STERLING ROAD WON’T BE QUITE THE SAME AFTER MAY 26TH – WHEN ‘MOCA’ OPENS ITS DOORS

<Lois Andison’s “golden on sterling”, produced for MOCA’s Benefit Editions>

After two years in the making, TORONTO’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is about ready for its debut in the former Tower Automotive Building, 158 Sterling Road. Built in 1920, the heritage building has a long history of aluminum manufacturing, sheet-metal casting and automotive parts creating.

The neighbourhood was once home to several industrial plants dating back to the early 1900’s. <PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives>  The Nestle Chocolate plant – home of Smarties, Kit Kat and Aero bars – is still just up the road.  You can even smell the chocolate.

<Before the reno began – PHOTO – Ryan Crouchman>

Among the opening exhibits – South African artist KENDELL GEERS’ “BELIEVE”

<‘THE COLUMBUS SUITE’, installation by the late Anishinaabe artist CARL BEAM>

<‘THE QUICKENERS’ by JEREMY SHAW, who is one of 15 artists in MOCA’s opening exhibition>

Sterling Road is within walking distance of 2 streetcar/bus lines, 2 stops on the the Bloor-Danforth subway (Line 2) & a GO transit station.  <PHOTO by Arash Moaliemi>

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TOWER BUILDING TO BECOME HOME TO MOCA, THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

artspin3The Tower Automotive Building, 158 Sterling Road in TORONTO’s west end was built in 1920 and had a long history making aluminum, sheet-casting and automotive parts. It closed about 10 years ago, shortly after being designated a heritage site.

artspin5Abandoned, but occasionally accessed by graffiti artists, photographers, pigeons, and urban explorers, the Tower will soon become home to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), which will be moving from its current perch in the West Queen West Arts District. MOCA will occupy the first two-and-a-half floors in the 10-storey highrise.

The Museum’s floor space will triple in size from its present site to as much as 5,400 square metres. The facility in Canada’s largest city will be within walking distance of two streetcar lines, two stops on the Bloor-Danforth subway and a GO station. MOCCA will join a number of other super-sized galleries in the immediate area, including Toronto Photographer’s Workshop, the Clint Roenisch Gallery, Scrap Metal, Daniel Faria Gallery, Arsenal, the Jessica Bradley Gallery and Mercer Union.

PHOTOS – Vic Gedris, http://www.junctiontriangle.ca

artspin2

TORONTO ART GALLERIES ARE COLONIZING A WEST END POST-INDUSTRIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD

GALLERIES3First there was ARSENAL/DIVISION GALLERY (45 Ernest Avenue, photo above artoronto.ca), then came JESSICA BRADLEY’S ANNEX (74 Miller Street), followed by the CLINT ROENISCH GALLERY (190 St. Helen’s Avenue), DANIEL FARIA GALLERY (188 St. Helen’s), the SCRAP METAL GALLERY (11 Dublin Street, unit E), KATZMAN CONTEMPORARY (86 Miller Street), and this month TORONTO PHOTOGRAPHER’S WORKSHOP (170 St. Helen’s Avenue) opened its doors.

GALLERIES2GALLERIES12GALLERIES4GALLERIES6GALLERIES9GALLERIES10<PHOTOS ABOVE – 1 & 2 Arsenal/Division; 3 Clint Roenisch; 4,5 Scrap Metal; 6.7 Toronto Photographer’s Workshop>

GALLERIES7These vast spaces were once lumber warehouses, scrap metal yards, garages, and a couple of fish storage plants. Gallery owners saw great potential here. Spaces this size are not readily available in TORONTO’s booming real estate market.

The galleries are scattered around a neighbourhood on the fringe of the up-and-coming JUNCTION between Davenport Road and College Street, Lansdowne Avenue and Miller Street.

GALLERIES5