“Square Feet: An Artists Guide to Renting and Buying Creative Space” now available to license for use in YOUR Community

The displacement of artists from the neighbourhoods they helped enliven is not a new phenomenon. In the late 1990's Artscape and Toronto's arts community noticed a real change in the real estate market: a variety of factors simultaneously at play threatened the places where artists lived and worked, and the dynamic energy they bring to the life of the city.
The re-use of warehouse buildings for lofts and offices was seen to be taking over the traditional habitat of the arts community. Liberalized zoning and Toronto’s Official Plan was setting the stage for massive intensification of development in the downtown core which now, in 2012, we are seeing realized. Artists leasing industrial and commercial space were being forced to move in unprecedented numbers.

In 2012, the challenges facing artists and arts organizations in finding affordable, safe, secure space are even greater than they were when we first published "Square Feet". Artists and arts organizations look to Artscape as the country's leading developer and provider of affordable work and live-work space, for help in their search for space.  

Fully revised and updated in 2011, "Square Feet" answers the questions Artscape hears most often: How do I go about finding a space? Gross lease, net lease, net-net lease – what’s the difference? Should I consider buying a place? What are my rights as a tenant? This manual answers these questions and many, many more.

The first edition of “Square Feet” was downloaded an average of 900 times per month from Artscape’s website. This astonishing figure offers clear evidence of the high level of ongoing demand for the detailed, expert advice on renting and owning property that "Square Feet" offers.  

"Square Feet" serves both individual artists and small arts and cultural organisations from all sectors and areas of professional arts practice. It is unique in Canada and we are regularly approached by municipalities and arts organizations across North America interested in developing a similar manual to serve their local arts community.  

Are you interested in adapting “Square Feet” for use in your community? Although Artscape has a Toronto mandate and some information in this manual is Toronto-specific, much of the information is relevant to the needs of artists across Ontario. Artists and arts organizations from communities in the rest of Canada, the USA and elsewhere will find much of the general advice and information useful as they plan their space search; however some of the information provided is province or country specific.

Artscape is now able to license “Square Feet” for adaptation for your community. A simple and affordable license agreement along with easy to follow instructions enabling you to adapt this invaluable tool to serve your local creative community is now available.  

If you are interested in this opportunity please do get in touch with me and we can take it from there!


Pru Robey, Director, Knowledge Exchange (pru@torontoartscape.on.ca)

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