Info Session and Site Visit of Below-Market Rent Community Space

The City of Toronto is holding a community information meeting to inform the arts and culture community about Below-Market Rent spaces offered by the City of Toronto, and specific upcoming vacancies.

All are welcome. Arts organizations and community groups may be particularly interested to attend the upcoming information session site visit of a currently available space.

When: Tuesday, March 18 from 10 am to 12 pm
Where: 524 Oakwood Avenue, Toronto M6E 2X1

The information session will cover the following:

1. What is a Below Market Rent (BMR) community space? The process of Request for Expression of Interest for Below-Market Rent City Space (REOI).

2. The City of Toronto is currently seeking one or more organizations focused on youth services, arts and youth arts to occupy the Below-Market Rent City Space at 524 Oakwood Avenue (North York Neighbourhood: 401-Eglinton/Keele-Bathurst). On-site tour of the available space. Please visit for details of the BMR space.

To register or for more information please contact
Konrad Skorupa, Cultural Development Officer, Cultural Services, Toronto City Hall
416-392-9863 or

Quick Facts

Policy on City-owned space provided at below-market rent (BMRS)

What is Below-Market Rent City Space?

“Below-Market Rent City Space” is a term referring to arrangements between the City and outside organizations, where:

a) the organizations have exclusive use of City-owned or managed space, such as entire buildings or an assigned space within a building;
b) the organizations have use of the space over an extended period of time; and
c) the space is provided at a cost less than the full market rental rate of the space.

What are the eligibility criteria for organizations occupying space at below-market rent?

The essential eligibility criteria for organizations to be considered for space at below-market rent are:

a) Non-profit status;
b) Programs and services that are aligned with a city division mandate;
c) Service delivery for Toronto residents;
d) Mandate is not the sole responsibility of senior levels of government; and
e) Financial viability to maintain 5-year lease.

Assessment criteria will also be developed by divisions with respect to their own priorities and objectives. Emphasis on service priorities established by the local community and/or ward.

What are the terms and conditions of a BMRS arrangement?

There are two contracts that specify the terms and conditions of a BMRS arrangement

a) Lease – sets out standard space occupancy provisions, including term of arrangement, capital and operating responsibility, property tax arrangement, etc.
b) Service agreement – outlines the City’s expectations for services and programming provided by the tenant, including provisions for regular monitoring and review.

How does the City allocate below-market rent city space?

Determining the allocation of available space includes an Expression of Interest process used when City space becomes available in an area where there are specific City objectives that can be met by local community organizations. The allocation process includes an open call to local community organizations who may want to provide services in the area. The selection process will outline the City’s priorities for the area, and include an assessment process to determine the best match between potential users and City priorities.