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A decade ago when I was considering a future in politics, one of the people I spoke to as I made up my mind was the former Mayor of Toronto David Crombie. He asked me why I wanted to run and my reply was blunt. I want to build housing. So I did.
Something awe-inspiring is afoot in the heart of Mel Lastman Square in Toronto. Scattered around the usually open concrete space are six unusual edifices. They are sukkahs which are temporary shelters, built according to a very specific set of rules. We are right now in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which calls for these shelters to be built for eating and even for sleeping inside. But what are they doing in a public place?
Sukkahville is a celebration of design as well as an observation of a religious holiday and harvest festival. A sukkah is the name of a temporary shelter constructed by observant Jews at this time of year. Part design competition, part fundraiser, the multi-faceted celebration will culminate in a Pop-up exhibit to which everyone is invited on Sunday September 30
In Toronto, many thousands live in substandard housing, including 20,000 members of the Jewish community. As a local non-profit housing provider, Kehilla Residential Programme is acutely aware of the situation and has been striving to chip away at it since the organization's founding in 1982. Sukkahville 2012 is an innovative event organized by Kehilla, aimed at highlighting and combating the housing issues faced by so many members of the Toronto community.