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The Canada Ireland Foundation in Toronto to get a new building

Toronto’s waterfront is getting a new arts venue courtesy of the Canada Ireland Foundation, who is giving new purpose to what was once an administrative building for a malting company.

The designated heritage building used to belong to the Canada Malting Company, and will now be used for art, culture and heritage programming.

The foundation is dubbing it “the Corleck.” The Corleck is an Irish stone idol that was found by a farmer in the first or second century AD. The three-faced head is made of limestone, and is believed by many today to represent the trinity of the past, present and future. 

Once the facility is opened, the foundation says that it will provide a space for the Irish community and many arts organizations who wish to use the reception, assembly, office or classroom space. In addition, it says there will be a gallery and museum, commercial kitchen and roof terrace.

“In restoring the historic Canada Maltings office to its previous splendor, we have taken great pains to ensure not only the purity of its Art Deco design, but a conviction to enhancing the building’s sustainability for years to come,” Canada Ireland Foundation’s executive director, William Peat, said.

The project is being funded in part by the federal government, which is investing more than $4.5 million through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program. The GICB program aims to build, and improve, more community buildings while focusing on energy efficiency to support net zero standards as part of Canada’s climate plan.

According to a news release, the new facility is expected to reduce its energy consumption by an estimated 28.4 per cent, and greenhouse gas emission by 19.5 tonnes annually. Some of this will be through renovations to reduce heat loss, adding a heat pump system and replacing light fixtures with energy efficient, LED lights.

The project is also being supported by the Government of Ireland, as part of its Global Ireland 2025 strategy to “double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint, including the cultural domain.”

“This is all in keeping with the Canada Ireland Foundation’s vision for preserving the past, celebrating the present and ensuring the future for Canada-Ireland relations,” Peat said.