Artscape is a not‐for‐profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities.

image of Daniels SpectrumOur Impact Why We Exist

Every day, the spaces within Artscape’s portfolio come alive with the energy, ideas and passion of the 2,300+ people who work and/or live in Artscape properties; the 116 organizations housed in Artscape buildings; and the 247,000+ people taking part in exhibitions and performances at our 32 public venues annually. Thousands more participate in our programs, tenant-driven activities and city-wide events. Every year, we deliver the following benefits to the community:

  • $3.6 million in savings passed on to artists and organizations on annual commercial and residential occupancy costs
  • Rental rates for artists and not-for-profit organizations 56% lower than gross average rates for commercial spaces in downtown and midtown
  • Over $1 million in annual subsidies to access Artscape event venue spaces

*Numbers current as of 2014

Artscape Youngplace imageOur Story What We Do

Artscape connects the dynamism and power of creative people with other public, private, philanthropic, community and neighbourhood interests to:

  • Create the conditions for artists and creative communities to thrive by developing and managing affordable space, programs and services
  • Generate positive cultural, economic, social an environmental impacts and outcomes
  • Grow a community of practice around creative placemaking

Since its beginning in 1986, Artscape has become recognized as an international leader in creative placemaking, a practice that leverages the power of art, culture and creativity to catalyze change, growth and transformation in communities. Artscape achieves its mission through developing and managing unique cultural spaces—including community cultural hubs, multi-purpose arts facilities and artist live/work projects—and delivering programs and services that create the conditions for Canadian artists not only to survive, but to thrive in the current marketplace.

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Our Programs How We Do It

Artscape's Strategic Priorities:

  • Artscape Launchpad
  • Artscape Weston Hub
  • Artscape Communities Impact Initiative

The benefits generated by Artscape’s projects extend to many issues addressed within the Toronto Foundation Vital Signs Report, including work, housing, belonging, and arts and culture. Below we've included quotes from the report that most closely relate to each of our three strategic priorities. 

1) Artscape Launchpad


Currently under construction and slated to open in mid-2018, Artscape Launchpad will be a new model for creative space: part incubator, part co-working facility and part entrepreneurship training centre designed to help arts and design professionals build successful careers rooted in sustainable creative businesses. Situated within the 1.3 million square-foot, $700 million ‘City of the Arts’ waterfront development led by the Daniels Corporation, the $24.7 million, 35,000 square-foot Launchpad facility  will benefit from and contribute to a burgeoning creative industry cluster taking root in Toronto’s East Bayfront.  Launchpad’s location, creative production facilities and suite of entrepreneurship training program offerings will draw in a dynamic mix of creative people and companies into a hothouse of innovation, creation, thought-leadership and production—important ingredients for building shared value across multiple sectors and segments of our society.

Artscape Launchpad has grown out of nearly a decade of collaboration and research with colleges, universities and arts service and trade organizations that has focused on how the sector can best help individuals and small businesses in the arts and design communities thrive. The combination of programs, services and facilities that Launchpad will bring together is unprecedented. It will be a game-changer for artists and designers, a major boost for Ontario's $23 billion creative economy, and a jolt of urban acupuncture that will help bring Toronto's waterfront community to life.  


Artscape Launchpad will have an average active membership of 1,400 people annually, growing to a total of 9,000 unique members and alumni within the first ten years of operation. Analysis by the Altus Group Economic Consulting conservatively projects that Artscape Launchpad will generate 3,800 jobs and stimulate $678 million in new economic activity to the Ontario economy during that same timeframe. Artscape Launchpad will:

  • Build a culture of entrepreneurship within the creative and cultural sector: The suite of program offerings will work together with the capital facility to equip art and design professionals with the tools, training, resources and mentorship necessary to profitably establish creative businesses, stabilize existing businesses, and/or expand into new creative business areas, thereby empowering creative people to leverage their talents, create their own jobs, and realize their full potential.
  • Facilitate the transition from post-secondary to self-employment: Every year, thousands graduate from applied arts and design programs in Ontario. Just when they are expected to begin their creative businesses and generate creative project leads, they lose access to all the most essential equipment, technology, networks, and soft support that made their practice possible while in school.  Artscape Launchpad offers the kinds of support necessary to make the transition to self-employment at affordable monthly rates.
  • Increase Access to Toronto’s Creative Cluster Talent across Ontario: The Creative Innovation Lab will connect service, resource and manufacturing businesses from across Ontario with a thouands-strong network of highly motivated creative entrepreneurs within Toronto’s creative industry cluster to foster innovation and enhance the design and marketability of their products and services.
  • Generate Opportunities for Networking, Cross-sector Collaboration & Innovation: It is well know that strong networks – both formal and informal—play an essential role in entrepreneurial success.  Artscape Launchpad will provide a much-needed convening place where creative professionals, from a broad range of disciplines, can meet, develop relationships, discover synergies and make connections of mutual benefit.

Vital Signs Report Quote: 

Arts and culture provide employment and professional development, marketing, and advocacy opportunities for creatives:

  • Although professional employment in arts and culture in Toronto declined 4.9% in 2014 to 32,970 people (down from 34,660 in 2013), it remains 2% higher than in 2012.
  • When the self-employed are included, the number of professionals in arts and culture almost doubles, to 65,170 in 2014 (down from 65,670 in 2013 but also higher than 2012’s 61,780).[38]
  • Employment in cultural industries in the Region was 83,800 in 2013 or 2.68% of total industries, from 93,900 or 3.12% of total industries in 2011. [39] But overall employment in cultural industries as a percent of total industries was higher in the Region than at the provincial level for 2010–2013.[40]
  • 68% of Torontonians say that local artists add value to our society and therefore should be appropriately compensated, and 57% say that the arts should be a priority for local government.

