PHOTOS: Brand New Community Hub Officially Opens in Mississauga
A long standing heritage structure, once an old industrial munitions facility, has been undergoing a facelift and is now officially open to the public.
The Small Arms Building was built in 1941 and is an industrial facility that was part of the former Small Arms Ltd. munitions factory complex that operated on the Arsenal Lands. The Small Arms Building and Arsenal Lands were acquired by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in 1992, with a portion of the lands and building conveyed to Mississauga in 2017.
The city designated the building as being of cultural heritage value or interest under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. As for what the building could eventually look like, the Small Arms Society “envisions the reanimation of this wonderful light-filled industrial building with its breathtaking spaces into a creative hub with space for workshops, learning labs, galleries, studio spaces, conferences, celebrations, cafes and more!”
On June 23, an official opening ceremony was held with Mayor Bonnie Crombie, members of city council, officials from the city's cultural division, as well as various other politicians, public figures, artists, community leaders, as well as members of the public.
Mayor Crombie and members of council unveil plaque dedicating the opening of the Small Arms Building. The late councillor for Ward 1, Jim Tovey, has his name on it in memory of his efforts to revive the building.
According to the Small Arms Society, the building is approximately 20,000 square feet, and there was ample space to spare (the above picture only shows a little under half the space available). The rest of the space had a number of art pieces on display:
Following the recent trend of giant signs of names of places and things, the Small Arms Building had this sign saying "Open Arms", parlaying the building's new role as a community hub.
There were a number of exhibits displayed which were quite interesting, such as this set of dresses:
They also have this "Community Living Room" set up on the other side:
These "Lake Sculptures" are meant to highlight the Mississauga community's connection to the Great Lakes.
A skylight allows an abundant amount of natural light into the room:
And yes, they have a community garden outside:
The Small Arms Society is offering a number of programs, such as an in-house residency program for artists working in a collaborative space, an education outreach program starting this September, and the In-Situ Festival in November.
More information about the re-opened Small Arms Building can be found here.