Artscape is a not-for-profit organization that
makes space for creativity and transforms communities.
Support for this project has been expressed in the Weston community during public consultations held over many years to date. In July 2010, the City of Toronto initiated a feasibility study for a cultural/creative hub in Weston Mount Dennis, a Toronto Priority Neighbourhood. Artscape was selected to research this study. To ensure that the model was grounded and well researched, we surveyed best practices among cultural/creative hubs in Toronto and internationally and performed substantial primary and secondary research into the state of the cultural and creative sector in the study area. Artscape solicited the public’s involvement and input through an information meeting with key local organizations and networks, a Community Open House and a presentation to the community of the report findings. In January 2011, we presented the research and final recommendations of our study at a community meeting, with the full report submitted to the City in March 2011. The report investigates the feasibility of cultural/creative hubs in socially, economically and culturally disadvantaged areas, and offers some answers as to how cultural/creative hubs may be one tool that can be used to stimulate economic growth and the broader benefits of culture-led regeneration in Toronto’s Priority neighbourhoods.
Subsequent research and initiatives, notably a community design charrette and report by the Urban Land Institute’s Technical Assistance Panel, and the City of Toronto's Weston 2021 Revitalization Strategy in 2012, have also revealed support for the arts and culture playing a role in the revitalization of the Weston/Mount Dennis area.