wildseed toronto

Black Lives Matter is opening a community centre in downtown Toronto

Canadian chapters of Black Lives Matter will soon have a new 10,000 square foot home near College and Spadina in Toronto, where Black residents can meet, create, host events, plan demonstrations, and more.

The Wildseed Centre for Art and Activism is taking over a beautiful modernized Victorian building at 24 Cecil Street, originally constructed in the 1880s and recently put on the market as a boutique office building for $8.2 million.

It will be outfitted with lounge and event spaces, a dance floor and sound recording booth, offices and meeting spaces, a kitchen, a garden, and more, all Black owned, operated, designed and executed with the help of $250,000 from the City, as well as some public grants and private donations, including from BLM.

Ward 11, University-Rosedale City Councillor Mike Layton will also be asking Mayor John Tory for longer-term funding to help the centre host event and activities.

"Wildseed is a vessel that seeks to nurture Black radical creation in Toronto and beyond," a blurb on the centre's website reads

"This artist-run centre aims to be fertile ground for Black creativity and organizing, [and] was birthed by Black Lives Matter activists who hope to build an enduring space that could cultivate the most transformative and radical ideas from Toronto’s diverse Black communities."

This is, of course, in reference to the former home of Wildseed, which was rented and only 15 per cent of the size of the historic building on Cecil, where there will be much more room to grow.

One of the first projects that the space's team is looking forward to housing, per the Star, is an archive project to document Black history in Canada through people's personal photos, documents, art, and more.

Following questions about where the funds it had raised in 2020 were directed, BLM opened up about its finances earlier this year, revealing that around a quarter of the $90 million was going to local chapters and organizations after what was a bustling year of activity and activism in the wake of numerous Black deaths at the hands of police worldwide.

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