401 Richmond Street West – an old building with plenty of new ideas

The locals know about it, but visitors to TORONTO may overlook 401 Richmond.  It’s a remarkable place, created and presided over by Margaret (“Margie”) Zeidler.  The property, steps from Spadina Avenue at Richmond Street West, was once a tin factory.  In the sixties it was abandoned by Continental Can, and remained empty for 30 years.  Then along came Ms. Zeidler, and the old factory was transformed.

As Jane Jacobs once said, “old ideas can use new buildings, but new ideas need old buildings”.

401 Richmond is home to 140 cultural producers and micro-enterprises.  Here you’ll find several art galleries – including some of TORONTO’s oldest – a design/architectural bookstore, convivial cafe, a daycare, fashion and hat studios, at least one major art magazine and a notice board filled with gallery info on what’s happening around town.  You can easily spend a few hours here.

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