Our History

The Beaver Hall Artists' Co-operative was founded in 1988. Located in the heart of Queen Street West's art and entertainment district, this housing co-operative was designed to meet the needs of working visual artists.

Throughout the the 1970s to the mid-1980s, Toronto's downtown core was heavily populated by artists, giving birth to a vibrant, cultural community within the heart of the city. As the result of increased gentrification, redevelopment and escalating real estate costs, more and more artists were forced out of the community that they had worked so hard to build.

In order to secure affordable living and studio space, artists Colin Campbell, Lynne Fernie, John Greyson, Johanna Householder, Rick Amis, Tanya Mars, and George Hawken (with the assistance of Lantana Non-Profit Homes) devoted several years to arranging, financing, and developing a 24-unit, live-work building for Toronto artists.

Named after the Beaver Hall Hill Group — an association of artists who shared studio space at Beaver Hall Square (Montreal, circa 1920s) and sought to educate the public about Canadian art — the Toronto co-op became part of a nation-wide movement to secure live-work spaces for artists across the country.

IMAGE: Queen Street West by JERZY GALECKI

Copyright © 2008-2009 Beaver Hall Artists' Co-op