One of Artscape’s earliest projects, Artscape West Queen West was the first legally zoned artist live/work building in Toronto, offering tenants safe, secure and sustainable spaces, plus a garden space along Crawford Street. Since this project’s opening the surrounding neighbourhood has undergone considerable change, but is still recognized as a thriving arts and cultural community. This was our first foray into rooting artists in and around West Queen West—we now operate multiple properties in the area.
Opened: October 20, 1995
Pre-occupancy (development) cost: Not available
Former site: Warehouse/cannery built in 1906
Affordability model: Rent geared to income (live/work), below-market (commercial)
Building Ownership Detail: Owned and operated by Artscape Non-Profit Homes (ANPHI) under the terms of a social housing agreement with the City of Toronto.
Area (square feet): 35,520
Spaces included: 22 live/work studios, five work/commercial studios, one gallery, one tenants’ garden
Tenants: William Old Fine Art Print Studio, Toronto Blues Society, John B Aird Gallery and commercial studios for individual artists, Irene Healey and Justin Mencel
Building accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible
Design: Joe Lobko (now DTAH)
Of the 800+ facilities under the umbrella of the Housing Services Corporation‘s Utility Management Program, 900 Queen Street West is the oldest, and predates the organization itself.
Look up and you’ll see a metal sculpture on the roof of 900 Queen by artist Mitchell Fenton that’s part of a two-piece set. The companion piece used to sit atop Artscape Liberty Village, but when that project closed, we moved it to the roof of Artscape Gibraltar Point in 2015. These art objects “speak” to each other and help to unite the Artscape community.