Some Toronto musicians have weighed in on what they would like their ideal housing solution to include, as a Toronto not-for-profit aims to build it.
A quote from the June 2017 Toronto Star Article:
“…the building also includes a performance area, 10,000 square feet of soundproofed recording and rehearsal space, offices for the music industry and the not-for-profit community, “hot-desk space” for emerging companies and ready access to professional-development programming and educational opportunities within the same complex for artists looking to better their craft and their business savvy. Tenants would be able to avail themselves of all of it simply by virtue of living there.”
The concept comes from a not-for-profit corporation, Toronto Music City, which was recently formed by Toronto entertainment lawyer Andreas Kalogiannides. The idea has been fleshed out with advice from several high-profile music industry advisors.
George Stromboulopoulos, one of the advisors, commented, “I thought ‘Why not give it our best and see what happens?’ I’m very optimistic that if it gets built it’s going to be a very good place that a lot of people will want to be in.”
Says Simone Schmidt, who performs solo as Fiver and fronts local psych-rock ensemble the Highest Order, “I ride my bike with an amp in one hand and a guitar on my back because the TTC is so expensive. All the musicians who are parents that I know have left due to the absence of affordable daycare. There are so many factors that make Toronto inhospitable to musicians, including the exodus of a lower-middle-class audience.”
The organization will need to find funding to get the project off the drawing board. Which may prove extremely difficult, considering skyrocketing housing costs. The City has been approached for a third of the overall cost, but Toronto city staff have asked for time to research the overall feasibility of funding this type of “musicians hub” not only in this context, but in general across other Toronto housing projects.
Maybe they should build in Hamilton, and commute here. Or maybe just move here.
Anyone in town who has a building, and who LOVES musicians?