Our Space - Nia Centre for the Arts

Our Space

Our art. Our legacy.

Nia Centre for the Arts, a space for the Black community to gather

A Space to Create

Our artists’ studios & digital arts incubator studios will enable creative development and production of multi-disciplinary art

A Space to Learn

Technical offices and digital arts labs will provide professional development programming to help build artistic capacity

A Space to Showcase

Our multidisciplinary flex performance space, event spaces and galleries will enable performances and art exhibitions in multiple disciplines

These studios and spaces will allow artists to work across disciplines including music, dance, photography, digital media, visual art, film and theatre.

The Neighbourhood

The centre is located in the heart of the Oakwood-Vaughan Village, steps from Little Jamaica, a historically Caribbean neighbourhood with a rich artistic history. The neighbourhood is rapidly changing with the installation of the Eglinton Crosstown and other residential development.

We are proud to build on the legacy of Black creativity and entrepreneurship in this area. Our strong connections to the artistic community will enable the Centre to attract audiences from across the region to experience Afro-diasporic arts and culture.

Building History

524 Oakwood Avenue is a City-owned building constructed in the early 1920s. In the past, it has been used as a banquet hall, bowling alley and even nightclub. More recently, it has served as a medical centre operated by Toronto Public Health from 1994 until 2013.

This building has played a critical role over the years as a space to gather and access services. It’s one of the reasons we’re renovating this space for the Black community to engage with Afro-diasporic art.

“The space used to be Isabella’s Ballroom. That’s where all the reggae acts used to come in the 70s and 80s. It was amazing because everyone came out for reggae, calypso or soca shows and it served the neighbourhood very well. I’m very pleased this legacy will continue at the new Centre.”

Jay Douglas on Building History

Accessibility at Nia Centre

At Nia Centre for the Arts, we recognize the importance of making arts spaces accessible for everyone. We are committed to providing members of the public with an inclusive and diverse cultural space, with equal access for all. 

Our organization is committed to meeting Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The building is equipped with the following accessible features : 

  • The elevator services all 3 floors of the building. 
  • There are accessible washrooms on each floor 
  • Multiple workstations have adjustable tables. 

We understand that accessibility requires innovation. We are committed to being responsive to the feedback from community members with disabilities and accessibility needs as we continue to develop the facility. Want to ask a question about a specific accessibility need? Send an email to us at info@niacentre.org

Land Acknowledgement

Nia Centre is located on the traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River who are the original inhabitants of the lands of Toronto. We recognize the responsibilities of all Treaty peoples – including those who came here as settlers or as migrants, either in this generation or in generations past and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

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