Welcome to the website for the earthen courtyard wall project at Dufferin Grove Park! The project has four parts: the cob courtyard, which is primarily a food facility, the cob composting toilet facility (the bio-toilet), benches, and related activities in other parks.
To learn about cob see About Cob.
Toronto Public Health inspectors told us to get proper sinks for food preparation by the wading pool or stop having snacks at the playground food cart. Georgie Donais directed the building of a little courtyard around the sinks, for food service, and to create an outdoor gathering-place. The courtyard walls are built with a sand-clay-straw mix known as “cob” or “monolithic adobe”, which is mixed by foot and applied by hand.
The only thing missing from the playground area now is a handy toilet. The composting toilet project, intended to provide toilet facilities handy to the playground, began summer 2006 with over $20,000 in donations. The hole was dug, the foundation was built, the composting toilet assembly was donated, and a building permit was obtained. However, the obstacles continued to mount until it was apparent that the project as originally conceived could not proceed.
In November 2010, the City commissioned a Bio-Toilet Feasibility Study. Here is the
Building benches is an ongoing project at the park. In 2006 and 2007, we built two benches along the Gladstone path and three benches on the east side of the wading pool using different building and plastering methods.
We work with people in other Toronto locations to help them create earthen structures in their neighbourhoods. For example, The Downtown Alternative School (DAS) has applied to build a peace garden including planters and cob benches in Crombie Park