1117 Queen St. West, a decommissioned former post office owned by Canada Post, has been put up for sale on the private market. This part of our community has a long history as a home to artists, galleries and performance spaces. But over the past decade, that creative energy has led to a development boom that has actually forced out many artists from housing, working space and gallery space.
Since the building was put up on the market, the community has been calling on the federal government to halt the sale of this property and ensure this public building is kept in public hands. A group of arts and culture organizations, including the neighbouring Theatre Centre, have proposed to turn the space into a arts and culture hub and have called on all levels of government to step in.
On behalf of the community, I wrote the provincial Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to call on her government to support using the space as a cultural hub, and to provide funding to help leverage the public support and convince the federal government to halt the sale.