Renovations start next week! (And centre will be closed for two weeks)

 

Entrance to community room (before)

Entrance to community room (before)

After seven months of discussion, sharing ideas, and planning we are ready to refresh and revitalize the community spaces at the Toronto Centre. Throughout our planning we were guided by the Sakyong’s vision to make our centre more like a village and less like school — welcoming, kinder, and supportive of society. So what did this mean to us, as a community? We received lots of ideas — lots of the same ideas, which are now all pretty much part of the plan. But we do need two phases:  in Phase 1 we are focusing on the community spaces; in Phase 2 we will address the practice spaces.

So what changes are we making now? With the intention of creating a more welcoming, spacious, and brighter environment with more natural ease of movement, we will remove the wall between the entrance and community room; the book/store will have dedicated shelving and storage; new seating and furniture will allow for flexible conversation clusters; there’ll be a new coat-hanging and shoe system in the coat room; and new ceiling fixtures and laminate flooring throughout the rooms and hallways will brighten the entire space. A new tokonoma is being designed. And then there’s the painting! The ceilings and duct work will be painted white and all the walls will be painted from floor to ceiling.
Our preparation work begins now. This Wednesday, 31 August after sitting practice, we will have a lhasang to raise windhorse for the project. We will then be packing and storing the pictures and calligraphies, cleaning out the coat room and utility cupboard, and disposing of the large furniture — sofas, desk, butcher block table, and the large plant.
Community room (before)

Community room (before)

The desk, butcher block table, and large plant are offered to anyone who wants them and can remove them by Sunday, August 4. Please email Margaret  or info@shambhala.org if you would like any of these items. 
Closing the centre.  The actual renovation, installation, and painting will take place from Monday, August 5 to Sunday, August 18. The centre will be closed completely — for health and safety reasons — so there will be no group or individual sitting or sadhana practices or programs taking place for two weeks.
Volunteers Needed!  If you would like to help with the packing and clearing out this coming week; “deconstruction” (good shoes, gloves, skill with small hand tools will be needed) starting August 5 or painting  starting Saturday August 10, contact Sangye.  We do need an experienced person(s) to supervise and organize the painting volunteers. If this is you, be in touch with Sangye.
And then comes the celebration of this tangible expression of the vitality of our community which will be celebrated at Harvest of Peace, on Saturday, September 21st.