No Vacancy Projects is a nomadic, experimental, and contemporary art project space that temporarily occupies vacant spaces - both commercial and domestic (storefronts, apartments, offices, houses, parking garages, warehouses, balconies etc.). Each mounted exhibition is site specific and context driven.

This project was first dreamed up through witnessing the amount of empty storefronts occupying the downtown core of the city of Toronto for months and years on end - a direct result from businesses being priced out via new and aggressive capitalistic ventures. A thought occurred (as is often inspired by the unobtainable): what if all these unused spaces that are just sitting vacant and collecting dust could be occupied and used for something more exciting, which can be experimental, in flux, challenging, and a reflection of our present? 

A major part of this project tackles the notion of “ideal viewing” within contemporary fine art. I wanted to create a space which counters the commercial white cube gallery setting and provide a platform that would be interesting for artists to tackle conceptually and within the expanded aesthetics of their work. As artists, I think that we have all imagined our work within special, unconventional spaces, or dreamed up installations we would like to do within the various spaces that are not necessarily catered towards art. No Vacancy does that and more: It challenges audiences to seek out the work and view it under special circumstances, creating an experience in and of itself, while also challenging the artists to work within unconventional spaces to expand their practices and create/place their work unrestrictedly.

** If you have a space that would be perfect for a future No Vacancy Projects contact

The inaugural No Vacancy Projects space uses the front room of 29 O’Hara Avenue, a domestic house situated in the strong community driven neighbourhood of Parkdale. The work occupies the entirety of the front living space, the front hallway - viewable through the front door, as well as the front lawn of this property. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, the work will only be viewable/experienced via the windows of the property (which will be disinfected regularly to avoid cross contamination).

29 O'Hara Ave, Main Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 2P7

Thursday August 13 - Friday September 4th 2020

12:00pm - 10:00pm daily

(or by appointment)

**Please note the exhibition is only viewable via the front lawn, windows, and front door. 


Instagram: @novacancyprojects

Neighbourhood Watch: 

The rented house

This exhibition unpacks ideas around voyeurism, displacement, and the occupation of space - specifically responding to where we find ourselves in present circumstances and reflective of Parkdale itself as a site of rampant gentrification. 

The Neighbourhood Watch Program was set up by the police in the 80s and 90s and encouraged community self surveillance to combat crime which instead helped stoke the fires of paranoia and xenophobia - a smokescreen for social control, especially within Parkdale, a site peppered with marginalized people, poverty, a large immigrant population, and mental health and addiction issues. The house logo with the glaring judgemental eyes has always had an air of uncomfortability surrounding it. This exhibition will be an exercise in taking power back from the all seeing eyes, and turning the gaze inward: the private becoming the public. This exhibition welcomes the voyeur that looks through living room windows on evening strolls to see how the occupants decorated or to get a glimpse of what they are doing. Especially interesting during these times when we have all been sequestered home due to COVID-19. We invite the neighbourhood to watch and break social cues to come warmly look through these windows and experience another life lived.   

Artists: Laura Moore, Kaya Joan, Sandra Brewster, James Rollo, Cindy Baker 

For more information on the individual works within this exhibition click here 

For individual artist biographies click here

Please join us for a special one night only performance by Cindy Baker on Saturday August 29th at 8pm. We will be viewing the performance on the front lawn via the bay windows. Please remember to bring masks and to social distance. 

Copyright 2019
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