Stage Door News
Toronto: Help save the Dominion Foundry Complex Heritage Site
Sunday, January 17, 2021
The Dominion Foundry complex in Toronto’s West Don Lands, a listed heritage site recognized by the Smithsonian Institution, is in imminent danger of demolition by the Province of Ontario. The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) has been working together with the Corktown communities to regenerate the site into a thriving cultural, innovative and communities centre for the city, the province and the country. Details are at ircpa.net.
Last week, as The Foundry Steering Committee met, a demolition crew arrived at the site to raze the Foundry buildings. Because these are provincial lands, no demolition permit was required and no notice was given to the City, the community or heritage advocates – although the IRCPA and Corktown Residents and Business Association (CRBA) in October had emailed the Premier and Ministers Lisa MacLeod (Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries) and Steve Clark (Municipal Affairs and Housing) and subsequently spoken with the offices of the two ministers.
The IRCPA and CRBA are asking to meet urgently with Premier Doug Ford to discuss the impact for this project to go ahead. At the very least, they request the opportunity to complete the feasibility study already under way.
The IRCPA (ircpa.net) is part of the support system in Canada’s music industry. Since 1983, it has worked behind the scenes helping artists develop their full potential by keeping their skills sharpened, becoming savvy professionals and starting their own small businesses.
Ann Summers Dossena, IRCPA founder, longtime Corktown resident and a CRBA board member, noted, “Our joint project addresses immediate and future economic, cultural and social issues. The need for a centre for Canada’s musicians has grown more urgent every year and become dire during the time of COVID. The Foundry will create two much-needed performance venues, spaces for discussion, exhibitions and inter-disciplinary cross pollination with innovators, and affordable housing for musicians. A number of musical organizations have already expressed interest in moving their offices here.
“A hub for the diverse communities of historic Corktown, it will include daycare and the possibility for the 25,000 residents and businesses to come together as an inclusive neighbourhood.
“Very importantly, the complex would become completely self-sustaining, based on similar successful models in the U.S.
“We have learned there are no applications for development on the site. So we look forward to a fruitful conversation with the Premier.”
The Foundry: Canada’s Place for Music + Corktown Communities Hub ircpa.net/the-foundry
Save the Foundry: www.suzemorrison.ca/save_the_foundry