401 Richmond Internship Opportunity

Urbanspace Property Group is seeking an exceptional undergraduate candidate to work with the organization in the fall of 2021. The organization is eager to connect with students from any course of study who are passionate about urban planning, creative space-making, architecture, design and the Urbanspace Property development mission.

About the organization:

Urbanspace Property Group owns and operates 401 Richmond Street West, a heritage-designated building in downtown Toronto since 1994. As a mission-driven developer and property manager, Urbanspace Property Group’s initiatives are directed toward the preservation and restoration of historic and architecturally significant spaces. The overall goal is to adaptively reuse old buildings to provide commercial opportunities for creative, non-profit and innovation sectors. Urbanspace incorporates sustainable building efforts and a commitment to environmentally sound practices in the restoration, operation, and maintenance of its property. The 401 Richmond complex provides space for artists’, galleries, film festivals, charities, not-for-profits, magazines, architects, theatre groups and design firms and fosters the development of an inspiring integration of commerce, culture, and community. The building’s renewal, more than 25 years ago, was inspired by author Jane Jacobs’ observation that “new ideas need old buildings” and the importance of diversity and mixed-uses in the city.

Description of placement:

We are undertaking a multi-staged research initiative aimed at capturing and promoting an important narrative connected to the contribution of the 401 Richmond facility as a cultural influence in Toronto and beyond. In the creation of this living archive, a critical component of the initiative is the development of an events program comprising talks, lectures, symposia, exhibitions and related activities. These events will serve to highlight the unique significance of the 401 complex as a cultural hub and incubator for creative industries and social enterprise. This initiative can be broadly described as an analysis of history, philosophy and architecture as it relates to the activities and tenancy of 401 Richmond Street. It is anticipated that the event program would comprise virtual and in-person activity, as permitted by provincial pandemic guidelines.

Tasks and responsibilities are as follows:

  • Conducting historical and present-day research around the function and impact of 401 Richmond Street West as a cultural hub and creative catalyst
  • Assist in the planning and execution of an event program, which will include:
    • Event Concept and Structure – identify priority content and develop event framework
    • Participant Liaison – engage and facilitate event participants and other stakeholders
    • Resources Development – identify required resources and determine a strategy for procurement
    • Promotional Strategy – creation of an outreach and communications plan to create event awareness
    • Event Documentation – ensure digital documentation of the event for inclusion within the online archive
  • Assist in the content development of a dedicated website designed as a centralized host platform for the results of this multi-staged research initiative

Virtual team meetings will take place weekly, and the candidate will work in consultation with the organization’s Curator, Special Projects, who will also provide ongoing support particularly as liaison with 401 Richmond Street West tenants and extended stakeholders.

Special Requirements for a student placed in this organization: Currently, the opportunity is expected to take place both remotely and onsite, as permitted by provincial pandemic guidelines.

Timing or hours of placement: 8-10 hours per week/12 weeks, up to a maximum of 120 hours. Hours per week can be conducted flexibly.

This project is supported by the Learning & Education Advancement Fund at the University of Toronto

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