At the annual Bridging Festival in Kingston Galloway Orton Park (KGO), residents celebrated their community and showcased the work of TENT (Toronto Envisioning Neighbourhoods Together). While local teen volunteer June Mbuga organized a work party of young residents to build a Hula Hoop Pavilion as part of the festival site, residents explored information panels displaying work undertaken as part of the TENT project. As residents learned more about TENT through the displays, they were recruited to participate in the upcoming community design workshop.
The next month, thirty-five area residents and eight volunteer facilitators participated in the daylong design workshop. With the three guiding themes of Green Space, Thriving Local Business, and Festivals + Event Space (Togetherness), residents discussed design concepts and created architectural models. This interactive workshop contributed to TENTs ongoing goal of meaningful civic engagement in the KGO neighbourhood.
As the workshop and the first phase of the TENT project concluded, an engaged group of KGO residents have applied new skills and organization to other community projects. Some TENT participants are now working to establish the terms of reference for a Community Planning Board pilot project with local Councillor Paul Ainslie.
In the upcoming months, the community will construct one of the projects developed in the community design workshop, in collaboration with a group of OCADu students. From capturing neighbourhood needs and aspirations in drawings and models to working with design students, the TENT project participants will now see their community designs become a reality.