Location: Toronto, Canada
Developer: Regent Parks Arts Non-Profit Development Corporation (RPAD): Artscape, Toronto Community Housing. The Daniels Corporation, the Regent Park community
Designer: Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
Size/Dimensions: 60,000 sq. ft.
A long process of engagement and activism lead to one of the largest urban revitalization plans in Canada for Regent Park, a 69-acre social housing project in a downtown Toronto neighbourhood. Under the direction of Toronto Community Housing, the aim of the revitalization was to reintegrate the neighbourhood with the rest of Toronto by re-introducing streets and creating new spaces for recreational, cultural, educational, retail and employment uses as well as mixed-income residential housing. Daniels Spectrum is one of these new cultural additions and is a result of a unique, multi-year, private-public development partnership between Toronto Community Housing (North America’s second largest social housing agency), The Daniels Corporation (a private developer), Artscape (a not-for-profit urban development organization) and the Regent Park community. Daniels Spectrum is a multi-faceted community event, studio and performance space with accompanying office space that offers a place for local artists, musicians and businesses to congregate and formulate new ideas. The project includes 16,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 6,000 sq. ft. indoor performance and event space, a 4,000 sq. ft. outdoor performance and event space, a 120 seat black box theatre with dressing rooms and 110 underground parking spaces. The estimated total cost of the project is $38 million.
Operated by Artscape, Daniels Spectrum houses 8 not-for-profit organizations and its event spaces include Ada Slaight Hall, the Artscape Lounge, the hallway galleries, and the MDC Partners Courtyard. Visual art/dance classes, music lessons, theatre rehearsals, youth programs, community potlucks, hallway galleries, and business development workshops are just some of the 800 events which have drawn over 150,000 visitors to Daniels Spectrum. All of the office space doubles as educational space for youth and adult learning programs. The facility provides an additional service to the community by providing space for the Show Love Café ran by Show Love, a neighborhood social enterprise that provides young people with an opportunity to gain valuable training and work experience in an encouraging and supportive environment.
Daniels Spectrum is a community cultural hub that incorporates community/civic space, educational space, office space, entertainment space, as well as a social enterprise café. The adjacent building contains a condominium development with a ground-floor restaurant, helping to add efficiency to the design, construction and development of the project. Biz Bash, North America’s leading event industry magazine, named Daniels Spectrum the Best New Venue for Meetings and Events in Canada.