by Jutta Mason, illustrated by Jane LowBier


Cooking With Fire details Mason’s experience with organizing, building and managing campfires and a community brick oven in Toronto’s Dufferin Grove Park. The book is both an in-depth guide and a diaristic account of the long process, featuring anecdotes and incidents about the people drawn to the campfires and the oven. These stories not only attest to the positive effects of allowing fires in a public park – they have worked wonders in drawing people to the park and promoting neighborliness – but they also offer the full context of this activity. Mason is up-front about the difficulties and drawbacks of campfires and ovens in parks, but overall, it would seem, their rewards are far greater. To find out why, click on the links in the right column to read excerpts from the book!

Cooking With Fire was produced by CELOS: the Centre for Local Research into Public Space. To purchase a copy (USD$7.50), email Mason with your request.

“Cooking With Fire” Excerpts:

A Wood-fired Communal Oven In A Park: Why Bother?

Oven Stories
Park Campfires: How and Why To Have Them

Campfire Stories