For Immediate Release:
Weston Community Celebrates Grand Opening of Weston Common
TORONTO (June 5, 2019) – Mayor John Tory today joined a coalition of partners and Weston community members to celebrate the grand opening of Weston Common, a vibrant new community in Toronto’s Weston neighbourhood. What was once a Green P parking lot and a vacant, never finished supermarket between King and John St., just steps from the UPX and GO Station, has been re-envisioned to serve the community – and includes the Artscape Weston Common community cultural hub, a lively community gathering place and outdoor public square; 26 affordable artist live/work housing units; West22, a new 369-unit market rental building, including 27 affordable rental units, and an additional 27 affordable rental units in the renewed 33 King St. high rise building.
“The Weston Common Project is a great example of a successful private and public partnership that puts the needs of residents first. This new communal area will ensure the Weston neighbourhood continues to grow and thrive,” said Mayor Tory.
The Weston Common project has been made possible through an innovative partnership between the City of Toronto, Artscape and 61-year-old, Toronto-based real estate development firm, The Rockport Group.
“Rockport and its partners are proud to be officially handing over this development to Artscape and the Weston community. This project has set a standard in the City of Toronto for making use of underutilized or idle resources and inspiring others to make investments in the community,” said Jack Winberg, Rockport Group CEO. “We are particularly pleased to have been able to increase the number of affordable housing units from an initial proposal of six in 2014, to now 27 units at West22, many of which are already occupied, and we are currently building an additional 26 units at 35 King Street which are set to occupy in 2020.”
Weston Common includes:
- An 8,200 sq. ft. community cultural hub dedicated to arts, cultural and community events programming
- 369 apartment units, including 27 affordable units.
- 12,400 sq. ft. of outdoor publicly accessible space for community gatherings and farmers’ markets
- 26 affordable live/work units for artist-led families
Weston Common is Artscape’s first partnership outside of Toronto’s downtown core to ensure art and culture is a catalyst for urban and community development. Artscape will operate the Artscape Weston Common hub as a lively, purpose-built community space which its programming partners, UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action will animate the daily, ensuring all residents and visitors can access dynamic cultural programming and events.
“Artscape Weston Common has been built through a community design process to act as a point of urban acupuncture that breathes new life into Weston,” said Artscape CEO, Tim Jones. “It has been built through a phenomenal public/private/non-profit partnership, incorporates tower renewal and is a bell-ringer for transit oriented development. It is a great new model we hope to replicate in other parts of our inner and outer suburbs in the coming years.”
Artscape Weston Common is also providing homes for 26 artists and artist-led families, thanks to affordable units made possible through a partnership with the City of Toronto.
“Thank you to the residents and businesses in Weston for your vision and support in welcoming the new Weston Common development”, said Sean Gadon, Executive Director of Toronto’s Housing Secretariat, “The City of Toronto is proud to financially support this innovative new development, including the mixed income rental complex with artist live/work space, and a community cultural hub which provide the opportunity for residents to live,work and play in their community.”
Frances Nunziata, Councillor for Ward 11 – York South-Weston, who has long championed this project spoke of the positive impact the development has had and will continue to have on the community.
“This is a long awaited and eagerly anticipated development that brings new energy to Weston Village,” said Councillor Nunziata. “I want to thank all those involved in making this project a reality. After many years of work, we are very excited to welcome Artscape to the neighbourhood.”
The grand opening celebration attracted over 150 people and spilled into the outdoor plaza with live performances featuring artists living in the Common and from UrbanArts and Shakespeare in Action. Guests enjoyed a BBQ from Frontlines, a local community-focused organization and took part in a Key Ceremony to welcome artist tenants to their new homes.
During the event, Artscape also announced a call to artists, arts organizations and collectives for submissions to the Pearson Connects Fund, through a partnership with the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, which will ensure access to the space for community groups to provide arts programming.
The Artscape Weston Common hub project was made possible through the generous support of the
Government of Canada, The Government of Ontario, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, The
Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, The Rockport Group, The Access Group, Woodburne Capital Management and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Artscape’s projects, programs and services are designed to help creatives thrive while enhancing the communities around them to become more vibrant, inclusive and resilient. Artscape is best known for its work as the developer/operator of a growing portfolio of 12 unique cultural facilities in Toronto—including community cultural hubs; multi-purpose creative spaces; artist live/work studio spaces; and 42 performance, exhibition and event spaces. The business of Artscape is accomplished through a range of social enterprises focusing on: real estate development, affordable housing and property management, performance and event facility management, makerspace management, entrepreneurship development, community animation and youth empowerment programming, as well as knowledge transfer, research and consulting services. Learn more at artscape.ca.
For almost 60 years, Rockport has developed and built innovative projects and has provided thousands of people in Toronto, and the GTA wonderful places to live, work and play. Rockport was an early adopter of the ideas of “intensification” and making the most of urban resources. We are focused on the delivery of high quality mid-and high-rise condominiums, outstanding retirement residences, leading edge purpose built rental apartments, and unique retail/commercial environments. Rockport’s unsurpassed commitment to “thinking like a customer” and our attention to detail has earned us our reputation as one of Toronto’s leading providers of outstanding real estate services and product. For more information about Rockport’s other exciting projects please visit www.rockportgroup.net
Artscape Rockport Group City of Toronto
Carol Davies Kathryn Randle Gil Hardy
Artscape Rockport Group Affordable Housing Office
416-392-1038 x25 416-446-4088 (416) 397-4701
firstname.lastname@example.org Kathryn@rockportgroup.net email@example.com