Out of the Woods
There are many ways to reuse an estimated 100,000 trees lost each year in Toronto due to old age, storms and disease. Featuring industrial designers who incorporate ash wood damaged by insects into their designs, IIDEXCanada participated at the 2016 TO DO Festival through its IIDEX Woodshop exhibition at Toronto City Hall. We are proud that our exhibition received a People’s Choice Award for “Favourite Exhibition.” During the festival, the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) hosted an evening event where several presenters reported on their creative ways of reusing damaged or destroyed trees from Toronto’s forests.
Using Urban Wood: Creative Processes About Wood Stewardship
Entitled “Using Urban Wood,” some of the more interesting lessons presented during the event included ones coming out of the Toronto District School Board which has pursued educational and training programs for students to work with fallen or damaged trees. Students at Don Mills Collegiate Institute are taught how to dry, mill, laminate process wood--and even how to market the products created.
The results have been outstanding and vary from making wooden chopping boards that can be found in several high-profile restaurants across the city to building picnic benches and an outdoor kitchen to be used by the students. Working with various wood specimens provides students with opportunities to not only learn valuable skills, but to gain a greater appreciation for environmental stewardship, forest management, and sustainable practices.
Daniel Kunanec, the Green Industries Teacher at Don Mills and Justin Nadeau, Green Projects Team Leader for the Toronto District School Board both conveyed the pride and energy of their students who discovered new uses for Toronto’s fallen trees. It’s now up to the rest of us to learn from these students’ positive experiences.