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Ghost Oven

September 1, 2022: This is no longer a community oven.


Public Posting Aug.22, 2022

This oven was built as a workshop for community volunteers in 2000.

The cost for materials and for the visiting oven builder (Alan Scott) to run the workshop:
$636 oven foundation
$1572.69 building supplies for actual oven
$1519 Alan Scott fee (including teaching for workshop participants)
$1139.77 materials and labour for housing
Total cost: $4867.46
Plus one weekend of rotating donated labour (from workshop participants).

the oven builders

breaking for lunch May 25, 2000

The funds for this workshop were donated by the Maytree Foundation.

Between 2000 and 2018:
Regular oven maintenance (roof, hearth, chimney) was done by oven friends of two kinds: community bakers, and part-time recreation staff. The oven income (from pizza days, Friday Night Supper, summer and winter snack bars) covered the costs of materials and labour.

2022: To use the oven for just one day a week of drop-in food programs from now until November, the Permits Department wants to charge $1210.82 (no food or staffing included)

Community-recreation staff partnership

For many years, the park’s part-time recreation staff and community people worked together in partnership. That meant there were no permit charges. Now, city management says there can be no partnership to run any oven programs. It would be a risk. From the recreation supervisor: “we do not have access to a kitchen to support requirements such as washing and prep of ingredients, proper handwashing, ensuring proper sanitizing of equipment.”

the cob kitchen snack bar ran for 17 years

BUT: The cob kitchen that's beside the oven is plumbed and wired, with hot and cold running water, prep counters, a fridge, and a city-funded steel-top food cart. It ran as a playground snack bar with public health approval for 17 years.

celebration supper Sept.2005

(staff manual, 2011: Layout of the cob kitchen snack bar

Parks and Recreation has changed its culture:
the community loses.

Parks and Rec needs to change back again.

Kids at pizza day, 2014 (Photo: Wallie Seto)

pizza day (Photo: Wallie Seto)

See also: an Open Letter to Kelly Murphy, Manager of Policy and Development, City of Toronto Parks and Recreation

See also:

Letter from Alan Broadbent, chair of the Maytree Foundation

Letter from Parks, Forestry and Recreation general manager Janie Romoff

Letter from Recreation director Howie Dayton


Follow-up posts and comments

This posting comes from The Centre for Local Research into Public Space (CELOS):

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