UNLIKE SMALL TOWNS & VILLAGES, SET IN THEIR WAYS, BIG CITIES ARE CONSTANTLY IN FLUX

“FLUX” has descended on the artist communities of TORONTO, Vancouver, New York, San Francisco and a bunch of other condo-crazy metropoli. Those who create are being forced to either pay crippling monthly rents, search for lower priced studio and living space in the city – or hit the road to the outskirts and maybe another town or county altogether.

That’s happened to the painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, woodworkers, animators and actors who – until very recently – lived and worked in The Coffin Factory. Built between 1883 and 1887, this building once turned out wooden doors, carriages and pianos – and around 1900, coffins (thus the name). In 1976 the artists moved in.

The heritage building will be saved and no doubt gentrified, but behind it will rise 12 and 14-storey condo towers. Over the past few years, artists living and working in west-end lofts – on Sterling Road, Dupont & Ossington, and recently, Dufferin north of Queen, have been evicted for condo developments, writes Samantha Edwards in NOW Magazine.

Says one artist, MYLES – “As we dissolve these kinds of DIY spaces, it causes a cultural migration and I don’t know what the downtown core is going to look like in 10 years. I hope one day all the condos will become dilapidated and we can turn them into art spaces. But they won’t have the same mystique and timeless beauty like this place did.”

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