Renew Scarborough asks John Tory for $2.5-million arts centre study

News Sep 19, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto Mayor John Tory asked people in Scarborough to send him three requests, and a group there has just named its second: $2.5 million to study the feasibility of a living arts facility.

A grand-scale arts centre, including a museum, art gallery, performance space and conference centre, is “desperately needed to improve the Scarborough economy,” the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization (SCRO) told the mayor in a Sept. 11 letter.

The building will “serve as a vehicle for rebranding Scarborough,” said SCRO, asking Tory to request $2.5 million at Toronto council for a study of the idea.

Designed by a famous architect, the centre would be a “vibrant, signature, scenic structure seen to be defining Scarborough,” said Dave Hardy, a SCRO board member who co-wrote the letter with SCRO chairperson Jennifer McKelvie.

Hardy, a Rotarian who led a community renewal campaign which inspired creation of SCRO – also called Renew Scarborough – in 2016, said the centre should seat 10,000, because Scarborough has no large concert venues.

“There’s nowhere for the Weeknd to play,” he said, referring to a popular singer raised in Scarborough.

The group maintains Tory, in April 2015, asked Scarborough’s renewal campaigners to send him three requests “to advance through his office.”

Tory appeared at Centennial College during that month and promised he would “show some leadership in moving some city jobs to Scarborough.”

Some municipal employees downtown “don’t have to be there,” and after studying which ones can be moved, Tory said, he would tell private employers, “I’m making the move to put some people in Scarborough; so should you.”

In October 2016, SCRO submitted, as a first request to Tory, a demand for the “immediate move” of 3,000 city employees, including entire departments and their senior staff, to the Scarborough Town Centre area.

The mayor’s office hasn’t responded, but says an office modernization review of city staffing will be completed this fall. The review includes options for employees to work at home or “city space closer to home.”

“We haven’t seen progress (on that request) up to this point,” Hardy acknowledged last week.

SCRO’s letter mentions the former City of Scarborough in 1984 had a five-year plan for the arts in Scarborough which suggested officials, hoping to promote local tourism, envisioned something like a Living Arts Centre.

That plan was to design a “Civic Arts Centre” that would provide opportunities for all the arts and serve as their central hub in the former city.

“Eventually, it might even become a North American or world centre in one or two art forms, such as puppetry and musical theatre,” the plan predicted.

Tory’s office said it is reviewing the request for $2.5 million.

Hardy said members of SCRO are realistic on how long a Living Arts Centre may take: “This may be a generation away.”

He said the group hasn’t settled on a third request.

SCRO lent public support to Tory’s transit plan for Scarborough, including a subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre, a SmartTrack station at Lawrence East and the Eglinton East light rail transit line to University of Toronto Scarborough, which is currently unfunded.

Renew Scarborough asks John Tory for $2.5-million arts centre study

No progress yet on previous request for 3,000 municipal jobs

News Sep 19, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto Mayor John Tory asked people in Scarborough to send him three requests, and a group there has just named its second: $2.5 million to study the feasibility of a living arts facility.

A grand-scale arts centre, including a museum, art gallery, performance space and conference centre, is “desperately needed to improve the Scarborough economy,” the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization (SCRO) told the mayor in a Sept. 11 letter.

The building will “serve as a vehicle for rebranding Scarborough,” said SCRO, asking Tory to request $2.5 million at Toronto council for a study of the idea.

Designed by a famous architect, the centre would be a “vibrant, signature, scenic structure seen to be defining Scarborough,” said Dave Hardy, a SCRO board member who co-wrote the letter with SCRO chairperson Jennifer McKelvie.

Related Content

Hardy, a Rotarian who led a community renewal campaign which inspired creation of SCRO – also called Renew Scarborough – in 2016, said the centre should seat 10,000, because Scarborough has no large concert venues.

“There’s nowhere for the Weeknd to play,” he said, referring to a popular singer raised in Scarborough.

The group maintains Tory, in April 2015, asked Scarborough’s renewal campaigners to send him three requests “to advance through his office.”

Tory appeared at Centennial College during that month and promised he would “show some leadership in moving some city jobs to Scarborough.”

