TFG Events & Workshops

ClearWater Farm Replacement Barn Project

From August 17 through August 25 (rain day August 26), the Guild will be building a replacement barn near the shore of Lake Simcoe in Georgina, Ontario at ClearWater Farm, for the Ontario Water Center, our sponsor.  According to ClearWater Farm’s website, their “…mission is connecting people and experiences to shape a more sustainable future,” a mission which is very much like our own except that for its focus on food production. As a youth education organization,  “one of ClearWater Farm’s specialties is providing kids with fun, compelling learning opportunities that build character, curiosity and a love of nature.”  A community group worthy of our efforts.

The barn replacing one that succumbed to fire will become a multi-functional resource for events, meetings and community cultural programming.  By building this barn frame, our community will help to build their community. The project will coincide with the celebration of Georgina’s 200th anniversary during the week of August 20th. Events have been planned around this celebration which will showcase the barn and the craft of timber framing.   Our sponsor is also developing several off site eating and evening excursions to enhance our week.


Timber frame design by Gibson Timber Frames           

Barn design by Sandra Iskandar Architect

The barn is designed as a 40’ by 70’ by 34’ tall purlin plate and common rafter structure, modelled on the previous barn, and will be comprised of six bents, 16,400 board feet in 264 pieces of Douglas fir timber.

The 9 or 10 day workshop will be held on the on the Farm adjacent to the barn’s final location.  The workshop will culminate in a crane raising scheduled for August 25th.  The Guild plans to fabricate and raise the barn with a group of 30 to 35 volunteers which will be a mix of local trades people and members of our community.  Volunteers will be able to camp right on site and the sponsor will supply portable shower and toilet facilities.  Lake Simcoe is just across the street with a public beach just a short walk away.  Food will be provided for the volunteers (with a vegetarian option though no other dietary accommodations) commencing with lunch on August 17th and ending with the dinner meal on Saturday, August 25th unless an additional day is needed.  The project team is currently planning for the volunteers to arrive Thursday evening or Friday morning.

The Farm is in a residential neighborhood, so due to town ordinances and the limited Farm facilities, recreational vehicles will not be able to be parked on the Farm and there will be special limitations on pets.  More information will be available on our website as the details are defined and the Guild office will be able to provide guidance to volunteers.  Evenings on site will be sedate as public noise, drinking and smoking will have to be limited to respect the neighbors’ privacy.

If you are crossing the border into Canada, the Guild will provide you with a letter declaring your participation in this volunteer project to present at the border.

Registration is available now and you are encouraged to register early.  As always, the project leadership team will need to balance the skills of the volunteers, but to the greatest extent possible volunteer slots will be open on a first come first served basis.  Lake Simcoe and Georgina are a popular summer vacation site for the greater Toronto area (about an hour away) making this another picturesque project location, so bring your swimsuit.  

-Mack Magee

Event Details

Elevating the design of timber structures

Get the Latest News