Urbanist is a photo series that will look at developments, architecture, trends and activities happening in various cities––including our own––to inspire the urbane urbanist at home to make Toronto a better place.
While Toronto has been making headlines in recent years for its investment in artistic institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Ottawa has been in the spotlight of late because of the new theatre built by the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC). The GCTC recently opened up a brand-new home at Wellington Street and Holland Street in partnership with Windmill Developments, a local developer with a green bent. The Irving Greenberg Centre For The Performing Arts occupies the first two levels of The Currents, a green condominium project.
While the architecture is a little bland, the project is a good development for two reasons. First, the condos and theatre both incorporate green building technologies in the design, lessening the environmental footprint of the building. More importantly, this project is an important step towards sustainability for the local arts. In a city where the local arts scene is often overshadowed by national arts institutions, this represents an important investment in local arts and reinforces attempts at neighbourhood-building in the area. It also bolsters the creative element’s presence, which is important when trying to build an innovative city. While Toronto’s local arts scene is thriving, the Irving Greenberg Centre For The Performing Arts is an important reminder that local arts and artists, not just big institutions, need the support of philanthropic and government investments as well.
Photo by Erinn Cunningham.