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.
Our land acknowledgement has been collectively written by all of us at Critical Distance. We see a land acknowledgment as an opportunity to convey our understanding that we exist always in relation — in relation to past/present/future, in relation to the place upon which we stand, and in relation to each other.
And so we at Critical Distance take this opportunity to acknowledge that our organization operates on land that has been the home of Indigenous people and nations long before colonial documentation of time, specifically the Wendat, the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, and the Haudenosaunee, people who continue to live and work here in what is currently known to some as Toronto.
This territory is under the One Dish, One Spoon Wampum belt, a peace treaty dating back to before the 18th century which is a mutual agreement between the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabek people to share land and resources. Continuing in this spirit we wish to share this space and our resources as well, and encourage all who visit CDCC to join us in solidarity and support for Indigenous communities against the forces and effects of colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy. Support can look like many things, including working within institutions to dismantle systemic racism and inequities, ending violence against Indigenous women, 2spirit individuals and girls, and advocating for Indigenous rights to and stewardship of land. A list of Indigenous-run organizations and initiatives that you can support is always on display in our gallery for anyone to refer to for more information.
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