Live theatre venues and arts spaces have been steadily cropping up in Toronto in unexpected nooks and crannies from old storefronts to dusty basements.
The Attic is the latest to open in the east end, a nonprofit hub dedicated to providing affordable arts space and fostering artistic collaboration, education and community on Toronto's east side.
Kasey Dunn, who heads up The Attic Arts Hub, says the space will be programming a season of indie theatre shows, as well as arts camps, classes, and intensives for youth and emerging artists.
"In recent years, studies and reports by the City of Toronto have identified a need for affordable, sustainable cultural space for use by cultural industries, not-for-profit organizations and community groups," Dunn says. "And we are going to help fill that need."
According to Dunn, Leslieville residents have also voiced a desire for more local after-school programs and summer camps that focus on arts education.
"We intend to deliver not only a much needed arts space for professionals, but diverse youth programming to meet the needs of the community."
Named for its space occupying the top floor of Leslieville Place, a restored historical building at Queen and Vancouver, The Attic Arts Hub is a 1,200 square-foot studio boasting features from the original 1800s structure including a vaulted ceiling, skylights, a rooftop patio, a private washroom with shower and direct access from Queen Street.
"Our collective took over the space in November, and we've been busy renovating and getting set up, but have already hosted a number of theatre companies and dance groups for rehearsals, reading, and promo shoots," Dunn says. "The space will be a home for theatre, dance and music — both public performances and private rehearsal. We will also be hosting special events — cocktail parties, fundraisers, birthday parties, as it is a beautiful historical studio, with original beams and hardwood floors."
The Attic Arts Hub is officially launching Jan. 12 by throwing a party with entertainment, food and drinks and a silent auction to benefit the opening of the space.