The Creative Space Case Studies Project features case studies inspired by creative spaces across Ontario that have executed a capital project or renovation. ArtsBuild Ontario interviewed each organization between 2018 – 2020 and developed in-depth Case Studies and a Best Practice Summary that identifies key elements that resulted in each new build/renovation and ongoing operations.

The goal of these case studies was to provide specific details on each creative space project. We hope to enable organizations in understanding what resources and support they might need to execute projects and sustain their creative spaces.

We have also presented 9 webinars that highlight some of the projects featured in the case studies:

1. Working Together: Multi-Partner Creative Space Projects (Ottawa Art Gallery and SAW Gallery)

2. Alternative Creative Spaces and Adaptive Reuse Projects (Trinity St. Paul’s/Tafelmusik and Idea Exchange)

3. Engaging Community in Municipal Performing Arts Space Projects (Meridian Arts Centre and FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre)

4. Volunteer Boards & Creative Space Projects (Dundas Museum & Archives and Stratford Perth Museum)

5. Capital Project Case Study: The Tett Centre (The Tett Centre for Creativity & Learning)

6. Community Partnerships & Creative Spaces, featuring Carousel Players (Carousel Players)

7. Restoring & Revitalizing a 1934 Independent Cinema (The Westdale)

8. Revving Up Canada’s Car Museum (Canadian Automotive Museum)

9. Securing Permanent Space (The Stratford Perth Museum and The Theatre Centre)


Canadian Automotive Museum (Oshawa, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Carousel Players (St. Catharines, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Dundas Museum and Archives (Dundas, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Dundas Valley School of Art (Dundas, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (St. Catharines, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Galerie SAW Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Idea Exchange: The Old Post Office (Cambridge, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts) (Toronto, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Meridian Hall (Toronto, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre: The Al Green Theatre (Toronto, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Ottawa Art Gallery | La Galerie d’art d’Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Stratford Perth Museum (Stratford, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning (Kingston, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

The Theatre Centre (Toronto, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Thunder Bay Art Gallery (Thunder Bay, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Trinity St. Paul’s & Tafelmusik: Jeanne Lamon Hall (Toronto, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

The Westdale (Hamilton, Ontario)

Additional Formats:

Best Practices Summary:

The Best Practices Summary is a summary incorporating the learnings from the above creative space case studies.

Additional Formats:

This project is made possible by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts. 

Making Spaces for Art Case Study Series

With so many facilities-related projects happening throughout the province, ArtsBuild is pleased to highlight the accomplishments of arts organizations in Ontario. Making Spaces for Art is a series of case studies, each telling a story of a facility in Ontario; whether the story features a new build, a future project or an innovative renovation, this series is a look into the sustainable future of many arts organizations.

Meant to entertain and inform, Making Spaces for Art takes you inside the world of sustainable facilities in Ontario.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”

“The saying goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ but it took a community to build the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery…”

“Construction is a bit like printmaking. You plan the plate, you get it all ready, you ink it, you go to put it in the press, and its always a happy accident on how it turns out, because its never the way you’ve planned.” –  Heather Franklin, Executive Director

“Blue skies smiling at me, nothin’ but blue skies do I see” – Irving Berlin

“Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. For the Toronto Centre for the Arts, ‘big’ was their 1,800 seat Main Stage theatre…” 

“Sometimes, it is best to just dive in.  A cool lake on a hot summer day or a delicious plate of pasta, both deserve the dive in treatment.  Renovations… not so much.”

“Even with a wealth of information just finger flicks and nanoseconds away, there is so much more to be said about Mackenzie Hall.”

“Some things are timeless, ageless, and truly grand.  And while theatre as an art form is a perfect example of this, theatres themselves, tend to have an expiration date–especially ones that were built well over a century ago.  Such was the case of The Grand Theatre in Kingston.”

“After a few decades in school, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery is finally graduating. The gallery has been located in a hidden away corner on the campus of Confederation College for the past thirty-seven years. Those years are in the process of coming to an end.”

“It is the ambition of the Society to acquire at an early date, a substantial fireproof county building in which to preserve permanently all such records and general objects of historic interest.” – W.H. Breithaupt, November, 1912

“If we can achieve this with a log and field stone building, on a ridge, in the middle of one hundred acres, anyone can.” – Victoria Dickenson, CEO

“We are well placed in the middle of nowhere.” – Darrell Keenie, General Manager

“Artists need centrally located, affordable space.” – Rick Sacks, Artistic Director

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to forward, backwards, or sideways.” – H Jackson Brown Jr

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments.” – Shakespeare

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what you want and the other is getting it.” – Oscar Wilde

“I call it the best kept secret of Mississauga.” – Stuart Keeler, Director-Curator

“As a green muppet once said, ‘it is not easy being green.’ In this day and age however, being green has taken on a whole new meaning and a whole new importance.”

Creative Space Highlights

We interviewed three webinar attendees to showcase their creative spaces, learn more about their projects. You can read about them below