In August, Artscape brought together live/work tenants from the Parkdale Arts & Cultural Centre to discuss live/work space design considerations for artists, with guest facilitator Lanxi Dong.
Now in its 20th year, Parkdale Arts & Cultural Centre, is Artscape’s first example of a mixed-use community cultural hub. Opened in 1998, this City-owned building, built in 1931 as a police station, is leased long-term to Artscape and plays host to nine affordable live/work units, as well as below-market commercial space for Gallery 1313, the Parkdale Village B.I.A., and the Students for a Free Tibet.
We received excellent feedback from our tenants on live/work space design that confirmed several key design considerations that Artscape consistently integrates into its projects are necessary for creating the conditions for tenant and owner success, including:
- the need for higher ceilings, light and exposure considerations in our units
- the importance of offering flexible spaces for a variety of artistic practices
- the desire for an over-sized elevator to facilitate moving large canvasses or supplies
- and the need to be in close proximity to services and amenities that artists use, such as printing and copying services, child care and green space.
Our community members spoke passionately about the need for artists to be clustered together in communities, and the importance of preserving the history, character elements, and the unique sense of space of the building.
The City and Councillor Gord Perks are currently exploring the possibility of a coordinated redevelopment of several City-owned assets clustered around the Parkdale Arts & Cultural Centre, and our Facilities & Community Services team is working to ensure we receive input and feedback from our community members at every step of this process.
The proposed redevelopment around the Parkdale Arts & Cultural Centre is still in its initial study and planning phases, and the project proposal requires approval from City Council before moving ahead. We’ll keep our colleagues updated on this project as the coordinated planning process with the City progresses.