Mabelle Arts park improvement complete!

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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.

Bench at Mabelle

"I could talk about her forever", one of three CNC routered benches created for Mabelle Arts.

Mabelle benches

All three CNC benches.

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.

Cobb counter

Log-slab counter top, just in time for fall baking!

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: Cob counter 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: Tree bench

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

Derrick Wheeler – for building the benches and cobb counter

Chris Simonen – for the cobb counter illustration

Brothers Dressler – for donating wood for the tree bench

Clayton McMaster – for donating wood for the tree bench

LUBO – for donating wood for the tree bench

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.

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