Work. Live. Play.
Those three words are often used to describe the development goals of the historic Toronto Port Lands.
More than 5,500 people work in the Toronto Portlands in a variety of industries. We want the public to know their stories.
You can see the Port Lands Portraits here or follow us on Instagram as we add new stories on a regular basis.
The Toronto Port Lands Company is a driver of jobs on the waterfront and is a proud supporter of the companies and people in the Port Lands.
“I was first introduced to CMI through Xolisa – I was very impressed by the material they were covering and how the program was being facilitated, so when I was approached to take part in their artist management pilot program, I jumped at the chance.”
Jemelle, who also runs his own digital media company, says that the skills he has learned through CMI’s programming has been invaluable to his career progression. “They provide you with the resources needed to build a strong foundation – they help artists realize their potential as small business owners, at the same time, they are heavily investing in the Canadian music scene.”
The Toronto Port Lands Company proudly provides funding to CMI and the City of Toronto’s Business Incubation programs.
“I knew that I wanted to move forward with my career, but I didn’t understand the business side of the industry. It was a virtual black hole. Working with CMI has been great because not only do they help you with songwriting and performance workshops, helping you grow as an artist, the main focus is on the business side; royalties, invoicing, how to book a show, where to find a manager, etcetera. The program forces you to venture out of your comfort zone – by the end of it you come out as a totally different person.” Be sure to check out Xolisa’s new album “And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges”.
Chris explains the OpenSports platform can connect young adults who want to play recreational sports “whether that’s finding a sub, whether it’s finding another tennis partner, whatever it is. It’s just bringing people together.”
The city’s Business Incubation and Commercialization Program provides a grant for the DMZ’s Industry Night Program, which puts startups in front of potential investors and customers. The grant dollars come from TPLC funding. Read more about them and other startups in our May Digest.
The city’s Business Incubation and Commercialization Program provides a grant for the DMZ’s Industry Night Program, which puts startups in front of potential investors and customers. The grant dollars come from TPLC funding.
Andrew calls his company a “DMZ ambassador” and he can’t say enough good things about how the incubator has helped Crowdbabble get established.
“They provide us with workspace as well as connections to events, community, as well as potential customers. They bring through lots of interesting potential customers for us, all sorts of people and customers we would never have access to.” Read more about them and other startups in our May Digest.
Vel Omazic is Executive Director of CMI and his organization helps newly established artists learn the ropes about the music business. The City of Toronto has a Business Incubation & Commercialization Program to help entrepreneurs start new businesses. The Toronto Port Lands Company provides funds for some of those programs. We’re profiling a few of the people and ideas involved with city-supported incubators. Read more about them and other startups in our May Digest.
SIRT is a “technology clubhouse” that uses state-of-the-art camera and motion capture technologies and is one of the reasons why Toronto produces some of the most skilled image artists in the movie, TV and gaming industries. “A lot of the 3D technicians working around the world came from Toronto,” says Bert. “They were all trained here.”
Here driver Al Saunders checks a load he’s taking on before heading out to another construction project. The plant is a beehive of activity, with drivers coming and going in a carefully orchestrated process aimed at getting to nearby sites as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Nandan has been with Strada for a year, but has worked in the Port Lands for more than a decade.
“A lot of people like the aspect that it’s not a Planet Hollywood, a Kelsey’s, you know, one of these touristy destination points that people are trucked in and out steady all day long. A lot of people don’t even want to tell people about this place – except their close friends. It’s comfortable. Our food’s great. It’s relaxing. We do service differently than the places downtown. It’s a lot more personal. We like to get to know the people that come here. That’s an aspect as to why they come here in the first place, matched with the fact that we have great food. If you don’t have good food, God help you.”
The new work on the bridge is being done by people like Nilton Sousa, who has worked throughout the winter and spring to get the bridge ready for the coming shipping season. Nilton works for Facca Inc., a firm that specialises in bridge repair and construction. The Toronto Port Lands Company has been working with the Toronto Port Authority to make sure this historic bridge meets modern-day safety standards. Even upon completion, the bridge will require ongoing maintenance work, keeping jobs down in the Port Lands
Before it opened as a pub and restaurant 12 years ago, the property that is now The Keating Channel Pub had a rich history in the Port Lands. It once housed a leather hide house and a facility that fed molasses to the Distillery district for the production of rum.
“I’m a virtual reality research assistant specializing in audio,” says P.J. “I create and implement sound and music for virtual reality experiences, and also augmented reality.”
The challenge of “creating” sound means P.J. has to use his imagination in very creative ways. For example, he’s found that bubble wrap sometimes is the best thing to imitate the sound of fire. Check out P.J.’s Instagram profile to see more about how he works with sound.
Sirt is located at Pinewood Toronto Studios in the Port Lands. It’s an amazing place – Sirt describes itself as “an industry and academic `technology clubhouse’ dedicated to exploring digital image capture and creation processes for film, television, gaming and other screen-based industries.”
Photography by Chris Young.