Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis






The centre is surrounded by busy streets on two sides, a wooded area on the others. First up on entering the building is a closed snack bar on the left, leased by Country Style and a staff office with a few people inside. We turned down a long corridor with people gathered at tables and chairs in the middle, and spotted a little snack bar at the end of it, a fundraiser run by the local seniors group.

We ordered pre-made meat pies, juice and cookies - I think it came out to about $3.50 for two. The volunteer at the snack bar was very friendly, and we quickly met a recreation staff who invited us into the kitchen to chat while we ate our lunch. It turns out the corridor we entered by is in fact an open space - it's never programmed or permitted, just made available for folks to gather, eat lunch, do homework, or browse a book from the ongoing seniors' book-sale fundraiser.

The kitchen is huge, with two roll-up windows, one facing the corridor, one facing a multi-purpose room next door. It's also a properly inspected commercial kitchen with dish and hand washing sinks. Odd feature: it's got two identical stoves, side by side - one is owned and used by the Seniors group, another is owned by the city and used for permit groups when they rent the kitchen. Recreation staff don't help to run the food fundraising directly, but they do have co-signing power on the Senior's account - they explain that it's all about accountability. Rec staff also work with the group in terms of food drives, and collaborate with them on decisions around large donations, etc.

Next staff took us around the corner at the end of the hall and there was a ballroom dancing class with twenty or so couples gliding around the wooden floor. Also there's a theatre that looks like it seats 300-500 people, and is actually a recreation facility, used by three community theatre organizations.

Content last modified on April 26, 2010, at 04:45 AM EST