In an unprecedented move, probably never to be repeated, the Toronto Awesome Foundation elected this month to award TWO full $1000 prizes, instead of one! After a riveting performance by our four shortlist contenders (Park Yourself Here, Penny Project, Little Free Library, I’m Lost), we awarded money to both Park Yourself Here, a Park(ing) Day art installation to create public space in downtown Toronto by taking over a parking space, and Little Free Library, a project to build tiny pole-mounted libraries to be installed at Trinity Bellwoods Park and in other locations all across Toronto! Check out the video of our pitch night evening here:
Q&A with Bill Wrigley of Little Free Library:
Congratulations! What’s your project all about?
The short term project of me and my team is to install Little Free Libraries in one of Toronto’s larger and popular parks; Trinity Bellwood’s located in Mike Layton’s ward of Trinity-Spadina.
Little Free Libraries are miniature buildings the size of a doll house mounted on a post in a public area that have a sign saying: “Take a Book-Return a Book”. They are for the public’s pleasure and it’s free. There are now over 2000 of them world-wide and growing fast. The first library opened in Toronto 9 months ago in front of our home. There are now 7 in operation with another 8 under construction. In addition, there are two other public parks that we are talking to about a similar arrangement.
Trinity Bellwoods park is always filled with people of all ages and has a very active “Friends of the Park” association. This is an ideal place for Little Free Libraries. We are committed to making the Little Free Library project happen there. However, the construction and installation costs of lumber, hardware, paint and labour will exceed $1000. We can provide the direction and project management. We can even provide a builder. However, we cannot provide the money.
The $1000 award that Awesome provided us will ensure that the project will happen much to the joy of those who use the park. More importantly, it will become the motivation for other parks to follow suit.
I’ve got/need books! Where can I find one of these libraries?
Once a Little Free Library is registered with the Little Free Library Organization, they appear on the organization’s Google Map that is part of their web site (http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/). These libraries are all over the world: take a look for yourself. For Toronto, click in on the Toronto area of the map then click on one of the library icons closest to you. A picture of the library will pop up with the address of its location. As the Toronto libraries are recent installations, some of them are yet to be registered. In time we expect to have most of them on the Google Map.
I want to get more involved! Where can I learn more about Little Free Libraries, like how to build my own?
To start, visit the Little Free Library site that is loaded with pictures, ideas, plans and building tips, Go to: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/.
For further information, Google “Little Free Libraries, Bill Wrigley” and see what crops up. There are tons of stuff regarding Toronto and the GTA to explore.
You can also me at firstname.lastname@example.org (remove nospam) to get into detailed questions. I can really help.
Q&A with Andrew Chiu of Park Yourself Here:
Congratulations, what’s your project all about?
‘PARK Yourself Here’ is about transforming a Toronto downtown street parking spot into a temporary urban park. Rather than a placeholder for a single car this installation will become a place for people to gather. Interacting under the floating silhouette of a car, the passerby will have a chance to escape the hustle of the urban core.
This installation is to celebrate Park(ing) day, an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists activate the metered parking space as a site for creative experimentation, political and cultural expression, and unscripted social interaction.
When is Park(ing) Day and where can I see your installation?
On Friday, September 21, hundreds of cities around the world will participate in transforming metered parking spaces into healthier and more beautiful places for their inhabitants. Here in Toronto, we will transform the metered parking space on Queen St. and Peter St. into a colorful and interactive experience for pedestrians. We will officially launch it at noon and it will run until 9:00pm.
Where can I find more information and get involved?
Please find more information and help fund our project at the crowdfunding website. Any donation will help us, thank you.
Congratulations to our winners!