Some municipal employees downtown “don’t have to be there,” and after studying which ones can be moved, Tory said, he would tell private employers, “I’m making the move to put some people in Scarborough; so should you.”

In October 2016, SCRO submitted, as a first request to Tory, a demand for the “immediate move” of 3,000 city employees, including entire departments and their senior staff, to the Scarborough Town Centre area.

The mayor’s office hasn’t responded, but says an office modernization review of city staffing will be completed this fall. The review includes options for employees to work at home or “city space closer to home.”

“We haven’t seen progress (on that request) up to this point,” Hardy acknowledged last week.

SCRO’s letter mentions the former City of Scarborough in 1984 had a five-year plan for the arts in Scarborough which suggested officials, hoping to promote local tourism, envisioned something like a Living Arts Centre.

That plan was to design a “Civic Arts Centre” that would provide opportunities for all the arts and serve as their central hub in the former city.

“Eventually, it might even become a North American or world centre in one or two art forms, such as puppetry and musical theatre,” the plan predicted.

Tory’s office said it is reviewing the request for $2.5 million.

Hardy said members of SCRO are realistic on how long a Living Arts Centre may take: “This may be a generation away.”

He said the group hasn’t settled on a third request.

SCRO lent public support to Tory’s transit plan for Scarborough, including a subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre, a SmartTrack station at Lawrence East and the Eglinton East light rail transit line to University of Toronto Scarborough, which is currently unfunded.

Renew Scarborough asks John Tory for $2.5-million arts centre study

No progress yet on previous request for 3,000 municipal jobs

News Sep 19, 2017 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Toronto Mayor John Tory asked people in Scarborough to send him three requests, and a group there has just named its second: $2.5 million to study the feasibility of a living arts facility.

A grand-scale arts centre, including a museum, art gallery, performance space and conference centre, is “desperately needed to improve the Scarborough economy,” the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization (SCRO) told the mayor in a Sept. 11 letter.

The building will “serve as a vehicle for rebranding Scarborough,” said SCRO, asking Tory to request $2.5 million at Toronto council for a study of the idea.

Designed by a famous architect, the centre would be a “vibrant, signature, scenic structure seen to be defining Scarborough,” said Dave Hardy, a SCRO board member who co-wrote the letter with SCRO chairperson Jennifer McKelvie.

Related Content

Hardy, a Rotarian who led a community renewal campaign which inspired creation of SCRO – also called Renew Scarborough – in 2016, said the centre should seat 10,000, because Scarborough has no large concert venues.

“There’s nowhere for the Weeknd to play,” he said, referring to a popular singer raised in Scarborough.

The group maintains Tory, in April 2015, asked Scarborough’s renewal campaigners to send him three requests “to advance through his office.”

Tory appeared at Centennial College during that month and promised he would “show some leadership in moving some city jobs to Scarborough.”

Some municipal employees downtown “don’t have to be there,” and after studying which ones can be moved, Tory said, he would tell private employers, “I’m making the move to put some people in Scarborough; so should you.”

In October 2016, SCRO submitted, as a first request to Tory, a demand for the “immediate move” of 3,000 city employees, including entire departments and their senior staff, to the Scarborough Town Centre area.

The mayor’s office hasn’t responded, but says an office modernization review of city staffing will be completed this fall. The review includes options for employees to work at home or “city space closer to home.”

“We haven’t seen progress (on that request) up to this point,” Hardy acknowledged last week.

SCRO’s letter mentions the former City of Scarborough in 1984 had a five-year plan for the arts in Scarborough which suggested officials, hoping to promote local tourism, envisioned something like a Living Arts Centre.

That plan was to design a “Civic Arts Centre” that would provide opportunities for all the arts and serve as their central hub in the former city.

“Eventually, it might even become a North American or world centre in one or two art forms, such as puppetry and musical theatre,” the plan predicted.

Tory’s office said it is reviewing the request for $2.5 million.

Hardy said members of SCRO are realistic on how long a Living Arts Centre may take: “This may be a generation away.”

He said the group hasn’t settled on a third request.

SCRO lent public support to Tory’s transit plan for Scarborough, including a subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre, a SmartTrack station at Lawrence East and the Eglinton East light rail transit line to University of Toronto Scarborough, which is currently unfunded.