A renovation application submitted by property developer Riocan means the small production studio at 444 Bathurst Street may have to move.
Just north of Bathurst and Nassau sits a disused-looking building notable only for the early 2000s, Gen-X irreverence of its sign.
It advertises “the world’s first sit.com,” Odd Job Jack (which went off the air in 2007). First conceived at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre in 1998, and produced by Smiley Guy Studios, it was one of the world’s first flash-only animated series, and its success earned Smiley Guy this second-storey office in 2001.
Derelict exterior notwithstanding, the building remains the site of production for Smiley Guy’s animated shorts, trailers, and Teletoon productions. The open-concept space, a former textile factory, has been renovated in dot-com-boom fashion, with a lounge, ping-pong and poker tables, and a vintage pinball machine.
But all is not well: Property developer Riocan has submitted an application to renovate the building and several adjacent properties. A recent application was rejected by the city, but Riocan may take the case to the Ontario Municipal Board to appeal the city’s decision. Kromer Radio, another nearby business, closed weeks ago.
“Everyone has to move sometime,” says Smiley Guy co-founder Jeremy Diamond. “Hopefully we can find another large space where we can all work—a lot of the workers live around here.” Plus, he adds, it’s near a great comic-book store.