artscape toronto

Toronto residents could lose their homes as Artscape goes into receivership

The fate of a renowned Toronto organization that helped support local artists through housing opportunities and all types of programming is up in the air now that the non-profit has gone into receivership.

Artscape, which describes its work as "creative placemaking," broke the news on Monday in a business update that elucidated its current situation after 30 years in the community.

"Staying on course with the mission to support the creative and the artist community, Artscape took on debt to expand its offerings over the years," the message reads.

"While Artscape had begun to see success in rebuilding event venue space revenues, stabilizing operations and gaining grant funding for impactful programs, the level of debt payments was not sustainable."

Staff then go on to explain the crux of the issue: that to reduce debt, the group was relying on the sale of one of its buildings, the Artscape Daniels Launchpad at 130 Queens Quay East.

It is one of Artscape's four properties in the city, and it leases multiple others, mostly through the City of Toronto. These properties include 265 affordable units for low-income artists and their families to live in, along with 125 spaces for their commercial enterprises. The institution also hosts events, residencies and more.

All of these spaces and programming is now being disrupted, as the Queens Quay site has unfortunately remained on the market for too long, prompting Artscape's main creditor to start the receivership process.

Artscapes assets will be moved into the control of a receiver, who will do with them what is necessary to pay off the debt owed if Artscape proves unable to cover their bills.

Though the exact future of the spaces remains unclear at this time, the institution writes that "we will sadly need to wind-down our management of our spaces" and that operation of the facilities will definitely be changing.

"We are working hard with the city in an effort to have facilities remain
operational.  We will actively work with the primary lender, the appointed receiver, and the city through this transition process... towards a model with strong oversight and financial stability that remains committed to [our] mission."  

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