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Artscape’s receivership delayed for at least 30 days: Mayor Chow

A Toronto not-for-profit organization that provides affordable housing and studio space for artists will not be put into receivership for at least 30 days, Mayor Olivia Chow has announced.

In a message posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) on Saturday afternoon, Chow said Artscape’s receivership has been delayed thanks to support from the city and TD Bank.

“Artscape is a vital source of affordable living and working space for Toronto’s arts and culture community. Our city needs more, not less, affordable spaces for artists,” Chow’s post read.

She added that a working group that includes city staff and philanthropic, business and community leaders has been convened to develop a sustainable solution.

Artscape posted a statement on its website earlier this week announcing that its primary lender had taken steps that would result in the organization being placed into receivership.

The decision, according to the organization, was made after its post-pandemic financial restructuring had been unsuccessful due in large part to failed attempts to sell off Artscape Daniels Launchpad on Queens Quay East.

As a result, Artscape would “wind-down” its management of its spaces, the organization said, though the statement suggested that collaboration with the City of Toronto will allow the facilities to remain operational.

Founded in 1986 in response to an affordability crisis that some feared would ultimately price artists out of living and working in the city, Artscape currently operates a dozen buildings across Toronto.

Theatre director Mitchell Cushman, who resides in an Artscape-managed building on Toronto’s west end, told earlier this week that the receivership announcement “feels like whiplash.”

– with files from Aisling Murphy

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