The Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclass supports the sustainability and growth of creative enterprises and live music venues in Toronto. By incentivizing creative collaboration, arts accessibility and local live music, the Tax Subclass allows hubs of creative activity to thrive in the city.
Creative enterprises are entities that produce cultural goods or services as defined by the Canadian Framework for Cultural Statistics.
A qualifying property must have as tenants creative enterprises that are charged a below market rent, that produce cultural goods and/or provide cultural services.
The property must consist of a physical building (i.e. not a virtual network) with a minimum net rentable area of 10,000 square feet, or minimum net rentable area of 5,000 square feet where the property is owned by the City of Toronto or notwithstanding, houses more than 40 separate tenants that meet the definition of ‘Creative Enterprises’.
The property must have a minimum of five distinct, full-time tenants that meet the definition of “Creative Enterprises”.
The qualifying property must have creative enterprises as tenants that produce cultural goods or provide cultural services that are charged below average market rent. Below average market rent is at least 30 per cent lower than the average market net rent for a similar space in the same classification of property as defined by BOMA standards and in the same neighbourhood.
A membership based co-working facility is a type of work space where self-employed individuals or small enterprises (the members) use a shared office or other physical work environment on a membership basis as opposed to a lease arrangement. A membership fee is the fee paid by said members to a building operator to access the space and any shared resources/services offered as a benefit of membership.
A co-working facility is a type of work space where self-employed individuals or small enterprises (the member) use a shared office or other physical work environment on a membership basis rather than a lease arrangement. A membership fee is the fee paid by said members to a building operator to access the space and any shared resources/services offered as a benefit of membership. A Qualifying Property is a property in which all of the following criteria are met:
The property must consist of a physical building (i.e. not a virtual network) with a minimum work and common space area of 5,000 square feet.
The property is managed by a building operator who is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario or the Government of Canada, with a functioning board of directors and a stated mandate to provide access to space and/or professional development services for the creative sector. The not-for-profit organization must have been incorporated for at least one (1) full year prior to making an application for designation of its space under the Subclass.
A minimum of 75 per cent of members must be creative enterprises.
Portions of the property that are accessible by members, including work space and common areas, are eligible for designation under the Subclass. Portions of the property occupied by the building operator for non-commercial activity are eligible for designation under the Subclass, up to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total square footage of the property. Other portions of the property that are used for purposes other than co-working space and/or are not accessible by members are not eligible.
The expansion of the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclasses to include live music venues was initiated in 2020 as part of the City’s COVID-19 recovery efforts and is consistent with City Council directives to promote Toronto as a city that values music and musicians.
A Live Music Venue is a venue at which Live Music Performances occur. A Live Music Performance is a performance by individual musical artists or groups of musical artists of original or non-original (cover) musical works on instruments, vocally or on equipment conventionally used to perform jazz, rock, folk, classical, R and B, hip hop, global, experimental, and other genres of music, and includes performances by electronic musical artists and DJs using digital equipment, software, or turntables to create musical performances for an audience, but excludes the simple playback of recorded music without a creative role being played by the DJ.
A qualifying property must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible under the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclasses.
The Live Music Venue must have a minimum of four amenities or types of equipment listed below:
Given Live Music Venues have since March 2020 been closed or severely restricted due to COVID-19, applicants must be able to demonstrate:
Please note, confirmation of bookings can be provided in the form of a copy of the venue’s booking calendar for 2019 or for the operating days within 2020 up to and including March 15, 2020, or of the venue’s archived 2019 online schedule.
The Live Music Venue must have employed in 2019 regular venue staff or contract workers to fulfil a minimum of two of the roles listed below connected with the venue’s live music programming (note that one staff position may fulfil more than one role):
The Live Music Venue must have been in operation as a Live Music Venue for a minimum of six months prior to applying for inclusion in the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclasses.
The Live Music Venue must have a maximum capacity of no more than 1,500 persons as defined by occupant load, in the eligible portions of the Live Music Venue.
For new applicants only, note that digital photographs of each floor of a Live Music Venue is required.
The property as a whole must meet the requirements of a qualifying property.
The portion of the qualifying property that is eligible for inclusion in the Creative Co-location Facilities property tax subclass will be assessed once the property is deemed eligible.
If the criteria has been met and the property qualifies, a by-law is enacted by Toronto City Council. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) will prepare a supplementary notice changing the tax classification to reflect the creative co-location subclass and the City will mail out a supplementary tax bill.
Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for your business; it is recommended that you obtain advice from a qualified tax professional before applying.
For more information about the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.