entrepreneurship incubation within a community. A hub provides an innovative platform for combining the necessary hard and soft infrastructure to support the space and programming needs of commercial, not-for-profit and community sectors.

Creative process: An ongoing, circular and multi-dimensional process of discovery, exploration, selection, combination, refinement and reflection in the creation of something new.

Creativity: The ability to generate something new; the production by one or more person of ideas and inventions that are personal, original and meaningful; a mental process.

Culture: A society’s values and aspirations, the processes and mediums used to communicate those values and aspirations and the intangible expressions of those values and aspirations.

Cultural ecology: A dense and connected system of a distinct and evolving blend of community, educational, recreational, cultural and entertainment venues and environments that generate "thickness" in the creative fabric of a city. They provide the necessary infrastructure that accommodates cross-fertilization between a varied mix of stakeholders and interest groups, cultural producers, artists, entrepreneurs and residents.

Culture-led regeneration: A multi-dimensional approach to the re-use, renewal or revitalization of a place wherein art, culture and/or creativity plays a leading and transformative role.

Default (on a mortgage): Failure to abide by the terms of a mortgage loan agreement. A failure to make mortgage payments may give cause to the mortgage holder to take legal action to possess (foreclose) the mortgaged property.

Density: Measures the population residing in an area (e.g., the density of Ontario is 13.8 residents/km2).

Demise: Transfer.

Demised premises: Property subject to lease.

Deposit: A sum of money placed in trust by the purchaser when an offer to purchase is made. The sum is held by the estate representative or lawyer until the sale is closed, and then it is paid to the vendor.

Distrain: (verb) To seize a person’s goods in order to compel them to pay rent.

Diversity: Distinct or different personal characteristics and qualities encompassing creative and artistic discipline, vocation, race, culture, sex, religious or spiritual beliefs, age, weight, disabilities, sexual orientation, everything which celebrates the variety and uniqueness of all individuals and things; may also apply to the mandates, goals, etc. of groups, organizations and companies.

Distress: (noun) Lawful seizure of property in order to enforce a right to payment such as rent.

Down payment: The portion of the purchase price the buyer must pay up front from personal resources, before securing a mortgage. It generally ranges from 5% to 25% of the purchase price for a residential purchase and at least 20% for a commercial or industrial purchase.

Egress: Exit or way out of a unit or building.

Equity: The difference between the price for which a property could be sold and the total debts registered against the property. Equity usually increases as the outstanding principal of the mortgage is reduced through regular payments. Market values and improvements to the property also affect equity.

Evaluation criteria: A benchmark or set of benchmarks used to evaluate the performance or suitability of a person or project. Developed at the beginning of a new project or proposal to ensure the content/outcome reflects the criteria and is relevant to your needs and vise versa. For example, if certain skills are critical to the success of the project, be sure to rate those required skills as a strong priority.

Execution: The act of completion in a legally valid form.

Expiration date: The date on which a contract is no longer valid.

Financing: The act or process or an instance of raising or providing funds; also: the funds thus raised or provided.

Fixtures: Articles that have been attached to the property and are regarded as part of the property (e.g. a light fixture).
Foreclosure: A legal procedure in which the lender gets ownership of the property if the borrower defaults on the mortgage loan.

Goods: All property that is not money.

Governance model: The process, structure or hierarchy by which an organization or project is governed. 

Gross lease: The tenant pays an agreed-upon rent to the owner and does not see any additional charges or bills. The owner pays all the expenses associated with owning the property.

Gross-up factor: The rentable square footage divided by the usable square footage. The rentable square footage includes a portion of the common areas of the building such as hallways, washrooms and elevators.

GST/HST taxes: Means all goods and services taxes, sales taxes, value added taxes, business transfer taxes or any other taxes imposed on or with respect to Rents under this Sublease or in respect of the Rentable Area of the Premises whether characterized as goods and services taxes, sales tax, value added tax, business transfer tax or otherwise.

Hard infrastructure: Tangible elements of urban form – workspaces, galleries, theatres, cafes, streets and public spaces – that combine the functional with the aesthetic and the symbolic to provide vital conduits for inspiration, connectivity and expression. Infused with a mix of uses, meanings and experiences, these places reveal themselves as authentic, distinctive, permeable and diverse "habitats" that attract and sustain a diverse range of creative activity.

Headlease: Original lease between a tenant and landlord.

Headlandlord: The owner of a property.

Indenture: A deed between two parties, which transfers property from one to another, by which both parties assume obligations.

Infill: Development that occupies previously vacant or undeveloped space. New-urbanism approach to planning employed in dense cities where little downtown space is available for development. 

Innovation: The creation or invention of ideas, goods or services that are novel and intended to be useful; intended to create some product that has commercial application and/or appeal to a customer, consumer or audience; the process of generating and applying creative ideas.

