Who’s Space is Public Space?
Founded in 2001 by activist and author Dave Meslin, the Toronto Public Space Committee
(TPSC) has been working to protect Toronto’s shared common spaces from commercial
influence and privatisation.
Between 2001 and 2011, the TPSC served as an incubator for a number of influential projects
including Spacing Magazine, Toronto Guerilla Gardeners and Illegal Signs. In addition to
protecting postering rights, the TPSC was successful in keeping video advertising out of subway
cars, advocating for a new sign bylaw to reduce illegal billboards, and defeated the proposed
“Monster” garbage ad-bins. Volunteers also organized creative interventions such as Art Attack,
the Human River, and the Downtown De-Fence Project.
The TPSC met monthly as a committee until 2009. A spin off group, the Toronto Public Space
Initiative emerged in 2011 and was active for a few years and focused on public space policy and
research. While the TPSC wound down its organizing during this period, it was resurrected in
2015 for the road mural project.
The TPSC was rebooted once again in 2019, led by public space advocate and researcher Cara
Chellew. With the help of Dave and a new cohort of volunteers, the TPSC is once again
advocating for more accessible and inclusive public spaces with work on washroom advocacy,
illegal billboards, and more!
Read more here!