The King-Spadina area is home to Toronto’s greatest concentration of cultural work—due, in part, to the fact that many of the area’s historic industrial buildings have offered affordable workspaces attractive to artists, designers and cultural entrepreneurs. The area is also a hotbed of development, expected to grow by more than 25,000 new residents over the next 10 years. Cultural spaces contribute to the energy, identity and appeal of the Toronto’s downtown, but substantial redevelopment, rising real estate prices and increasing property taxes are putting pressure on these spaces and the people and organizations that use them.
The King-Spadina Cultural Spaces Retention study explores challenges and opportunities for retaining and supporting King-Spadina’s cultural spaces in this period of unprecedented growth. The study blends qualitative interviews with stakeholders across arts and culture, real estate and government with cultural mapping and policy analysis. Recommended policies and actions cover a range of new directions, addressing property tax assessment for non-profit cultural spaces and arts incubators charging below market rent; land use policy; building design and heritage retention; community benefits; data collection, consultation and outreach; and other opportunities for municipal leadership.