Diamond Schmitt’s award-winning Daniels Spectrum

Daniels Spectrum has won the Best New Venue in Canada for Meetings and Events as part of the first National BizBash Event Style Awards in New York City.

The arts and performance space designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and operated by Artscape, a not-for-profit urban development organization, is just over one year old and has quickly become an integral part of the transformation of Toronto’s Regent Park community.

This colourful 60,000-square-foot facility features the Ada Slaight Hall, a fully equipped venue with a 310-seat retractable bleacher system and two retractable walls; an outdoor stage; and a lounge for smaller performances, meetings and receptions. It also houses stage, rehearsal, community and tenant space for seven grassroots organizations dedicated to artistic, cultural and social innovation and youth programming.

“This award recognizes the versatility and welcoming presence the facility provides in the heart of the revitalized Regent Park neighbourhood,” says Donald Schmitt, principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects. “It’s a major achievement for Artscape and Daniels Spectrum’s partners, Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and members of the Regent Park community.”

Daniels Spectrum has a mandate to support culturally diverse and inclusive events. Revenues generated from venue rentals support the building’s cultural programming and services, and subsidized rental rates are available for non-profit and charitable organizations. In its first year, the venue hosted nearly 200 events for over 40,000 attendees, ranging from arts festivals to corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings and media launches.

“It was our objective to make the centre a vibrant crossroads for the community as well as for others,” adds Schmitt. “Very wide corridors act as a gallery, impromptu performance space and a public piazza that facilitates a variety of events and programs and connection among users.”

Daniels Spectrum is named for The Daniels Corporation, the developer in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation revitalizing the 69-acre downtown site with 5,115 rent-geared-to-income and market rate residential units. The billion-dollar undertaking reconnects Regent Park to Toronto’s grid of streets and brings new commercial spaces and community facilities.


Diamond Schmitt Architects (http://www.dsai.ca/) is among the world’s top 10 design firms for the cultural building sector. An award-winning portfolio of opera houses, concert halls, libraries, academic, research and residential buildings includes the New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia; La Maison Symphonique de Montréal; and the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto. The firm is currently designing the multi-stage St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.