Where to rent studio space in Toronto
Renting a studio space in Toronto may be a labourious task if you don't know where to look. While a good start might be online classifieds such as Craigslist and Kijiji, more often than not you could end up looking at a page full of pseudo-studio crawl spaces. Artists who are in the market for a workspace know that "shelter from the rain" is not the only factor to consider, with demands ranging from nearby basins and wide door frames to high ceilings and proper ventilation, with more conditions to consider based on the project and materials used. Before setting up that easel in a stuffy warehouse basement, you might want to check out some of the options at these communal studio spaces.
Artscape is perhaps the first name that comes to mind when looking for a studio space, simply because it offers a variety of options in several locations throughout Toronto. There are shared spaces, private studios, and work/live options to rent, sublet, or own, each popping up at sporadic intervals of availability at the Distillery, Liberty Village, Wychward Barns, and beyond. Rates vary depending on location, size, and number of artists in the space.
While it doesn't look much from the outside, artists are constantly toiling away inside this shared space near Queen and Dufferin. Akin offers a total of 2,000-square-feet of studio and shared work space, which renters can access at any time, any day of the week. Rates at $100 for a monthly membership, though shorter term commitments can also be made.
Walnut Studios offers four connected-ish studio spaces in one, located in and old industrial building on Walnut Avenue, west of King and Bathurst. As well as offering space for artists to work on projects, Walnut Studios hosts the occasional show, exhibit, or other special event. The artist studios are open and communal (so hermits need not apply) and are available for monthly rental rates around $300 to $350.
Karma now has a new studio at 3962 Chesswood Drive (yes, that's north of Bloor... north of Sheppard, actually), which offers a rarity in the world of Toronto artist studios: ready vacancies. The new facility (which is shared with North Toronto Art Studio Collective) is geared up to host a variety of programs and workshops, as well as receive new artists in its shared open studio. Studio spaces come with 24-7 access and loading areas for big projects, and rates generally start around $250 per month.
White House Studio Project
The name here has nothing to do with American politics and everything to do with the colour of the original building. (They're artists — what do you expect?) Started as a group initiative in 2008, White House has moved and grown to accommodate artists of all creeds who are keen on working in a collective environment. The 2,600-square foot studio includes a woodworking area and screen printing facilities, with room for about 25 individuals. Contact for studio availability and rates.
The Gladstone Hotel is not just for Melody Bar elbow-rubbing and the odd erotic fair (though it tends to do both pretty well). It also has rooms dedicated to artists working on short-term projects, available starting at $550 a month. The WiFi-equipped studios come with private or shared bathrooms, and are also available for daily or weekly rentals. At least you won't have to go far for a drink.
Right at Richmond and Spadina, the space available at Influx are geared toward hosting your own workshop. Complete with storage areas, heaters and fans, and "inspirational" exposed bricks, Influx offers 400-square-feet of studio to be yours, available for 24-7 access and wireless internet. Rates vary based on rental agreement (month to month, three month, six month terms), but generally hover around $400 per month.