Toronto Media Arts Centre News

A Year of Art, Culture and Community at TMAC

January 19, 2019

One year ago this week, we were in the final stages of reaching a settlement with the City of Toronto that would allow us to take occupancy of our space at 32 Lisgar Street – to ensure the continuity of the organizations that make up our membership, and to begin delivering the community benefit that was promised so many years ago.

Full speed ahead!

June 6, 2018

This morning, TMAC and the City of Toronto issued a joint statement regarding the settlement agreement reached in February. We’ve had an amazing couple of months, and are thrilled to continue our work bringing media arts and community programming to our space on Lisgar Street. We’ll have more exciting details to share shortly!

An update about our settlement, and our first month at TMAC!

April 30, 2018

This weekend, an article in the Toronto Star brought to light details about our settlement with the City of Toronto and Urbancorp. The “obligations” referred to in the joint statement are now public.

We’re moving in!

February 23, 2018

This afternoon, the court approved our settlement with the City of Toronto and Urbancorp, as well as our interim occupancy agreement. We’ll be moving in to our new home immediately.

We have reached a settlement with the City of Toronto

February 6, 2018

We have accepted the City’s offer of settlement, which will resolve our litigation regarding the TMAC space at 36 Lisgar. There are still a few steps to go before we’ll be allowed to complete the purchase of the space. We’ll be in touch with our funders, partners, and members in the coming days to fill in the details.

Hearing date set for Jan 17 – and what you can do!

December 21, 2017

Yesterday, our lawyer appeared in Ontario Superior Court to ask for an injunction to prevent the City of Toronto from blocking TMAC from taking temporary occupancy of our space at 36 Lisgar.

TMAC to file injunction over arts space at 36 Lisgar

December 19, 2017

The Toronto Media Arts Centre will ask the court for an injunction to prevent the City from blocking our interim occupancy of the arts space at 36 Lisgar – a privilege Urbancorp has enjoyed for over a year with the explicit blessing of City staff.

City of Toronto rejects interim occupancy proposal

December 18, 2017

In a surprising development, City staff have refused to support TMAC’s efforts to relieve its space crisis while we wait for Edge on Triangle Park to finalize its portion of the resolution we’ve been working towards.

Updates from our members

November 28, 2017

On Monday, November 27, TMAC had a productive meeting with City staff and Councillor Ana Bailão about our members’ urgent space issues. All agree that the process of finalizing the settlement is taking too long. A solution is needed to house our organizations in the interim.

Some positive momentum

September 20, 2017

We’re once again in productive talks with the City of Toronto about coming to mutually acceptable terms about the space at 36 Lisgar and certain a resolution is just around the corner.

Moving forward with our claim against the City

June 22, 2017

As our community is painfully aware, our fight to protect the cultural benefit at 36 Lisgar and secure a permanent home for media arts in Toronto has dragged on for years. All we have asked is for Urbancorp to deliver on its contractual obligations to us – nothing more, nothing less. The City has always had the ability to compel them to do so, but has not.

AGCO update and Ward 18 community event

June 19, 2017

Our license application – and news of progress towards occupying the arts hub – has been met with excitement by the local community at 36 Lisgar, 150 Sudbury, 68 Abell and surrounding residences!

Spring 2017 update

May 15, 2017

We are still at it! TMAC is making (slow, but sure) progress toward a settlement that will work for all parties to our lawsuit, which now includes the trustee for Urbancorp’s bankruptcy.

Mediation progress & Urbancorp bankruptcy

September 30, 2016

It’s been close to a year since we engaged in mediation with the City of Toronto and Urbancorp. Progress has been slowed by Urbancorp’s April 2016 filing for bankruptcy protection, which put a pause on our litigation.

Active 18 AGM

June 21, 2016

TMAC representatives and members attended the Active 18 AGM on June 21.

Mediation date set!

September 21, 2015

The day after we filed our reply to Urbancorp and the City’s statements of defense, the City of Toronto reached out to TMAC to ask if we’d be open to mediation (rather than proceed to court with our claim). Of course, this is exactly what we’d been asking for all along–for the City to simply talk to us and make time and space for all parties to come to a positive resolution.

Reply to Urbancorp and City of Toronto Filed

July 22, 2015

We filed a joint reply to the City’s and Urbancorp’s statements of defence today.

Response to the City’s Statement of Defense

June 29, 2015

Today, the City of Toronto responded to the statement of claim TMAC filed on May 28. It’s an interesting document filled with many assertions and much erroneous information. We are curious to see how the Court responds to the City’s claims.

A Way Forward

June 22, 2015

About a month ago, TMAC filed a statement of claim against the City of Toronto and the property developer Urbancorp. It was a sad end to a four-year collaboration that was supposed to result in a new media arts centre our neighborhood, members, and community could be proud of — a place to build the future of our organizations.

Open Letter Re: The Cultural Space at 36 Lisgar

June 15, 2015

The state-of-the-art, purpose-built media arts facility we secured in 2011 through a Section 37 deal with condo developer Urbancorp and the City of Toronto has been ripped out from under us just as we were preparing to move in. We are frankly mystified by the lack of support and facilitation the City provided to ensure Urbancorp did not default on this deal.

In May 2015, the City of Toronto and Urbancorp breached their obligations under a contract with TMAC. We’re suing both parties for the right to purchase the arts space as agreed. Here you’ll find updates about our progress towards a resolution that will bring arts back to the Queen West Triangle.

Read the latest media coverage

Connect with TMAC 👋


  • February 2018 TMAC and the City of Toronto sign agreement resolving the legal dispute over the TMAC space at 36 Lisgar.

  • December 2017 TMAC files motion for an injunction for temporary occupancy of the space while we continue negotiating the settlement. Court date set for Jan. 17, 2018. More info

  • November 2017 The City blocks our proposal for temporary occupancy of the space to provide relief to our member organizations with expiring leases – despite granting Urbancorp permission to use it as an office. More info

  • April 2016 Urbancorp files for restructuring under bankruptcy act

  • October 2015 - December 2017 Mediation begins, and all parties engage in a negotiation process

  • June 2015 City holds a public consultation, signalling its intent to move forward with an RFP process, despite a legal action by TMAC asserting its rights to the space

    A “raucous” community consultation attended by 200+ community members, plus local and national news media, sends a message to the City: The community wants TMAC in its space. 'Parkdale'

    Watch a short video clip from the meeting

  • May 28, 2015 TMAC files a statement of claim against Urbancorp and the City of Toronto for specific performance of the APS, requiring Urbancorp to complete the sale

  • May 3, 2015 TMAC tenders closing deliveries; Urbancorp refuses to complete the transaction

  • April 2015 City directs Urbancorp not to complete sale, despite facility being substantially completed for occupancy and subsequently registered

  • 2014 Urbancorp, TMAC and the City finalize Agreement of Purchase and Sale (PDF) 'APS'

  • 2012 Urbancorp and the City enter into Section 37 agreement (PDF) subject to a  land use agreement (PDF)

  • 2012-2015 TMAC designs the facility, investing close to $1m in public funds and thousands of volunteer hours into overseeing the build

  • 2011 TMAC and Urbancorp sign a letter of intent'Saskin'

  • 2005 TMAC commissions needs assessment for shared facility 'Saskin'

  • 2003 TMAC formed to secure permanent affordable space for media arts non-profits

  • 1994 TMAC’s precursor, the Cultural Arts Centre Toronto (CACTI), commissions feasibility study (PDF). 'Parkdale'