Meanwhile Spaces : Transforming City-Owned Buildings in Toronto

In conversation with SOCA Architects and It’s OK* Studio, we explore the potential of meanwhile uses in city-owned buildings.

Hosted by the Infrastructure Institute in partnership with The Studio of Contemporary Architecture (SOCA), and It’s Ok* Studios, the event explores the untapped potential of transitional (or leftover) city-owned buildings and envisions how they can evolve into vibrant creative mixed-use spaces. With the lack of creative spaces in the city and numerous empty storefronts, the event seeks to challenge the conventional perception of these “meanwhile” spaces and rethink how they can be hubs for community-driven initiatives.



Tura Cousins Wilson (SOCA)- OAA, BA, MRAIC

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Tura Cousins Wilson is inspired by creating uplifting spaces of beauty. He contends that architecture’s power lies in its ability to transform collective imaginations and narratives into reality. Tura’s professional experience and interest span a variety of scales including exhibition design, multi-unit housing, private homes, cultural spaces, and urban design. He is equally compelled by exploring the craft and intimacy of small scale architecture along with the redemptive qualities of reconstituting existing buildings and spaces. Tura holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from Toronto Metropolitan University, a Master’s degree in architecture, urbanism, building sciences from Delft University of Technology, and is a licensed architect in both Ontario and the Netherlands. Tura is an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and a director at East End Arts.

Said Yassin (Founder and Executive Director, It’s Ok* Studios)

Said Yassin has over a decade of experience crafting events in unconventional spaces. Working with renowned organizations like Manifesto, Small World Music, Aga Khan Museum, and The Royal Conservatory of Music, he explores the dynamic relationship between space and art. With his visionary approach and meticulous planning, Said has become a sought-after leader in the industry, known for transforming non-traditional venues into immersive experiences that captivate and inspire attendees.

Chris Wilson (Board Chair, It’s Ok* Studios)

Chris Wilson is a passionate cultural leader with extensive experience in arts and culture and the non-profit sector. Currently pursuing a Master’s of Design at OCAD U in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Chris is focused on supporting Arts & Culture and the Non-Profit sector through policy development and the design of urban spaces within our neighborhoods in response to the desires and interests of individuals. He is passionate about building communities that are better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Chris approaches his work from the lens of a social architect, focused on designing and creating social systems, structures, and processes that promote collaboration, engagement, and positive change. He is dedicated to creating more connected and meaningful communities and has a keen interest in foresight and future’s work. He identifies potential future trends, risks, and opportunities that may impact various sectors, combining this with his bottom-up approach by involving community members in the design and planning process.

More Info

When Mon, Sep 11, 2023 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Where Collision Gallery 30 Wellington Street West #Unit G114 Toronto, ON M5L 1G4