A busy summer is winding down and it’s a good time to take stock of what has been accomplished over the past few months. The park on Mabelle Avenue in west Toronto is a cute little patch of green in a neighbourhood of high-rises. The park has been adopted by local community arts group Mabelle Arts and the love they’ve put into it is apparent upon entering. Their additions include a beautiful cobb oven, picnic shelter/puppet-theatre and veggie garden. This summer, Mabelle Arts and PDA, along with local designers, teamed up to make the park even cozier with three live-edge benches with CNC detailing, a log-slab countertop for baking at the cobb oven and a reclaimed wood bench encircling a tree in a forgotten corner of the park.
Each bench is routered with a line of text inspired by the workshops at Mabelle Arts. “I could talk about her forever”, “I try to keep everything she taught me alive” remind bench-sitters to reflect on the gifts left behind by our ancestors. All three benches make use of existing concrete frames and are a huge improvement over the old 2x4s that had definitely seen better days.
The cobb counter was a challenge to install and well worth the work. Mounting to the boulder seen here meant hammer-drilling into the rock. With no electrical hookup in the park, a generator had to be brought in to get the job done. The low-profile steel supports anchored into the rock allow the wooden slab to seemingly hover at the ready. The surface also includes CNC work, embellishing the top with a baking-themed illustration:
The final addition to the project was a circular bench around a tree. Its a hodge-podge of scrap wood and has the feel of a tree fort:
Here are all the videos we made while working with the awesome kids of Mabelle! It’s secret gardens, warrior poses and creative thinking!
A job well done by all!
As well a Huge Thanks to everyone who helped out:
Scott Eunson (and Johnno his shop-hand) – for helping us use his CNC machine www.scotteunson.com
Derrick Wheeler – for building the benches and cobb counter
Chris Simonen – for the cobb counter illustration whatsdaytoday.com
Brothers Dressler – for donating wood for the tree bench brothersdressler.com
Clayton McMaster – for donating wood for the tree bench claytonmcmaster.com
LUBO – for donating wood for the tree bench lubodesign.com
David Loewy – for donating wood for the tree bench
Special thanks to: Sultan, Pat, Saida and Leah of Mabelle
and also: Joanne and Caroline & Carlton Ngui for transportation.