I got a shock the other day when I walked by my old stomping grounds at 2150 Maple Street, the site of the compost garden where I used to work. The city-owned “SPEC” building was gone. Not a speck left. It was condemned due to all the mold, and the decision was made to demolish it. I spent fourteen years of my life going in and out of that building. Now it’s an empty, fenced lot with a beautiful garden and cob house behind it.
The building was a model of energy conservation back in the 1970s. It had solar panels on the roof deck, an attached greenhouse with solar heating capacity and other state-of-the-art green features. The building housed many environmental groups over the years including the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation or SPEC as they’re called. City Farmer occupied the greenhouse and created the compost demonstration garden in the back. Fortunately, City Farmer is staying on. A trailer is being put onto the property that will serve as an office and workshop space. And luxury of luxuries, an indoor washroom. The fun factor of “going” in the outdoor compost toilet is soon lost in the dead of winter.
Many of the environmental groups that used to run campaigns out of that building are long gone, but SPEC still exists. They now reside a few blocks away on Pine Street. I’m speculating, but I’m sure they too have a mold free indoor bathroom.