TORONTO, June 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The desire to repurpose vacant space in
the rapidly-changing Downtown Yonge neighbourhood is behind a creative
collaboration launching this weekend.
A group of artists will be transforming a 4,000 sq.ft. space, once used
as a massage parlour, into a pop-up gallery and exhibition at Yonge and
Gerrard Streets, for the month of June.
Entitled Out of Pocket, the exhibition will focus on the functional history and physical
characteristics of the space, with 30 artists exhibiting their work.
"Finding out-of-the-box ways to use community engagement and
collaboration to repurpose vacant space is a core mandate of our work,"
says Mark Garner, executive director of the Downtown Yonge Business
Improvement Area (DYBIA), which played a role in facilitating the
The collaboration involved a number of key stakeholders.
First, a landlord willing to provide the space.
Broker Cory Rosen of Goudy Real Estate - a supporter of the BIA's active
retail recruitment program - agreed to consider a pop-up tenant at 1
Gerrard Street West.
The space is located in a heritage building on the corner of this
fast-growth intersection, opposite Aura, the tallest condo development
While the building is well-located, second-storey space is often more
challenging to lease, explains Rosen.
"Both the landlord and I were willing to look at new ways to showcase
the space, and present it in a new light," he adds.
Second, a user that could use and transform the space into something
Enter Ghazaleh Etezal, the entrepreneur behind Vacantful.com, an online service facilitating short-term endeavours in vacant spaces.
"I was aware of an artist collective looking for a pop-up gallery space
for June, and thought this might be a good fit," says Etezal.
Carrier Arts Organization, a nomadic artist-run organization focusing on
programming exhibitions locally and abroad, viewed the space shortly
thereafter and decided to secure it for their exhibition.
"When they saw the space, they knew it was the right one," adds Etezal.
Third, a group of sponsors willing to support a pop-up gallery: Office
of the President at OCAD University (OCADU); Faculty of Drawing &
Painting at OCADU; and Steamwhistle Brewery, as well as Vacantful.com
and Downtown Yonge B.I.A..
Thirty artists will be exhibiting at the gallery, which is open from
June 14 to 21.
The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday June 14 and
Saturday June 21, 2014 from 12 noon to 5p.m. as well as by appointment.
"We have a range of opportunities in Downtown Yonge at both street-level
and on second and third storeys, and we will continue to seek creative
solutions to using space," adds Garner.
SOURCE: Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area
For further information:
Executive Director & Chief Staff Officer
Downtown Yonge B.I.A.
Direct: 416.597.0255 x225
Goudy Real Estate Corp., Brokerage
Carrier Arts Organization