Community Meeting Q & A

We held a community meeting on November 14, 2016 in the Weston neighbourhood about the findings of our community survey and community visioning process. A number of questions were raised by those in attendance. Here are the questions raised and their answers:

Will pedestrians be able to access the Hub from King Street, using the existing lane alongside the rail corridor?

The driveway between the north edge of 33 King Street and the rail corridor will remain open, but the primary function of that space will be vehicular access for service and loading. Transportation consultants have advised that the entirety of this space is required to accommodate vehicular manoeuvering, and that there is insufficient space to create a dedicated pedestrian walkway.

Will the affordable live/work spaces for artists and artist-led families be RGI (rent-geared-to-income) units?

The affordable live/work rental units will not be RGI units. The Artscape affordable housing business model is premised on ensuring operating and financing expenses are covered through rents not exceeding 80% of the CMHC average rent for similar units.

How will tenants be selected for the live/work spaces, and when will that take place?

Tenant selection for the 26 affordable live/work spaces at the Hub is not expected to take place until early in 2018. To be eligible to rent a unit with Artscape, applications will need to be from professional artists as determined by an Advisory Committee of artistic peers using criteria outlined in the Draft Canadian Artist Code.  The Advisory Committee will not look at an applicant’s artwork, or consider the quality of an applicant’s work – it will review the artist’s CV to ensure that he or she meets the criteria set out in the Code. The inclusion of local artists in the live/work spaces will be a priority, and outreach to the local artistic community will take place in advance of the call for applications. The composition of the Advisory Committee and the specific criteria for tenant selection have yet to be determined. Please subscribe to the Artscape Weston Hub mailing list here to receive any future updates regarding the Hub’s affordable live/work spaces and the tenanting process.

Will the live/work spaces be able to accommodate more industrial-style arts production (requiring kilns, furnaces, etc.)?

Unfortunately, due to the location of the units in the podium of an existing residential tower, and the very specific requirements to fit out a space for more industrial uses (electrical, fire prevention, ventilation, etc.), there will be certain types of practice and production that will not be compatible with these spaces. Please, though, do not hesitate to contact us and tell us more about your practice once the tenanting process begins.

The ‘flex’ and event spaces in the Hub seem very non-specific in terms of intended use – why isn’t there a sprung dance floor?

The spaces in the Hub will have to strike a balance between providing the necessary facilities to enable a wide range of activities, while not being fitted out so specifically that the features of a space actually inhibit broad community and organizational use, or adaptability for a range of future uses. These spaces are intended to host performances, rehearsals, celebrations, classes, workshops, lectures, parties – clean and messy activities, loud and quiet, small and large. To this end, we will be giving careful consideration to matters such as flooring, lighting, sound mitigation, sinks, and audio-visual capacity. In designing the spaces at the Hub, Artscape will be relying on the experience gained from the development and operation of similar spaces in other properties. As an example, we have learned that a sprung wooden floor – while great for dancers – is an expensive feature, and that taking proper care of such a feature limits the range of activities that can take place in a space.