Toronto creative hub in danger of permanently closing due to lockdown restrictions
A beautiful Toronto content creation, film and photography studio faces closure in the new year after less than two years in business.
Objx Studio opened as a unique coworking studio in March of 2019, says owner/operator Ben Bonnici. The space is in an old warehouse building in the Stockyards District.
The 4,200 square venue is on the top floor and features 30-foot-high windows. It's become a popular spot for photo shoots as well as intimate live music performances.
The unit Objx Studio leases was in rough shape when Bonnici first got it, but he has spent time fixing up and decorating the studio with vintage items that give it a bohemian feel, says Katrina Anastasia, project manager.
"Everything is like second-hand, recycled," says Anastasia.
Bonnici even created a cute cafe where creators go to take a break.
The coworking and creative space was doing well in 2019 but, when the lockdown hit, like many businesses, they went through a rough patch.
"It was pretty scary," says Bonnici. "When I think about it, it put me into a really bad place that's for sure."
The space is mainly used for filming projects such as music videos or for photoshoots.
Objx offers pre-built sets and can provide lighting and props in a kind of one-stop shop. They will also rent out the space for events such as weddings.
But the lockdowns have made creators of small projects nervous and many are holding off on working.
That led Bonnici to launch a GoFundMe and other fundraisers including an art auction to help keep the space open.
"We are one of the few full stack creative hubs left in Toronto but we may not be around much longer due to the regulations surrounding the pandemic that we have all been fighting against for the past 2 years," Bonnici wrote on the fundraising page.
"We are hoping to raise $15,000 in order to pay for the previous and this month's rent while we continue to look for ways to keep this space alive."
He is optimistic about the future and has found the community very supportive, although many don't have the financial means to help.
"I think is the main reason why the community is helping the studio so much, Ben has always just been so kind to artists, and he understands that artists don't have a lot of money," says Anastasia.
She hopes the space can be saved as it is truly beautiful and special.
"Every single person that walks in the doors just falls in love with this place, and no one wants to see it go, which is why I think we have gotten a lot of the support that we have."
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