“Addressing the roots of gentrification, one brick, one story, at a time”

The mandate of Groundstory is to uncover and address the drivers and adverse ripple effects of gentrification in the arts, including growing income inequality and displacement of lower income households, artists, and arts organizations in Toronto, Hamilton, and other communities across Ontario.

For decades, artists have been implicated as the leading edge in traditional debates around the facilitation of gentrification and displacement. However, recent research indicates the “standard arts-led gentrification narrative is too generalized or simply no longer applicable to contemporary arts-gentrification processes.” (Grodach, Foster & Murdoch, 2016).

Groundstory will detail, and test solutions to, these evolving narratives.


With pending funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation, the first stage of Groundstory invites cross-sectoral leaders from the arts, business, non-profit, and government sectors to come together to cultivate consensus and urgency to move forward with a multi-year collaboration. Spanning Winter 2018 to Spring 2019, major activities for stage one include:

a) Convene cross-sectoral stakeholders, and identify who else needs to be involved;
b) Define the Leadership Committee and its role;
c) Develop a common agenda;
d) Establish a theory of change and shared measurement approach;
e) Map the system/landscape and build a strong case for change;
f) Identify what data (what gaps in data) exists;
g) Outreach and community engagement to attract participation.


Groundstory will prioritize Hamilton and the federal ridings of Parkdale-High Park, Davenport, Toronto-Danforth, and Beaches-East York in Toronto. Over the longer-term, a desire is to also reach the Greater Toronto Area, Barrie, Ottawa, Kingston, Oshawa, St Catharines, London, Windsor, the Toronto neighbourhoods of West Queen West/Parkdale/Trinity Bellwoods, the Junction, Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson, Little Portugal North, St James Town, Distillery/Regent Park, South Riverdale/Leslieville, and Danforth (Blake Jones), as well rural areas including Prince Edward County and others.


Groundstory is founded by ArtsPond / Étang d’Arts (Toronto). Established in 2014 and incorporated as a non-profit in 2016, the mandate of ArtsPond / Étang d’Arts is to incite positive systemic change in Canada’s arts and culture sector through innovative collaborations on-the-ground and in-the-cloud. Groundstory is supported by a growing community of social innovators, including businesses, non-profits, government, and impacted people in Toronto, Hamilton, and other cities in Ontario. Join us today!


hello@groundstory.ca  |  647 920 6187