Artscape Announces $5 Million in Gifts and Contributions Toward Artscape Youngplace

West Queen West’s New Community Cultural Hub Now Open to the Public

TORONTO, November 20, 2013

Artscape has announced that it has raised $5 million from individual, foundation, government and corporate gifts for the Artscape Youngplace capital campaign. Located at 180 Shaw Street, Artscape Youngplace is West Queen West’s newest community cultural hub, and at 75,000 square feet the largest building in the Artscape portfolio.

Robert J. Foster, Artscape Board Chair, and Tim Jones, Artscape President and CEO, made the announcement at the official public opening of Artscape Youngplace last night, which was attended by over 1,500 Toronto civic and arts leaders, resident artists and organizations and members of the West Queen West community. Plans for the community cultural hub were crystallized in late 2011 following the announcement of a lead gift of $2 million from The Michael Young Family Foundation, which enabled Artscape to purchase the historic Shaw Street School from the Toronto District School Board. Artscape Youngplace was named in honour of The Michael Young Family Foundation.

“My family and I entered into partnership with Artscape with full confidence in their ability to give this magnificent 100-year-old school a new life,” said David Young, Chair, The Michael Young Family Foundation. “The result is better than we could have imagined. Artscape Youngplace is another of the important Artscape projects that connect and transform creativity into positive social change for the benefit of us all. We feel privileged to be involved.”

A $1.3 million contribution from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at the Department of Canadian Heritage was also announced at last night’s event.

“Our Government is proud to invest in projects like this one that improve facilities and give Canadians greater access to unique arts and cultural experiences,’’ said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “I offer my congratulations to Artscape for their continuing work in making innovative spaces available to Toronto’s cultural community.’’

Robert Foster, Artscape Board Chair, said, “We are extremely grateful to our government and philanthropic partners, whose generosity made this moment possible. Their extraordinary support, particularly the lead gift from The Michael Young Family Foundation and funding from Canadian Heritage, clearly demonstrate leadership in our collective pursuit to build shared value for artists and creative people, for our city and for our country.”
Tim Jones, Artscape President and CEO, announced that six leaders from Toronto’s development industry—Castlepoint Numa and Cityzen Development Group; First Capital Realty Inc.; Lifetime Developments; The Remington Group Inc. and The R. P. Bratty Family Foundation; TAS Shaping Beautiful Cities; and URBANCORP—have come  together in an unprecedented way to support Artscape Youngplace and the West Queen West community in the creation of the Urban Living Lounge: a 3,000 square foot ground-floor community space. The Urban Living Lounge will serve as a “community living room” by day and a place for openings, readings, live performances and community meetings by night. It has been designed by local interior designers Williams Craig Inc.

”Intensification of development in creative neighbourhoods often results in the displacement of artists and creative people from the very places they helped bring to life,” said Tim Jones, Artscape President and CEO. “Thankfully, a series of innovative partnerships are resulting in a different story for West Queen West. Artscape is proud to have come together with the Urban Living Lounge donors in one such partnership and is very grateful for their philanthropic contributions, which have facilitated the creation of this fantastic gift to the West Queen West community.”
A summary of major gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations is as follows:


Lead Gift


The Michael Young Family Foundation

Cornerstone Supporter


Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage



BMO Financial Group
City of Toronto
Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario
The Saskin Family and URBANCORP


$100,000 to $149,999

Castlepoint Numa and Cityzen Development Group
First Capital Realty Inc.
Lifetime Developments
TD Financial Group
The Remington Group Inc. and The R. P. Bratty Family Foundation
TAS Shaping Beautiful Cities

Great Friends

$25,000 to $99,999

Alterna Savings and Credit Union Ltd.
Iler Campbell LLP
The Dalton Company
Philip Deck and Kimberly Bozak
Robert and Julia Foster


Artscape Youngplace, named in honour of a lead donation from The Michael Young Family Foundation, will be a new social heart in the West Queen West neighbourhood—a fully accessible public facility to showcase artistic creation, learn about the arts, practice art and design, create art together and connect with the arts community and neighbours. From painting to music, dance to theatre, media arts to inter-disciplinary practices, Artscape Youngplace’s organizations and artists represent a vast range of artistic excellence, with many planning to share their creative gifts with the community through exhibitions, performances, classes, workshops and more.
“Investing in great ideas that make Ontario a better place to live, work and play is a key focus for the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Andrea Cohen Barrack, CEO of the Foundation. “Artscape’s got a solid track record of revitalizing buildings from Toronto’s past to ensure they play a vital role in our artistic community’s future. The Foundation knew a $150,000 investment for key accessibility upgrades would help you reach an even larger audience.”

Artscape's project partners in the $17 million transformation of Artscape Youngplace are Teeple Architects, who led the renovation and design of the new spaces, and the Dalton Company, in charge of construction. 

Artscape Youngplace will be home to the following organizations, artists and programming activities: SKETCH; Luminato Festival; Koffler Gallery and Koffler Centre of the Arts; College-Montrose Children’s Place & Trinity Spadina Early Years Centre; Centre for Indigenous Theatre; Youngplace Coffee Pub, Artscape Flex Studios; Artscape Youngplace Hallway Galleries; Inspirit Foundation/Fondation Inspirit; Paperhouse Studio; Intergalactic Arts Collective; Small World Music Centre; TYPOLOGY Projects; Ruth Adler; Barbara Astman; Allan Bonner; Eve Egoyan (Eyewitness Studio); Emily Filler; Shabnam K. Ghazi (atelier “ascenseur”); Miriam Grenville; Gillian Iles; Vid Ingelevics; Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith (Bellwoods Academy of Music); Cristine Matos-Albers (The Developing Tank); Heather Nicol; Midi Onodera (Daruma Pictures Inc.); and Matthew Schofield. 

For a schedule of winter 2013 events, artist and organization profiles and an outline of current opportunities, visit

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Media Contacts

Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications for Artscape | / (416) 481-1161, (416) 456-0499

Liz Kohn, Director of Communications, Artscape | / 416-392-1038 x 25

Artscape Youngplace Background

The Artscape Youngplace Media Backgrounder provides extensive information on the Artscape Youngplace project, and can be downloaded at


About Artscape

Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities.

Canada’s leading practitioner in multi-tenant space development for the creative and cultural sector, Artscape develops and manages unique facilities that deliver sustainable and below-market production, rehearsal, exhibition and living space for creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and cultural organizations. Since 1986, we have helped to stimulate some of the city’s most creative and vibrant neighbourhoods with dynamic community assets and cultural hubs such as Daniels Spectrum: a cultural hub in Regent Park, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Distillery Studios, Artscape Gibraltar Point and multiple projects in the thriving artistic communities of West Queen West and Parkdale.

Artscape is widely recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking, a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation of communities. Our success is driven by our ability to work effectively across disciplines to align values, leadership, investment and public policy. We work constantly to expand our portfolio, share our expertise and advance the field, offering training, mentoring and coaching, and learning opportunities through Artscape's Creative Placemaking Lab. Artscape offers countless tools, case studies and how-to guides on

For more information on Artscape visit