Even the thickest-skinned West Queen Westian can't help but be dismayed by the pending departure of SPIN Gallery.
The lofty multi-venue space at 1100 Queen West (near Dovercourt), which opened in 2000, is the area's latest arts casualty.
The Social , SPIN's downstairs club neighbour, will take it over. Owner Richard Lambert is promising it won't be just another bar expansion, but will continue to be an art space.
Instead of whining about building up a neighbourhood only to be forced out of it by high rents fuelled by gentrification, SPIN co-founder Stewart Pollock tries to sound upbeat.
"This is now the neighbourhood," says Pollock, who follows up by saying there won't be much of a bohemian atmosphere once condo dwellers, sold on the idea of living in the gallery-heavy neighbourhood, find out their very presence sent all the artists packing.
Just ask anyone living in the now-doomed 48 Abell artist spaces slated to be replaced by shiny new condos.
"The people who move in here will inherit an entirely different neighbourhood," says resident, artist and Active 18 member Jessica Rose .
Acceptance of economic realities doesn't mean you can't question a city that seems indifferent to its arts community, right?
Pollock thinks Toronto is missing out on huge tourist potential by not assisting in funding galleries on the same scale as Montreal.
SPIN co-founder Juno Youn is opening a smaller boutique space on nearby Ossington, which is teeming with new storefront ventures. Developers, start your bean-counting.