Acta Recommends: Q Space on College

Walking into Q Space on a weekday, you can expect to see almost anything: a guy Skyping with his girlfriend, a heated discussion on how best to organize a group concert, poets setting up for their reading later in the evening, students typing away busily at their Macbooks. In the tradition of Europe’s betahaus and Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation (csi), Q Space opened its doors in the fall of 2012, transforming an old restaurant into a modern community hub.

Formerly home to College Kebab, the space on the corner of College and Borden has been modified to accommodate much more than spits and a meat locker thanks to the colleagues of Toronto’s Quattro Books.

Quattro, one of the city’s independent publishing houses, was a longtime fixture at the csi on Bathurst, during which time it developed its publishing mandate and expanded its list of titles. But a recent acquisition of grants coupled with the hard work of the partners and their staff allowed Quattro to break off from csi, open their own office, and undertake some of the most exciting literary projects that Toronto has to offer.


Q Space originated from Quattro’s need to establish a home base for the company’s publishing activities. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of John Callabro and Luciano Iacobelli, Quattro’s president and vice-president respectively, the space has since expanded and now functions as a coffee shop, book store, and events venue. Since its foundation, Q Space has become host to the Toronto Art Bar and WordStage Reading Series, meetings of the Association for Art and Social Change, and some exciting book launches.

When asked about the main purpose of Q Space, Iacobelli says, “There is a notion that space has to be labelled, there’s no label here.” Perhaps that’s what makes the shop so refreshing.

Most Torontonians will agree that College near is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city. It’s a place where cultures and demographics converge, and its proximity to the University of Toronto keeps the area busy and vibrant. It’s no wonder Quattro chose this particular spot as the location for their new store, a space that strives to emphasize the social and collaborative aspects of art. According to Iacobelli, Q Space functions as a place that fosters “other people’s dreams and interests, where the community can participate [in those dreams and interests].”

Everyone seems to be looking for a stimulating place to think at the moment. And more often than not they are thinking about new, creative ways to stand out and succeed. They want to network, develop and bring to light the concerns of their generation through their ideas and their particular arts. An environment conducive to communication has become vital to our time. Q Space successfully takes on the challenge of acting a home away from home for great ideas to grow.

See the full Varsity article HERE