No power? No problem. 'Storm oven' fed hungry Dartmouthians after Dorian
Park Avenue Community Oven fed dozens of people Sunday after the storm
The community oven in Dartmouth, N.S., was put to good use on Sunday following Hurricane Dorian, cooking up fresh pizza for hungry residents waiting for their power to come back on.
"We are having our first and hopefully last storm oven," said Bernie Tremblay, volunteer director of the Park Avenue Community Oven. "It was an idea one of our volunteers thought of."
The community oven has been in Leighton Dillman Park on the Dartmouth Commons since 2012. It was reserved by other parties on Sunday, but Tremblay said cancellations opened up the schedule for the storm oven.
The initial idea was to let people come down and cook their own food in the oven, but then Tremblay heard a local pizza place — Stone Pizza — was at risk of losing pizza because of power outages.
"[They] generously donated to the community oven so people could come and enjoy a fresh, hot pizza on a day where we mostly don't have power," he said.
Tremblay said there were five to six volunteers helping out with the oven on Sunday and said the whole thing came together in 12 hours.
"Honestly, it feels good. The reason we exist is as a place where people in the community can come together and be together. We all just shared a really big experience with Hurricane Dorian," he said.
"And this is a spot where people can come and share that experience and what better way to share it than over food? Especially when people probably don't have food at home we can cook."
Pamela Garry is one of the estimated 40 people who showed up for pizza.
"Just to see everyone out and happy and taking everything in stride is nice to see," Garry said.
Elsewhere in the municipality, other residents were trying to make the most out of the storm.
Dorian nearly ruined plans for a street party on Elm Street in Halifax on Saturday, but residents were able to push the date to Sunday.
David Chaisson was out with his barbecue grilling up food that otherwise would have gone to waste because of widespread power outages from the storm.
"The neighbours mentioned that it was a good opportunity to get it out, because otherwise freezers were down," Chaisson said.
At Kline and Oak streets, a young resident took advantage of the foot traffic combing the neighbourhood for downed trees. The boy set up a lemonade stand outside of his home to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross.
The boy, who declined an on-camera interview, sold out by early afternoon.
His efforts were noticed by the organization on Twitter, who called his gesture "so sweet" and thanked him for his support.
So sweet - thank you for this support! If you've been affected by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dorian?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dorian</a>, read more on what to do after a hurricane ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/Z5gcXOm9uw">https://t.co/Z5gcXOm9uw</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DorianNS?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DorianNS</a> <a href="https://t.co/qRIw1raG84">https://t.co/qRIw1raG84</a>—@redcrosscanada
With files from Kaitlin Swan, Tom Murphy and Brett Ruskin