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. You can read the whole thing here:
Reply to Edge on Triangle Park and City of Toronto (PDF)

# The City’s Defence

The City claims its conduct was justified as a “good faith attempt to support the City’s objective of ensuring that the Space could be successfully operated for the benefit of the Community.” Instead, the City’s actions have had the exact opposite effect, as it knew or should have known they would. If the City had simply fulfilled its obligations, TMAC would already be operating the space and providing a benefit to the community.

Instead, the Space sits vacant with no prospect of the community receiving the promised benefit from it in the foreseeable future. The City’s careless actions may delay operation of the Space for months or years if it does not take steps to begin mediation soon.

The City attempted to colour the proceedings with an attack on TMAC’s alleged “financial and operational” problems. These allegations are untrue and legally irrelevant — our right to purchase the space was not conditional on the City’s continuing faith in our abilities — and should be disregarded entirely. (We did think the City’s claim that TMAC has “no experience in operating a very large number of events” was particularly funny, having run between our orgs about 1,500 events in the last four years alone.)

# Urbancorp’s Defence

Urbancorp’s claim that TMAC’s rights could be terminated by Urbancorp’s own delays is incorrect and ridiculous, contradicted by the plain words of the agreement.

Urbancorp claims that because it did not fulfill its pre-closing obligations by May 3, 2015, its obligations to complete the transaction simply disappeared. No suggestion has been made that TMAC lost its right to purchase the space through anything it did or failed to do.

Urbancorp failed to work diligently and in good faith to complete the sale, robbing TMAC of close to $800,000 in investment and four years of work, and the community of the arts and cultural space it was promised.

TMAC remains open to talking to the City about how to resolve this situation. We need Councillor Bailao to meet us halfway and take steps to begin a formal, transparent, accountable process to get everyone to a positive resolution. It’s not too late for the City to take responsibility for its actions and do right by TMAC, Toronto artists and the West Queen West community.

# So, what’s next?

While we wait on the City to decide how it wants to proceed (whether to leave the space sitting empty for years or simply talk to us), TMAC continues to operate on the assumption that we will soon be able to occupy the space we designed and built. That means:

  • Operating under our collaborative governance model as a charitable organization. We don’t have our permanent home yet, but we’ll adapt as we always have to the resources we have and the challenges in front of us.
  • Planning our inaugural year programming, cinema fitout capital campaign and tenant membership drive.
  • Developing exciting collaborations and co-presentations for fall/winter 2015 with our members.

We’re very grateful to our lead donors and funders for their continued support! If you’re interested in TMAC’s future, consider making a tax-deductible donation. Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook, join our mailing list, and we’ll keep in touch!