Not gonna lie...having an art incubator space is a great value add to the City of Toronto. However, the price to lease out a tiny office space at this particular Artscape location is too costly. Plus given the location it is out of the way outside the downtown core.
For over 30 years, Artscape has been providing spaces for arts, culture and community in Toronto. As of August, 2023, Artscape operates 14 projects which included Live/Work spaces, Community Cultural Hubs and a specialized facility, Artscape Daniels Launchpad (ADL), with a focus on creative sector entrepreneurship. Artscape has ownership of 4 property assets, but mostly engages in projects through a long-term lease and operating arrangements, most frequently with the City. Through these services, Artscape offers 265 residential affordable rental & ownership spaces for artists and artist-led families and 125 commercial tenancy spaces. Artscape also serves 500 members at ADL, hundreds of residencies at Gibraltar Point and 500 plus annual event venue rentals.
Staying on course with the mission to support the creative and the artist community, Artscape took on debt to expand its offerings over the years. In addition, Pandemic recovery had required further line of credit use to maintain operations and meet debt payments. While Artscape had begun to see success in rebuilding event venue space revenues, stabilizing operations and gaining grant funding for impactful programs, the level of debt payments was not sustainable.
This year Artscape commenced a financial restructuring plan to reduce debt costs and streamline operations. A key part of the restructuring was the targeted sale of Artscape Daniels Launchpad property at 130 Queens Quay East to repay debt owed to its primary lender. Additional lending to maintain operations was also sought. Regrettably, progress to a sale at an appropriate timeline has not materialized and the primary lender has taken steps that will lead to Artscape being placed into receivership.
Through the support and dedication of countless talented staff, members, tenants, funders, sponsors, government, community and industry partners, Artscape was able to carry out a mission of helping artists and creatives thrive. This mission has been central to Artscape’s creative placemaking journey for nearly three decades. As a result of the upcoming receivership, Artscape will sadly need to wind-down our management of our spaces. While the receivership process will be disruptive to the operation of Artscape facilities, we are working hard with the City in an effort to have facilities remain
operational. We will actively work with the primary lender, the appointed Receiver, and the City through this transition process.
We remained steadfast and made every effort to keep us on course with our mission. Despite these financial challenges, our commitment to meeting the needs of artists and arts organizations that have relied upon Artscape for space, programming and other services remains strong and, through the receivership process, we will work with partners towards a model with strong oversight and financial stability that remains committed to this mission. "