Spacing magazine is pleased to announce we have obtained the naming rights to the Leslie Street Spit Quonset Hut. Months of negotiations with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) — the municipal body that regulates the Spit — have resulted in this unique partnership, allowing Spacing to expand its reach and preserve a historic structure.
As of today, the iconic metal structure will be known as Spacing Magazine Hut. On top of purchasing the rights and affixing our sign — up as of 3:14PM yesterday — we will be restoring and converting the hut into a “Public Space Interpretation Centre” that will house both permanent and rotating exhibitions. Spacing Magazine Hut will be Toronto’s premier physical hub for both thought and activity involving the public realm, a world-class attraction unique to our city.
This project began back in September, when I wrote an essay about this particular Quonset Hut for the Toronto Star’s Ideas page. Though run-down, the hut is still as formidable as its World War II origins would suggest. When I discovered that the hut was to be torn down in the near future, the other Spacing editors and I felt compelled to act. We brainstormed ideas, came up with a plan, and contacted TRCA. Being one of the continent’s most innovative conservation organizations, they were extremely open and receptive to our idea. Partially inspired by our friends at Toronto Life magazine, and their move last year that redefined — and renamed — public space by creating Toronto Life Square at Yonge and Dundas Square, this new venture is an exciting step for Spacing into the world of high profile branding and convergence marketing.
Most unique about our Quonset Hut, found approximately half-way out the Spit’s five-kilometer length (officially known as Tommy Thompson Park, named after the former Metro parks commissioner), is it’s likely the Toronto structure in a public space located farthest from privately owned land, making it even more of an attractive and natural a fit for us.
Apart from the exhibition space, we are most pleased to have secured a locally-built vintage 1961 Faema E61 Legend espresso machine that will also be installed inside the hut. Once an uncivilized land of concrete ruins and squawking cormorants, pedestrians, cyclists, and roller bladers will now be able have a robust and motivating coffee on their way out to Vicky Keith Point at the end of Spit. Though TRCA regulations prevent us from roasting our own beans on site, all our coffee will be fair-trade, supplied locally by Kensington Market’s Moonbean Café who roast and create their own blends at their 30 St. Andrew Street location.
Spacing Magazine Hut’s interpretive centre and café will open officially on Victoria Day weekend in May, just in time for a fantastic Toronto summer, something we have all been waiting for. So make a plan to come by.
Photo by Val Dodge