Critical Distance occupies a small but beautiful third floor gallery and office space within Artscape Youngplace, which is in turn a 75,000 square foot cultural community hub housing an exciting mix of arts, cultural, and social mission organizations. Some of our wonderful neighbours include the Koffler Gallery, Paperhouse Studio, Canadian Bookbinders and Artists’ Guild, SKETCH Working Arts, Small World Music Society, Intergalactic Arts, the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, College Montrose Children’s Place, and Luminato, as well as artists Heather Nicol, Vid Inglevics, Lyla Rye, Midi Onodera, Ruth Adler, Miriam Grenville, and Eve Egoyan.
Located within the former Shaw Street School, a heritage building just blocks from the vibrant arts and culture scenes on West Queen West, Dundas West, and Ossington Avenue, Critical Distance is ideally situated to participate and collaborate with the local arts community in producing new and engaging exhibitions, editions, and related events.
The project space itself is an intimate venue for curatorial and artistic experimentation, with approximately 325 square feet devoted to exhibitions and events. Adjoining the gallery is a small office/reception area featuring two nine-foot tall windows facing downtown Toronto. Ceilings are 14 feet high.
Artscape Youngplace is fully accessible by Ontario standards, with a wheelchair ramp at the 180 Shaw Street doors, an elevator servicing every floor and a fully accessible washroom on every level. The nearby 63 Ossington bus on the TTC is wheelchair accessible.
Critical Distance is located in what is now known as Toronto, Ontario. This land has been the home of Indigenous people and Nations long before colonial documentation of time and is specifically the land of the Wendat, Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Haudenosaunee. This territory is under the One Dish, One Spoon Wampum belt, a peace treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabek, and is a mutual agreement between nations for sharing land and resources. There have been many Indigenous names and words associated with this place, including the Mohawk word Tkaronto, meaning “where there are trees standing in water.” Today, Toronto is home to a multitude of Indigenous people, languages, and cultures from around the world.
We at Critical Distance encourage all those who visit our space to support and advocate for Indigenous people and communities, everywhere. In Canada specifically, this can look like many things; such as advocating and actively returning land, rejecting government legislation that violates the rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people, denouncing colonial histories within institutions, ending violence against Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and girls, donating money to Indigenous youth groups, and any actions that genuinely support the wellbeing and success of Indigenous people around the world.
Some local Indigenous-led community groups and initiatives to support include:
- Native Youth Sexual Health Network: http://www.nativeyouthsexualhealth.com/
- Walking With Our Sisters: http://walkingwithoursisters.ca/
- No More Stolen Sisters: https://www.amnesty.ca/our-work/campaigns/no-more-stolen-sisters
- Strawberry Ceremony on February 14th, every year at the Toronto Police Headquarters: http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/event/14th-annual-february-14th-strawberry-ceremony-for-mmiwg2s/
- Donate to the ENAGB youth program in Toronto: https://www.facebook.com/enagbyouthprogram/
- Idle No More: http://www.idlenomore.ca/volunteer