Over the past couple of years, ERA has been working with The East Scarborough Storefront (ESS) on the Community Design Initiative (CDI), where Scarborough youth are educated in architecture and design by mentors from ERA, Sustainable.TO, and ArchiTEXT. In the current phase, we are working to bring more shade and plant life to the site. This will include several garden and landscape features, a pergola structure for grapevines, and a green-roof pavilion known as the Sky-o-swale.
Beginning earlier in July, five youth from the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park community, who have cumulatively dedicated hundreds of hours to the CDI program, were hired by the ESS for a five-week period to physically build an exterior deck for public use (located under the Sky-o-swale), as well as 50 trellis modules that will form the roof structure for the grapevine pergola.
The youth are enthusiastic about the project and have no problem operating the power tools required for this build. They are very fast learners and eager to get “hands-on.” Last week, participants began by learning proper technique and safety measures required to progress safely and successfully. We soon proceeded to build our shaded worktables and began to measure and cut to size some of the wood needed for the pergola modules.
After so much design and planning, it’s great to see the build phase begin. Please return here for more reports on our progress through this exciting project.
Written by Ajeev Bhatia, a summer youth intern at ERA Architects. He first volunteered at East Scarborough Storefront in 2009 and was later hired as a CDI Youth Ambassador. Recently Ajeev participated in a housing build program in the Dominican Republic and in fall 2012 will be attending York University to study social work.