MOCCA finds new home in iconic industrial relic
The exodus of art galleries from West Queen West to the lower tip of the Junction Triangle has reached its culminating point as MOCCA announces that it will take over the first two and half floors of the the iconic Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road. How they accomplished this feat, I'm not exactly sure, but it's very exciting news for contemporary art and architecture fans.
The Globe broke the news in a report today which details the size and features of the new space. When the gallery opens in late 2016 (or early 2017), it will be almost three times the size that it is now, with the option of expanding to over 5,000 square metres in the future.
I suppose it's time to stop mourning the move from Queen St. and to start thinking of names for Toronto's new gallery district. While tons of renovations need to be done to get the space to exhibition level, the plans already sound enticing. The first level will include a cafe, lounge-like area for performances and talks, a boutique, and exhibition area.
As for the rest of the Tower Automotive building, it will be renovated for commercial use rather than made into a condominium (that was the original plan, but it fell apart). A number of other buildings will be constructed on the site by developer Castlepoint, but none will exceed the height of the existing structure.
One gets the sense that something good is brewing in the Toronto arts scene right now, at least as pertains to exhibition/event spaces. Somehow Luminato landed the Hearn as the site of its opening gala and the Unsound music festival, and now news breaks that MOCCA has found a near-perfect home in an abandoned industrial building in a growing gallery district.
Please let the trend continue.
Photo by Vic Gedris
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