Insolvency: Inability to meet financial obligations that are due.

Interest: The cost of borrowing money for a given period of time. Interest is usually paid to the lender in instalments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.

Knowledge product: Organizational knowledge and expertise that are effectively created, located, captured and shared through an explicit form (manual, iPod-case, website). Distributed to staff, board, clients and partners, codified knowledge is a valuable strategic asset that can be leveraged for improved performance. 

Landlord: Owner of a property or building.  

Landlord’s work: The landlord is responsible for completing all renovations to the premises that does not include the tenant’s work as defined by the lease.

Lease: An agreement where a landlord gives the right to possession of a property to another, while retaining ownership.

Leasehold improvements: Renovations done to a leased space.

Lessee: The tenant in a lease.

Lessor: The landlord in a lease.

Liquidation: The closing of a company or business by realizing its assets, paying its debts and distributing the balance to the shareholders.

Live/work: The City of Toronto defines live/work zoning as a “dwelling that is also used for work purposes, provided only the resident(s) of such accommodation work in the dwelling unit”

Maturity date: The last day of the term of the mortgage agreement. On this day the mortgage loan must be paid in full or the agreement renewed.

Mixed-use: A building or development that co-locates different uses. For example, in a mixed-use community, a building may exit on to a public square, have retail stores at ground level, office space on the next five, residential condominiums located in a tower above, and below-market rent units built into the tower.

Mortgage: Security for a loan to purchase property. It is the purchaser’s personal guarantee to repay the loan and a pledge of the property as security for the loan.

Mortgage broker: A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary who sells mortgage loans on behalf of individuals or businesses.

Mortgage life insurance: Insurance to pay off your mortgage in full if you die. Many lenders offer this insurance and add the premium to your mortgage payments.

Mortgage loan insurance: Insurance required by lenders for high-ratio mortgages (more than 75% of the purchase price). It is available from CMHC or a private insurer for a cost of between 0.5% and 3% of the amount of the mortgage.

Mortgage payment: A regularly scheduled payment that is blended to include both principal and interest.

Neighbourhood: A geographic area in which people live and therefore have high amounts of face-to-face contact and social interaction.

Net lease: The tenant pays rent to the landlord and is responsible for certain other expenses, as outlined in the lease. One such expense might be hydro. If the unit has a separate meter, the lease might stipulate that the tenant is responsible for paying hydro directly to the supplier; if there is no meter, the landlord may pay the bill for the whole building and charge back a percentage of the cost to each tenant.

Net-net lease: With a net-net lease the tenant pays rent plus a share of maintenance and operating expenses plus property taxes. Responsibility for these charges will be noted in the lease.

Net-net-net-lease: On top of the rent, the tenant pays all maintenance and operating expenses, plus property taxes and insurance. As with a net-net lease, the tenant may pay these charges directly to the supplier or the landlord, depending upon the type of space and the terms of the lease.

Net worth: A person’s total financial worth, calculated by subtracting total liabilities from assets.

New-Urbanism: Planning approach that promotes density, diversity, walkability, high-quality urban design and architecture, green transportation, sustainability, and mixed-use development.

Offer to lease: Legally binding agreement defining terms and conditions of the lease.

Offer to purchase: A written contract setting out the terms under which the buyer agrees to buy. If accepted by the seller, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.

Operational (operating) budget: The annual budget for costs required to operate an organization or property. Calculated by determining variable costs, gross profit, fixed costs, depreciation and interest.

Placemaking: An integrated and transformative process that connects creative and cultural resources to build authentic, dynamic and resilient communities or place.

Principal: The amount of money borrowed.

Private sector: Economic activity that takes place outside the public sector by independently controlled for-profit individuals and companies.

Property tax: The amount of tax a property owner is required to pay, and is based upon the appraised value of property/land. The property tax is main source of revenue for Canadian municipalities.

Proponent: Describes an individual, company, or society that submits, or intends to submit, a proposal.

Public sector: Publically owned and not-for-profit organizations that administer and deliver public services.

Public support: Collected attitudes, opinions and beliefs that help lead to the success and advancement of a project.

Realtor: A real estate representative who is a member of an organization of persons engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Reasonable enjoyment: Means tenant shall have the right to peacefully possess the premises in accordance to the covenants of their lease without interference of the landlord or any agent acting for the landlord.

Registered charities: Canada Revenue Agency defines a registered charity as “an organization established and operated for charitable purposes, and must devote its resources to charitable activities”.

Refinance: To pay off a mortgage or other registered encumbrance and arrange for a new mortgage, sometimes with a different lender.

Rent geared to income: Rent assessed at 30% of gross household income, and typically subsidized by a not-for-profit housing provider.

