As construction ramps up at Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, the ambitiously mixed-use Toronto project's programming is continuing to take shape, with new funding announced today for Artscape's marquee 'Launchpad.' Now officially dubbed the Artscape Daniels Launchpad, the facility is being supported by $21.4 million of public and private-sector funds, with the art and design entrepreneurship hub, set to open in 2018.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, under construction, image by Jack Landau

Designed by Toronto's Quadrangle, the Launchpad will occupy part of Daniels Waterfront's commercial component, which is now rising on Queens Quay. Taking on 35,000 ft² of space on the fourth floor, the Launchpad will provide "affordable access to technology and tools of the trade," while reframing "entrepreneurship for creative people," according to Artscape. 

The 4th floor Launchpad is visually demarcated by the darker cladding, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Todays announcement means that the $27.3 million facility is well-supported ahead of its opening. A gift of $5.75 million from The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation led the private donations, which include contributions from Daniels Waterfront development partner WJ Properties, as well as a variety of philanthropist groups who made gifts between $100,000 and $1,000,000. Major capital contributions have also come from the Federal Government via Canadian Heritage ($3.5 million), and the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science ($3 million).

The Launchpad will be located above the 'V,' image by Jack Landau

Meanwhile, start-up and program funding is also coming from a variety of sources, led by the Federal Government's newly announced contribution of $1.75 million via the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.  

Adam Vaughan announces new Federal funding, image by Jack Landau

Hailed by MP Adam Vaughan as an crucial way to "help connect artists and designers from all over southern Ontario to skills training and to the businesses that need their services—all in a state-of-the-art-facility," the Launchpad was feted at an event held at the Daniels Waterfront sales centre this morning.

Donors and sponsors celebrate the various sources of funding, image by Jack Landau

Vaughan was joined by the day's numerous other speakers—including Daniels VP Don Pugh and Artscape CEO Tim Jones—in celebrating the growing economic importance of creative industries. With almost 700,000 Canadians now already employed in the creative and cultural sector, the civic vibrancy fostered by a strong arts scene was continuously cited as a place-making tool that makes the city a more attractive destination for new residents and business.

At the same time, the support provided by Artscape was celebrated as a way to help artists make a living in precarious times. "It is becoming harder and harder to sustain a career as an artist or designer," Jones lamented, underlining the importance of the Launchpad as a way to "help thousands of creators more fully realize their potential."  

Artscape CEO Tim Jones, image by Jack Landau

The Launchpad will be joined by new space for George Brown College and OCAD U (which are also Federally supported facilities), as well as homes for various non-profit and creative enterprises, including Remix, and the Manifesto Project. Mostly housed in the 280,000 ft² office condo complex fronting Queens Quay, the concentration of creative enterprises is also being touted as a catalyst for spillovers and collaborations, accelerating the creative process. 

Inside Daniels Waterfront's commercial component, image by Jack Landau

Designed by RAW with Rafael + Bigauskas as architects of record, the office complex will be joined by the Daniels Corporation's a pair of Giannone Petricone-designed residential condo towers immediately to the north. Still in an earlier phase of construction, the 45- and 36-storey 'Lighthouse' towers will collectively add 963 residential units to the nascent East Bayfront neighbourhood, with a pedestrian-oriented mews space known as 'The Yard' housing street-level retail between the project's residential and commercial components.  

A rendering of the completed project, showing the two residential towers, image via Daniels

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts continues to take shape. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.

Related Companies:  Cecconi Simone, Clark Construction Management Inc, Claude Cormier + Associés, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, Cushman & Wakefield, Giannone Petricone Associates, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Kramer Design Associates Limited, Live Patrol Inc., Lockourier Canada, NAK Design Strategies, RAW Design