Developer: Regent Park Arts Non-Profit Development Corporation (RPAD)
Designer: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Site size: 1.4 acres (0.6 ha)
A long process of engagement and activism led to the creation of one of the largest urban revitalization plans in Canada for Regent Park, a 69-acre (28 ha) social housing project. Under the direction of Toronto Community Housing, the aim of the revitalization was to reintegrate the neighborhood with the rest of Toronto by creating new spaces for recreational, cultural, educational, retail, and employment uses as well as mixed-income housing.
Daniels Spectrum is one of these new cultural additions to Regent Park. It is a result of a multiyear, private/public development partnership among Toronto Community Housing (North America’s second-largest social housing agency), the Daniels Corporation (a private developer), Artscape (a not-for-profit urban development organization), and the Regent Park community. Daniels Spectrum is a multifaceted community event, studio, and performance space with office space that offers a place for local artists, musicians, and businesses to congregate and formulate new ideas. Set on a 1.4-acre (0.6 ha) parcel, the project includes 16,000 square feet (1,500 sq m) of office space, 6,000 square feet (557 sq m) of indoor performance and event space, 4,000 square feet (372 sq m) of outdoor performance and event space, a 120-seat black-box theater with dressing rooms, and 110 underground parking spaces. The total cost of the project was CAD$38 million (US$29 million).
Operated by Artscape, Daniels Spectrum houses eight not-for-profit organizations and has hosted over 800 events, including visual art and dance classes, music lessons, theater rehearsals, youth programs, community potlucks, hallway galleries, and business development workshops.