Friday, June 28, 2013

News: Factory Theatre Announces Construction Start (Press release)

Friday, June 28, 2013
For Immediate Release


TORONTO, ON…  Ron Struys, Chair of the Board of Directors of Factory Theatre, Nina Lee Aquinoand Nigel Shawn WilliamsCo-Artistic Directors, and Sara Meurling, Managing Director, are pleased to announce the start of construction on a major renovation to Factory Theatre’s Bathurst Street heritage facility.

Renovation began in June 2013, and will continue throughout the summer months. On completion, a significant new entry from the Factory Courtyard will welcome visitors to both of Factory’s theatre spaces, with a street-level box office, lobby and passenger elevator to the MainStage Theatre. This will eliminate the steep – and for some insurmountable – 27-step climb to the existing box office and MainStage and begin the important work of rendering Factory Theatre physically accessible.

Says Struys: “This light-filled, contemporary structure will solve Factory’s problems of accessibility and street level recognition. It will also ensure that the entire historic complex is consolidated visually as a theatre and entertainment venue, spotlighting Factory as a key landmark in this evolving downtown neighbourhood.”

Aquino and Williams note: “The project continues to extend our ability to cultivate truly diverse audiences. This is key to strengthening Factory’s commitment to diversity in our audiences - whether we are speaking of diversity as ability, race, gender or any combination, the cultures and subcultures that make Canada the rich place that it is must always have a place in our theatres.”

Adds Meurling: “An accessible facility has been long anticipated by Factory artists and staff. The project honours the architectural heritage of Factory’s Bathurst Street home, adding modern 21st century elements complimentary to the building’s historical aesthetic.

Major capital campaign supporters include: the Province of Ontario through the Community Capital Fund, administered by the Ontario Trillium FoundationBMO Financial Group, with lead Accessibility Sponsor the TD Bank Group, local developers and property companies, including Allied Properties REITand Section 37 funds from Harhay Developments in partnership with Carterra Private Equities.

Phase 2 of the renovation is scheduled take place during the summer of 2014.  This will include creative and public space improvements to Factory’s 100-seat Studio Theatre, rendering it one of the best equipped small theatre spaces in downtown Toronto with a welcoming, fully accessible lobby space for patrons and guests.  

Project design is by Stewart Adams of Toronto’s unit a architecture, building on a concept developed by heritage architect Phil Goldsmith. The Capital Campaign “Accessing the Future” Steering Committee is chaired by Ron Struys. “Factory Theatre is committed to making improvements that will communicate to Canadians that our theatre remains vibrant, accessible and flourishing,” says Struys, “Our donors have told us that they believe in Factory, in what it stands for as the long-established ‘home of the Canadian playwright’. They have entrusted us with the funds to continue that tradition. We are now reaching out to the larger community to ensure this iconic Canadian theatre endures, and that artists and audiences alike are well served into the 21st Century.” 

Additional work being undertaken on the site includes restoration of the Adelaide street heritage façade, repairing the 100-year-old stained glass windows and architecturally significant roofette. This restoration has been supported in part by the City of Toronto Heritage grants program.

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

In early July you will be able to follow the renovation progress at

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