Repurposing Schools as Cultural Spaces

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Artscape Youngplace was the feature of a prominent Globe and Mail story this week. The story, School’s out – and reinvented spaces are in, covers the hot topic of repurposing schools as cultural spaces. Writer Jennifer Lewington positions Artscape Youngplace as a model of this innovative idea and quotes many trumpeting its success. We couldn’t be more proud.

Interested in the history of the Artscape Youngplace project? As the article mentions,

“Initial redevelopment ideas included new condos or razing the building for green space. Both suggestions ran into stiff opposition from local residents, not least because the old school is adjacent to an operating elementary school.

‘Parents at the school wanted something to go into that building that would be beneficial for everyone and maintain the building,” says parent Gaelyne Leslie. “Whoever took it over would have to be as passionate about it as we were.'”

Today, Artscape Youngplace is part of an “anti-Soho-effect” happening in the West Queen West neighbourhood.

“It is bucking a whole North America trend to push artists from a neighbourhood they made successful,” says Urbancorp president Alan Saskin. “Trying to keep artists in the downtown core helps keep Toronto a more vital city,” he says.

If you haven’t already visited Artscape Youngplace at 180 Shaw Street, please stop by and check out what everyone is talking about. See you there!