Retrofit: Substitute/alter/improve the original design/structure/function of something to serve a new use or purpose.

Rezoning: Change to the existing land-use zoning to permit a new or different use. For example, you might want to create a live/work building in an area zoned industrial or convert a school to commercial uses in an area zoned residential.

Second mortgage: An additional mortgage on a property that already has a mortgage.

Shared services agreement: Defines how funding and resources for a service are provided by more than one organization or group.

Site analysis: Undertaken by a consultant or planning firm to assess the development and planning potential of a site. Phases include research, analysis and synthesis. 

Social housing: Housing owned by the state or a not-for-profit organization to provide residents with affordable housing. 

Soft infrastructure: Dense and diverse collaborative partnerships, active intermediaries and cross-over mechanisms that facilitate the face-to-face interaction, social networking and flow of ideas that drive successful clustering.

Stakeholders: Resident, organization, group, or community directly or indirectly affected by the outcome of a development project.

Statute: A law.

Subcontractor: Hired by a general contractor to perform work for the construction job (e.g., structural engineer, electrician, plumberm acoustic consultant etc.).

Sub-consultant: Hired by a consultant or consultancy to perform work associated with the contract.

Sublease year: Means a period of time, the first such period of time commencing on the commencement date and ending one year less one day following the commencement date.  

Subletting: Leasing of premises by a tenant to a third party.

Survivorship: The legal right of the survivor of persons having joint interests in property to take the interest of the person who has died.

Sustainability: A trait that describes the best creative, cultural, economic, social, institutional and ecological products, environments, systems, processes and outcomes for hard and soft infrastructure and communities of all sizes; marked by durability and longevity; experienced and shared by present and future generations of tenants, clients, partners and citizens.

Tenant organization: Means a corporation without share capital whose assets and accretions are used solely on a not-for-profit basis.

Tenant’s share of the common areas: Means the tenant’s proportionate share of mechanical, electrical, utility, communications, garbage, public courtyard, elevator, hallways and public washroom facilities.

Tenure: The act of holding property.

Term: The length of time during which a mortgagor pays a specific interest rate on the mortgage loan. The entire mortgage principal is usually not paid off at the end of the term because the amortization period is normally longer than the term. Also: fixed, non-cancellable period for which a lease agreement is in force.

Termination clause: Allows a tenant to terminate a lease and vacate a space within a specified period depending on the needs of a landlord as identified in the lease.

Termination date: Means the date on which this sublease is terminated.

Thereof: The place, thing, event just mentioned.

Title (freehold or leasehold): Legal possession. A freehold title gives the holder ownership of land and buildings for an indefinite period of time. A leasehold title gives the holder a right to use and occupy land and buildings for a defined period of time. In a leasehold arrangement, actual ownership of the land, sometimes along with the buildings, remains with the landlord.

Trade fixtures: Fixtures attached to the physical structure of a building that cannot be moved from the site and become part of the real estate.

Transfer: Means an assignment of the sublease, any transaction whereby the rights of the tenant under this sublease or to the premises or any part thereof are transferred, any transaction by which any right or use or occupancy of all or any part of the premises is conferred upon a third party, any mortgage, charge or encumbrance of this sublease or the premises or any part thereof or other arrangement under which either this sublease or the premises become security for any indebtedness or other obligations and includes any transaction or occurrence whatsoever (including but not limited to expropriation, receivership proceedings, seizure by legal process and transfer by operation of law), as well as any transaction pursuant to which the Tenant ceases to be a tenant organization. It does not include a transfer to another entity controlled by and associated with the tenant and acceptable to the landlord.

Transferee: Means the person or persons to whom a transfer is or is to be made.

Voidance: The act of discharging or making invalid.

Voidable: Dischargeable; able to be annulled.

Way-finding: Signage and navigation that helps people navigate and orient themselves in a physical space.

Well-being: Refers to quality of life and standards of living within a specific culture or community. Can be assessed through subjective and objective indicators (e.g., access to amenities, education, living conditions, happiness, health care, social infrastructure, affordability and availability of shelter, commute times, politics etc).

Whereof: Of which, of what or of whom.

Witnesseth: Witnesses.

Writ of possession: A formal order granted by the courts demanding the tenant gives up possession of the premises.

Zoning: Land use planning designation that regulates the density and permitted use of a specific place (e.g., residential, commercial, agricultural, institutional, industrial, green space, mixed-use etc). Originated during the industrial revolution to separate incompatible uses and mitigate health and safety concerns posed by residential development adjacent to factories and manufacturing.

Zoning bylaw: Specific and unique to a municipality and used to control how land is used by dictating regulations such as lot size, density, parking, setbacks and building height.
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