1654 is a 21,515ft² industrial property with 25 artist studios ranging from 170 to 1,850 square feet.  The tenant community includes non-profit cultural organizations, small businesses, and an intergenerational mix of artists. The building is used for a variety of material practices including ceramicists, painters, filmmakers, designers and fabricators. Prior to 221A’s occupancy in 2015, the building was used by Bombast Furniture, where it produced furniture for two decades.

Studio of artist Kate Metten, photo courtesy Sungpil Yoon

Current vacancies

1654 Unit 12

1654 Unit 07

1654 1654-05a

Eligibility for Studios

Individuals must: 

  • self-identify as an Artist;
  • be the age of majority;
  • be living in BC; 
  • intend on using the premises in a manner that is compatible with facility purposes and capacity

Small cultural nonprofits or businesses must:

  • operate a genuine arts and cultural non-profit organization or small cultural business in BC; and
  • intend on using the premises in a manner that is compatible with facility purposes and capacity

Key Features

  • 26 studio units over three floors
  • 12-month sublease term
  • 24-hour access
  • Fibre Internet Wifi
  • Artist community (approx 70+ occupants)
  • Operated by non-profit cultural space provider
  • Common areas:
    • Loading bays
    • Kitchen
    • Bathroom x 6
    • Utility Sink
    • Shared Parking x 8


Unit Information

The 26 studio units at 1654 Franklin Street feature:

  • Spaces ranging from 170 to 1,850 sq.ft.
  • 8.5’ to 12.5’ ceiling height
  • Skylight (not applicable to all studios)
  • Located on the lower, upper and mezzanine level
  • Front (Franklin Street) and alley entrance
  • Loading bays (basement and ground floor)
  • Parking at rear (8 stalls, non-designated)
  • 6 washrooms
  • Shared Telus PureFiber internet


Unfortunately, 1654 Franklin Street is not wheelchair accessible.

Rents and General Terms

Rental rate is based on factors such as square footage, condition and features of the space.

  • Units are subleased on a 1-year term and may be longer on a case-by-case basis
  • A one-month security deposit is required
  • Tenants must follow 221A’s hazardous materials policy
  • Included in rent: electricity, water and sewage, shared wifi, headlease rent, property taxes, waste/recycling, cleaning services (common areas), interior and exterior building maintenance, fire system and emergency generator, tenancy arrangements, and administration.
  • No GST on rent as 221A is a registered Canadian charitable organization and is exempt from collecting GST on real property. 

TypeUnitsUnique FeaturesUnit Area(sqft)Prop. Common Area(sqft)Total Rentable Area(sqft)Rental Rate Per Foot (2021-22)
D, E7Lower level, most with windows699–1,850222-586921-2,4361.60–1.65
C5Upper level, no window, 8’ ceilings217–35069-111286-4611.90
B4Mezzanine level, windows270–29386-93356-3862.25
A10Upper level, high ceilings, skylight170–1,12454-356224-1,4802.40

Studio FAQ

How does 221A define who is an Artist?

How does 221A define who is a non-profit cultural organization?

How are tenants selected?

Do I get to choose which unit I want?

What if I would like a lease that is longer than 1 year?

How are the rental rates set?

How is rent collected?

What happens if a tenant is unable to pay their rent?

Am I allowed to make alterations to my unit?

Am I allowed to sublet my unit?

Who owns 221A?

How are decisions made about the building?

Does 221A make profit from the building?

Building FAQ

What types of artistic practice are suitable at 1654?

Can I use my own insurance provider instead of opting for the one provided by 221A?

What happens to my security deposit when my sublease is finished?

Are pets allowed in the studio building?

Sublease Inquiry

For sublease inquiries and tour requests, please fill out and submit the form below. We will get back to you shortly after we receive your submission.

Note that this form pertains to commercial studio spaces only.

Application Assistance

To ensure the participation of people living with disabilities, people who do not have access to specific technology, and/or people who otherwise require assistance, staff will offer telephone or in-person assistance for the completion of the following forms and documentation as well as to support participation in site tours and orientation. Please contact 221A’s Spaces Coordinator to arrange application assistance at spaces@221a.ca

Which buildings have you toured, if any?
When do you need the space?
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