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Artscape Weston Common Credit CityofTO

Expect to hear more about Artscape’s Social Purpose Real Estate practice

Space matters. Where we live, work, and experience community have profound impacts on our quality of life. More than ever, the pressing need to secure space for community and culture is confronting cities and regions across the world. The burgeoning field of Social Purpose Real Estate is one of the tools used to approach this challenge.

What is Social Purpose Real Estate?

Social Purpose Real Estate (SPRE) are “properties and facilities owned and operated by mission-based organizations and investors for the purpose of community benefit and to achieve blended value returns.” This definition is attributed to the Vancouver Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative. Examples of SPRE include community hubs, shared spaces for non-profit and cultural organizations, non-profit affordable housing, and incubator space for fledgling entrepreneurs.

For over 30 years, creating space for creativity has been at the heart of Artscape’s work. The focus on mission, and community value and benefits derived from SPRE have fundamentally shaped our projects. As the needs of communities have grown more complex, our solutions have become more holistic and multi-faceted.

Why now?

Rising costs are displacing the diverse residents that are so central to the vitality of our cities and regions. Increasingly, real estate is becoming a scarce resource in communities once faced with disinvestment and barriers to community and economic development. Today, we have the opportunity to secure community-owned assets into the long-term and bolster community resilience as neighbourhoods undergo rapid change.

Artscape Bayside Lofts

Artscape Bayside Lofts is an example of a social purpose real estate project Artscape has completed. 

Creating community-owned assets begins with leaning into the strengths of our sector. Leveraging our operational expertise and ability to champion solutions in partnership with communities and organizations will be fundamental to the success of this work. We have the opportunity to align stakeholders with common missions, while stewarding new relationships that create asset-building models for partnerships.

Unprecedented prosperity and economic growth are changing our world. Capturing value and creating equitable benefits for communities amidst this growth is a key opportunity that we cannot let pass. We remain steadfast in building the momentum for SPRE and sharing our learning along the way.

What’s next?

Artscape’s Social Purpose Real Estate team is dedicated to driving this vital work forward. You’ll continue to hear more from our team as we explore new opportunities like 6 Lloyd with Carlisle Communities. Stay tuned! Feel free to connect with us directly at!



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