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What worked/what didn't work

What worked: the community oven became a social space again, a friendly gathering place, for people of different ages and experiences ~ particularly for curious children. The grownups encountered their neighbours and easy talk flowed all around.
What worked: the sight of the fire and the do-it-yourself transformation of a few ingredients into a warm pizza, ready to eat.


What didn't work: until management's change of mind, the community oven was locked. (Sociability was lost).



What worked: Using all the heat available from the community oven.

A sample sequence:
~ First day: fire
~ Three hours later: pizza to eat right away

city staff starting fire

Shauna's roasted squash

farmer cutting squash

~ Six hours later: people roasted vegetables from the market and baked pita bread with leftover pizza dough, to take home for supper


~ Second day: people dried tomatoes for the winter, slow-cooked squash and onions, clarified butter. Second evening to next day: more tomatoes were dried, slow-cooked bean dishes stayed in overnight
~ Third day: people dried apple slices for snacks
~ Fourth and fifth day: people dried more apple slices

drying tomatoes

beans, water, salt (8 hours)

Erin's apple slices

What didn't work in the past:
Having mainly single-use pizza fires. All the extra heat was wasted: that's not environmentally sustainable! And when an oven permit cost $93 (or anything at all) for every day of use, experimentation was unrealistic.



What worked: Everybody who took part was told that they could have the pizza free of charge or could put in $2.50 per pizza for expenses (in this case, some non-city-staff baker and table help).

these park bakers helped develop the donation system

donations supplied funds for extra help from bakers

Total income: Oct.6 $63.40, Oct.13 $102.90, Oct.20 $40.90. Total income: $224.30.

Total expenditure: Oct.13: non-city baker help $90 ($30/hr. for 3 hours), non-city youth table help: $30 ($15/hr. for 2 hours). Oct.20: non-city baker help $90 ($30/hr. for 3 hours), non-city youth table help: $30 ($15/hr. for 2 hours). Total expenditure: $240. (Additional cost covered by CELOS).


What doesn't work very long: The city gives the pizza free, using everybody's taxes to pay for their staff and materials. That can't work over the long term.



What worked: Youth learning how to use the pizza oven by carrying out the whole process, with their friends.


What didn't work: Assigning youth to do only one part of a preset oven routine, within a rules framework.


Oven cooking log: read more

Oven archive:

Ghost Oven:

-- a display on the back of the smaller bake oven, relocated to the playground

-- Open Letter to Parks, Forestry and Recreation

-- What happened next, part 1

-- What happened next, part 2

Follow-up posts and comments


Budget details

City of Toronto Recreation budget, 2022


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