2) Artscape Weston Hub


The Artscape Weston Hub is Artscape's first community cultural hub project located outside of Toronto's downtown core. The project will consist of an 8,236 square foot cultural community hub, a 12,400 square foot public outdoor space, and 26 affordable live/work rental units (29,026 square feet). Expected to be complete in late 2018, the $13.2 million project is located near historic Weston Village and represents a new way of partnering to create significant value. The project has been made possible by a unique collaboration between Artscape, Rockport Group, Woodburn and as many as ten City of Toronto departments involving over 50 staff, and aligns the needs and interests of the creative community with city-building initiatives.  

Artscape has been working with the Weston community to develop a vision for the Hub that responds to the needs, dreams and aspirations of local residents and stakeholders. To this end,  Artscape has been actively engaged with the Weston community, and in 2016 Artscape will finalize the capital facility's designs, culminating with a ground breaking in this summer.

Vital Signs Report Quote:

Despite high levels of interest and engagement, a significant majority (87%) of GTA residents face at least one barrier to attending arts programming.

  • Cost (63%) and lack of time (40%) are the biggest factors that make it difficult for people to attend arts events, visit arts locations, or participate in arts activities. Others include:
    • distance from home, 30%;
    • unawareness of what’s going on, 15%;
    • inaccessibility of venues to those with mobility issues, 6%.[19]

3) Artscape Communities Impact Initiative


Statistics Canada estimates the GDP of cultural industries in 2010 as $53.2 billion, contributing 3.4% to Canada’s total GDP, and accounting for 703,900 jobs. A large body of work has examined the broader impacts of artists, arts participation, and arts and cultural facilities on communities with respect to social capital, skills development, quality of life, and local economic impact. A clear link, however, between the presence of arts, artists, and cultural facilities and beneficial neighbourhood impacts has been elusive.

The Artscape Communities Impact Initiative is a multi-phase program that will develop a place-based framework allowing Artscape to unpack the public benefit generated by our facilities and programs at the neighbourhood level. This is one of the ways in which we are developing methodologies to measure the cultural, economic, social and environmental impacts generated by our projects, and to communicate the impact of that work.Through this understanding, we will individually and collectively be able to better tailor future programming and investment to maximize the impacts that our projects have and attract new and additional funding from diverse donors. Additionally, by enriching our understanding of the complex and varied relationships at our properties and in our communities, a more complete set of generalizable measures can be identified to capture the impact of the arts on communities, helping to sustain our cultural sector and position Toronto as a leading, globally competitive Creative Capital. 

Vital Signs Report Quote: 

Torontonians see the arts as having a positive influence in the neighbourhoods they live in, their individual lives, and the city they call home:

  • Toronto Art Stats 2015 compiled by the Toronto Arts Foundations and Leger share results from an online survey of just over 500 Toronto residents conducted in January 2015 and three focus groups in January and February 2015.
  • On a regular basis, 71% of Torontonians attend arts-related programs or events or visit cultural locations. Those under the age of 54 are more likely to attend than those 55 and up (81% versus 61%).
  • Concerts (53%), museums (52%) and film showings and festivals (both at 47%) are the top three events attended on a regular basis. Dance (19%) and readings (6%) are the only events to fall under the 40% mark.
  • A quarter (26%) of Torontonians go beyond attendance with their engagement in the arts. The most popular contribution is donating to an arts organization (9%), followed by being a member of an amateur arts group (7%), and being a student in arts classes or lessons (6%).[15]
  • 69% of Torontonians appreciate the contribution that local artists make to the city and 43% reported they would like to get more involved in the arts in Toronto.
  • The overwhelming majority of Torontonians (97%) see at least one benefit that the arts provide to the city, such as:
    • attracting tourists, 79%;
    • making the city a better place to live, 63%;
    • creating employment, 59%; and
    • attracting people to move here, 33%.
  • 89% of Torontonians see at least one benefit that the arts provide to themselves. 66%, for example, report that the arts expose them to new ideas, and 46% say they make them feel proud of their city.
  • Over half (52%) of Torontonians are very likely to take an out-of-town visitor to an arts-related activity, with top picks including museums, galleries, and festivals

What You Can Do

Donate to Artscape Foundation!

Your charitable contribution will help Artscape to:

  • Improve and maintain existing cultural space facilities, such as the Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Distillery Studios, Artscape Gibraltar Point and Artscape Youngplace;
  • Deliver unique, accessible and free-of-charge arts-based programming and community events in neighbourhoods across Toronto;
  • Develop ambitious new creative projects such Artscape Launchpad and Artscape Weston Hub described in more detail above;
  • Understand the impact of our work at the neighbourhood level through support of the Artscape Communities Impact Initiative; and 
  • Contribute to the field of creative placemaking through knowledge sharing and the coaching of next generation of creative space innovators.



Leslie Najgebauer
Director of Fund Development
416.392.1038 x36
Charitable Number: 855588034RR0001

Finance & Governance


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