Our community is home to world-renowned artists and an epicentre for the cultural industries. Arts and culture is a staple for our residents and is part of our experience as Torontonians. The cultural industries, including Film and Television, are a significant creator of employment in our community and City.
As Chair of the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Board, I am working to ensure that Toronto remains a major player in the cultural sector, and that Ward 14 continues to attract these good, local jobs. Working with artists, residents and businesses, I have worked to ensure our community enlivened with art, and our community is able to attract performances from all over the world.
Click here to learn more about the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Board.
I encourage you to also sign up for CultureTO, a weekly e-newsletter produced by the City of Toronto's Economic Development & Culture Division that focuses on available resources and supports to help Toronto’s culture sector. Click here to sign up.
You can also sign up for my weekly e-newsletter online here.
East End Arts
East End Arts is a non-profit community arts organization that serves the east end of Toronto. We provide inclusive arts programming and events to our local communities, including youth, newcomers, seniors and priority groups. We also provide professional development opportunities to both emerging and established artists and arts organizations.
Our service area includes wards 14 and 19, which are loosely defined to the north by the Don Valley Parkway and Sunrise Avenue, as far south as Lake Ontario, as far west as Don Valley Parkway, and as far east as Victoria Park Avenue.
The east end is an area that is brimming with artists, arts and cultural organizations, and a wide array of creative communities and projects. The neighbourhoods we serve include Blake-Jones, Danforth Village, East Chinatown, East Danforth, East York, Greektown, Greenwood-Coxwell, Leslieville, O’Connor Parkview, Old East Danforth, Pape Village, Parkview Hills, Riverdale, Studio District, The Beaches, Topham Park, West Danforth, Woodbine Gardens and Woodbine-Lumsden.
Resonating with Toronto’s civic, community and cultural milieu – Crow’s Theatre at Streetcar Crowsnest adapts and evolves as the social, economic, cultural environment of the city adapts and evolves. Crow’s Theatre is distinguished as a preeminent cultural destination for its far-reaching imagination, ideas, exchange, diversity and grassroots belief in how artists and their work can change and sustain the life of communities. Crow’s Theatre is accessible to people of all backgrounds and ages. Crow’s Theatre is a catalyst in the community focusing on transformative experiences in unexpected places through the universality of the arts.
In our home at Streetcar Crowsnest, Crow’s Theatre is a unique addition to the ecology of Toronto’s non-profit arts scene, filling a long-standing need for a year-round venue in the East End of Toronto. In our third year, Crow’s has quickly become a stimulant for a year-round flourishing arts and events space.
The City of Toronto in collaboration with the local screen industry, has established xoTO Schools, a pilot program with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to enable enhanced access for location filming in 11 pre-approved TDSB properties. The scouting and permit application processes are streamlined for each of these properties, with the program offering a special daily rate card and 72-hour permit turnaround. More information on the program and the 11 sites currently participating are available through Ontario Creates and the City’s news release.
Ward 14 is full of beautiful street art and murals. You can find them on the sides of buildings, in lanes, along fences and in our parks.
StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism and replacing it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art. StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make our streets more beautiful and safe, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs and more.
The East End Bridges to Art Project was a project I initiated in 2017 with the idea of painting a series of murals on the rail bridges in Toronto-Danforth. Click here to learn more.
Leslie Barns Art
As part of the site plan agreement for the TTC's Leslie Barns in 2009, I negotiated a major contribution for public art to anchor Leslie Street as the gateway to the Leslie Spit. Following a nation-wide art competition, artist Dean Baldwin was awarded the contract by the City of Toronto in 2017.
You will find the magnificent "Typha" – an homage to the Leslie Street Spit – now at the south-east corner of Lakeshore and Leslie. This piece is constructed of Toronto streetcar railway track, rods and other profiles of Corten weathering steel, which have been sculpted into an impressive collection of reeds, rushes and cattails bundled into a five ton flower arrangement.