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< Description | Dufferin Park Courtyard Project | Who Will Benefit >

posted June 15, 2005

Need for the project

Washing station: Public Health requires a washing station in proximity to the park’s food card that locates itself near the wading pool in the summer, so some sort of shelter or structure is required for this purpose. The food cart earns at about $350 a week – about $3,500 over the summer – which is put straight back into the park (staffi ng, supplies, etc.). Having the washing station will therefore benefit the park continuously.

Gathering place: This heavily used part of the park is lacking a clean, contained area for people to sit and eat their lunch, or for children to engage in activities provided by park staff such as playing dress-up or sitting and reading books. By building a courtyard wall near the pool, we will be defi ning and encompassing the space, and creating a comfortable, attractive location at which to enjoy the park.

Learning opportunities: Other cities in Canada and the US are starting to see the necessity in investigating forms of building and construction that take less of a toll on the environment than currently popular building methods. There is also a need for human-size construction, and most importantly, a craving amongst people to contribute to their own shelter in a more meaningful way than simply paying for it. This project will invite neighbours and friends of the park to become directly involved in the construction, and to learn about natural building techniques.

Recycling: This building method takes materials out of the waste stream and uses them to create structures. For example, clay, and possibly sand, will come from the digging out of basements and foundations; straw is currently a waste product of farming that is often burnt; concrete chunks that will form the foundation will come from ripped-up sidewalks that usually make their way to the landfill.

Community-building: When some neighbours got together over a decade ago and put in some bake ovens in Dufferin Grove Park, it began a tradition of people giving their time and effort to the park, in return for a stronger, more connected community. The courtyard wall project will build on and enhance that tradition.

In addition to creating something beautiful, we will have created another gathering place for neighbours to get to know one another, and for friends to reconnect.

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