Introducing our Creative Spaces

Over our 25-year history Artscape has evolved from developing affordable artists studios in single-purpose facilities to being the developer and operator of complex, multi-tenanted spaces. These facilities leverage the cultural assets and resources of a community to serve the needs of the arts community and help build the city at the same time. It is the evolution of our approach that in many ways distinguishes Artscape from the large number of affordable artists’ studio space providers to be found internationally.

Artscape’s current portfolio of properties now represents a range of residential and commercial (workspace) options that respond to the varying needs and capacities of our tenants. At the same time, our projects are rooted in a vision that extends beyond the needs of the arts community alone to support local economic development, enrich the social fabric of our neighbourhoods and promote environmental sustainability. As a result, we describe our projects as serving a quadruple bottom line:

  • Dynamic cultural environments
  • Stronger local economies
  • Richer social fabric
  • Cleaner, greener environment

We conceive of our new projects as “platforms for collaboration”, designed, tenanted and managed to encourage and support multidisciplinary and cross-sector dialogue and collaboration, both within and between our tenant communities and the wider local community. As a result of this approach to Creative Placemaking, and the diversity of disciplines encompassed by the creative and cultural sector , there is no “one size fits all” model for our developments.

Artscape Workspaces

Artscape provides affordable commercial workspace for individual artists and arts, cultural and other not-for-profit organizations. These spaces include:

  • Individual artists studios
  • Shared artists studios
  • Short-term studio spaces
  • Organizational/office spaces
  • Gallery and exhibition spaces
  • Retail studios
  • Rehearsal spaces
  • Performance spaces
  • Large-scale, flexible events spaces
  • Conference and meeting facilities

Our commercial spaces are all leased at rates significantly below full market rent. This varies based on:

  • Type of space
  • Location (values are affordable in comparable local markets)
  • Type of lease arrangement (e.g. short term, retail, shared, etc.)

Artscape Residential Spaces

In 1994 Artscape created Artscape Not For Profit Homes Inc. (ANPHI) to develop and manage affordable housing for artists and their families in Toronto. The following year, we developed the first legally zoned artists’ live/work accommodation at Artscape West Queen West.

Rent Geared to Income (RGI) Live/Work Housing is available at Artscape Wychwood Barns and Artscape West Queen West. RGI housing is rental housing in which the rent paid by the tenant is determined by the household’s income, normally about 30% of the gross monthly household income.

Below-Market Affordable Live/Work Housing is available at Parkdale Arts and Culture Centre and Artscape Triangle Lofts. These live/work units are leased at below average market rates. Some residential units at Artscape West Queen West are rented at Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) average market rents.

Below-Market Affordable Live/Work Ownership is available at Artscape Triangle Lofts and has 46 below-market owned live/work units for artists and creative professionals. To ensure that the units remain affordable and for artists in perpetuity, Artscape retains a 25% equity in all of the units, reducing the purchasing cost for future qualified buyers.

Short-Term Affordable Residential is available at the Lodge at Artscape Gibraltar Point.  Short-term studio and accommodation opportunities are used by both local artists and visitors from around the world.

Artscape Residential Spectrum of Affordability:

Developing New Models in Future Projects

Artscape continues to explore new approaches to the development of residential and commercial spaces. Artscape’s new project at Artscape YOUNGplace will include both below-market ownership workspaces and Artscape Flex-Studios, a shared artists’ studio model. To find out more about this project, please click here.