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< Timeline | Dufferin Park Courtyard Project

Name and qualifications of project leader

Georgie Donais

See also Georgie's blog.

Name and qualifications of project leader Georgie Donais Georgie

Donais spends the four seasons at Dufferin Grove Park with her children, now 4 and 6 years old. They play in the playground, dig in the sand pit, splash in the pool, make pizzas at the oven, skate at the rink, and drink many a hot chocolate at the rink house. Her ideas for the courtyard wall and the bio-toilet stem from observing park activity over the last several years, and imagining how her knowledge could mesh with some of the needs of the park’s users. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Donais designs and builds earthen structures. Though cob is her main focus, her interests include flexible form rammed earth (earthbags), straw-clay, and strawbale. Her work is plastered with either lime or earth, and is often decorated with extensive mosaics or bas relief sculptures. Projects range from benches and ovens to walls and small buildings. Donais uses earthen building as a method to engage people in their local public space. In 2005, she led approximately 500 volunteers in the creation of a cob courtyard wall and outdoor kitchen in a downtown Toronto park.

The next year, she began an even more ambitious project: an earthen building that will house a composting toilet. The rammed earth foundation has been completed and a building permit has been issued. Raising funds for the project's completion is ongoing. She was a recipient of a 2005 Clean and Beautiful City award and, as a finalist in the 2007 Green Toronto Awards, she received an Award of Excellence. Donais is a member of the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition, Builders Without Borders, and the Great Lakes Natural Building Network.

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