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Heritage Toronto Awards – Barns-related Nominees

The Heritage Toronto Awards recognize individuals, community organizations, industry professionals and associations for exceptional contributions towards the understanding of Toronto’s history and heritage. In September 2015, Heritage Toronto announced the nominees for the 2015 awards. Among them were two Barns-related contenders: a blog named Back to the Park, and a short publication from the York Pioneer and Historical Society, “Before the Barns: The Edwards Family and their Leather Factory,” by Stephanie Lever.

Back to the Park documents Teresa Casas’ weekly “market square” pop-up exhibits at The Stop’s farmers’ market. The stories explore the history of the St. Clair West neighbourhood as well as other issues of interest to market patrons. As Casas explains on the site, “Through these [posts] I explore with market visitors the stories, places, issues and values that define life in the St.Clair West area.”

In her nominated article, Stephanie Lever explores the history of the leather tannery that occupied part of the site that eventually became the Artscape Wychwood Barns before the TTC used the site as a streetcar maintenance facility, with a focus on the Edwards family and their history in the area in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Congratulations, nominees!

2015 – An “Eventful” Year

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Events at the Artscape Wychwood Barns attract thousands of visitors year-round. The Stop Community Food Centre’s weekly Farmers’ Market alone brings in 2,000 people a week!

Community events animate the neighbourhood with art, performances, food and beverages full of Toronto talent. They contribute to Artscape’s wider mission to facilitate tenant- and community-led programs on art, the environment and community.

In 2015, the Artscape Wychwood Barns hosted 151 events with 128,350 people, such as:

  • Upcycle (April 26): In celebration of Environment Day and as a complement to the Ward 21 Environment Day, organized by Counselor Mihevc, Artscape hosted a “garage sale” to promote repurposing and repair of household items and clothing.
  • Barns Art Market (BAM) (May-September): Artscape organized and ran five BAMs in 2015, which featured 25+ exhibitors for each event selling jewelry, prints, paintings, photography, ceramics and more.
  • Circus 2015 (August 26): Circus returned with an evening of high-flying acrobatics, fire dancing, stilt walking, carnival games, carnival themed food and more for over 800 attendees.
  • Boo! At the Barns (October 24): The sixth annual event delivered once more frightful fun for the whole family, attracting over 1200 people and offering food, drinks and activities for all ages with the haunted house, tarot card readings, stilt walkers and face painting.

Several events by other organizations and companies drew in the community:

  • Toronto Life: Where to Eat 2015 (April 9): Toronto Life brought the pages of its annual Where to Eat issue to life with the inaugural Best Restaurants event, welcoming 450 guests and chefs from 16 of the best restaurants in the city.
  • Halo-Halo Festival (August 7): The Halo-Halo Organization presented its second annual and fun-filled festival of the communally-enjoyed Filipino dessert, which consists of shaved ice, evaporated milk, boiled sweet beans, caramelized plantain, dried and fresh fruits, jello and tapioca topped with ice cream, sweetened yam and/or flan.
  • Toronto Garlic Festival (September 18): This popular annual celebration of Ontario’s garlic harvest returned, featuring fascinating presentations on garlic’s history, health benefits and cultural secrets.
  • Soupalicious (September 27): Soupalicious hosted its annual soup-tasting harvest celebration, joining local gardeners, farmers, restaurants and chefs using local produce to create signature soups. The event supported Plant a Row – Grow a Row, a locally-based people-helping-people program established in communities across Canada to assist in feeding the hungry.
  • Supper with Syria (November 29): We are especially proud to have been the venue for the first Supper with Syria event, a community fundraiser to support Syrian refugees. Syrian and Canadian chefs prepared traditional Syrian dishes and exchanged personal stories of culinary customs with over 300 guests, raising over $118,000 to help sponsor two Syrian refugee families in Toronto.

Like our other hubs, the Artscape Wychwood Barns uses an innovative sliding scale rental pricing model. This allows us to offer reduced rental rates to community groups, festivals and smaller arts and not-for-profit organizations. See a cross-section of all our 2015 event clients on our Event Rentals page.

We hope to see you at “The Barns” soon and invite you to dream up a community event that you’d like to host!