Work at CSI for the day with our new Lounge Pass!

Beyond Coworking: Engaging Entrepreneurs in the CSI Community Living Room in Regent Park

You might be familiar with CSI’s two coworking locations (Spadina and Annex), but did you know about our third Toronto location? The CSI Community Living Room is located on the ground floor of the Daniels Spectrum Building at 585 Dundas Street East in Regent Park, a culturally diverse and vibrant neighourhood in transition. It officially opened in late March of this year – here’s what you should know!

A group of children sits on the floor listening to a book being read aloud at the CSI Community Living Room in Regent Park

The CSI Community Living Room in Regent Park is a neighbourhood-level pilot to build community wealth. Think of the Community Living Room the same way you would your own personal living room – a place to convene, host, relax, have conversation, and play. The best part is that because it’s open to the whole community, you’re bound to meet or make a friend there! The Community Living Room is a gathering space, community space, event space, launch pad, and community asset. It is made possible through funding from the Toronto Artscape Foundation, in partnership with Artscape Inc., and supported by The Daniels Corporation

This isn’t our first foray into the neighbourhood — CSI has been part of the Regent Park community for nearly a decade. We had a third coworking space in the Daniels Spectrum Building for eight years that we closed in 2020 (dang covid!), using the reflection time of the pandemic to recognize that we could better meet the needs of the community in other ways. With an invitation from the Toronto Artscape Foundation, encouragement from the Daniels Corporation, and the support of the Regent Park community, CSI pivoted from a coworking focus and leaned into our expertise in place-making, culture building, and elevating the animation of a community space. This new space reflects the effervescent spirit of Regent Park, and turns a previously underutilized space into a community-based asset. Our long term vision is to leverage our strong social infrastructure, and commitment to local capacity building, to support the community in taking on greater operational leadership of the Community Living Room, and continue to build partnerships that support a stable community asset for the future.  

Vendors and customers at the Cultural Bazaar in Regent Park.Now that you’re familiar with the CSI Community Living Room, here are some reasons to come and visit! The summer is a particularly exciting time in Regent Park. In the Big Park, check out Taste of Regent Park and Under the Stars Movie in the Park every Wednesday, a collaboration between Fred Victor and the Regent Park Film Festival. On Fridays, visit the Cultural Bazaar, supported by the Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development, for live music, henna, raffles, and food from around the world.

A promotional poster for the Moonlight MarketNew on the summer scene this year is the Moonlight Market, a collaborative effort to showcase local, female-identified entrepreneurs. The project is made possible with funding from the City of Toronto Main Street Innovation Fund and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, and supported by CSI, the Social Development Plan Employment and Economic Development working group, and the Women’s Entrepreneur Group. The Moonlight Market will run Thursday and Saturday evenings from 5-10pm on the east patio of the CSI Community Living Room (corner of Dundas and Regent Park Boulevard) from July 28 until September 17 with local entrepreneurs and entertainers. By supporting local entrepreneurs early in their development, you support a network of changemakers that are making the world a better place. Regent Park residents have always known that their community has a lot to offer, and now you can witness their innovation firsthand at the CSI Community Living Room.

Come join us for food, art, music, activities and, most importantly, community – see you there!

Looking for a spot to host an event? Want more info? Connect with us!

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CSI is many things - a coworking space, a non-profit organization, and a launchpad - but, first and foremost, we are a community. A community of innovators, of changemakers, of neighbours, of people putting people and planet first. And the awesome work that our members do, each and every day, never ceases to amaze us! So of course, we do our best to highlight our members whenever possible. Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Molly Bannerman, Director of Women HIV/Aids Initiative (WHAI), a community-based response to HIV and AIDS among cis and trans women in Ontario. Below is an edited summary of our chat, where we discussed the work of WHAI and their latest Collective Action Community Change report.
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