Artscape Youngplace in the New York Daily News

Sigalit Landau @ Koffler Centre of the Arts and the ‘Sweet Peartato’ @ Youngplace Coffee Pub make the New York Daily News: yet another reason to come check outArtscape Youngplace and why ‘Canada’s largest city is blossoming with cultural happenings and art exhibits you can’t catch anywhere else in North America.’

“Toronto is abuzz with art and cultural happenings, and it’s just a day’s drive from NYC”
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BlogTO: Inside Artscape Youngplace

We’re always happy to receive great press, so we were overjoyed to find this article published on BlogTO today. “Inside Artscape’s new Shaw Street School development” explores 180 Shaw Street from top to bottom, stopping in many studios to check things out, and exploring the Hallway Galleries to admire the many works on exhibit. They also visit the Koffler Gallery’s new space to contemplate their opening exhibition, “We’re in the Library.”

BlogTO photographer Andrew Williamson snapped a number of beautiful photos, too, which are on view in the article’s accompanying photo gallery.

Thanks, BlogTO! We hope you stop by again, and often.

Photo above by Andrew Williamson.

History Comes Alive in G&M Article

In her article “How an old school building is bringing artists back to Queen West,” which ran in the Globe and Mail’s Toronto section this past weekend, writer Zosia Bielski highlights many of the unique characteristics of Artscape Youngplace: its history as a school, its situation within the broader context of the neighbourhood and the unique model underpinning its operations. It’s the perfect piece for anyone looking for a primer on what makes Artscape Youngplace unique.

Marta Legrady is the last principal to have worked at 180 Shaw Street when it was a school. She says, ‘“Given the history here, given the community, this is absolutely the right thing to do with this building” … “If this had become some fake-chic, condo type-place that would bother me a lot. We’ve got more than enough of those.”’

It took a tremendous, concerted effort by a number of parties to create Artscape Youngplace, and this article tells the story of how it went from vacant building to a bright, secure new facility totally up to building code. Bielski notes the many advantages Artscape Youngplace holds for artists and members of the community, but perhaps most touching are the notes from former students and teachers, among them Beatrice Morris.

‘Ms. Morris’s blue eyes shone as she took in the celebration. “For the years the school was closed, I thought what a waste. It was such a nice building, it’s terrible to leave it sitting here. Then Artscape said they were coming in and I thought, I don’t even know what an Artscape is. I think it’s beautiful.”’

Repurposing Schools as Cultural Spaces

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!