Reopening: Open Ovens Return!


Our small group of volunteers have been working on plans for an oven revival this season.

We will begin with a few set open oven times, expanding access beyond that as plans firm up and capacity increases.

We appreciate your eagerness to get involved and make use of this wonderful community resource.

Please watch this space for updates and trust that we are working towards a return to the vibrant park gatherings we all love!

🔥 🍕 🌳

Let’s Get Cooking!

Pizza & Leaf**Updated May 1st to change the date of our first Open Oven**

With warmer weather on its way and some small touch-ups to the oven scheduled to happen any day now, PACO is excited to host our first Open Oven of the season on Saturday, May 11th.

Provided there’s no torrential downpour or freak snowstorm, the day’s agenda is: training, then cooking.

We’ll be on site to light the oven at 9:00 a.m. sharp and invite those interested in learning to fire the oven to attend from 9-12 and receive training. (If you’d like to eventually light the oven yourself and host events, training is mandatory. Read more on training.)

Training is typically pretty relaxed and provides a chance for anyone to learn about the structure, care and proper use of the oven. We encourage anyone to come by and hang-out for curiosity sake too. For those interested, training will run until the oven is hot enough to cook—we aim for 12:00 noon. If all goes well, we’ll be ready to cook and will do our best to accommodate food-stuff brought by for cooking. The oven is incredibly hot and while we try to honour the first-come-first-bake order of things, certain items cook best when the oven is hottest while others fare better at lower temperatures. Small pizzas cook in minutes while more dense concoctions like it slow-and-low. There’s always some standing around, so dress for the weather and bring your food in proper containers to ensure it keeps until ready to cook.

Planning to come by on May 11th? For training or just a cook-out? Drop us a line via email at [email protected] or leave a note on our Facebook page to help us get a sense of how many people to expect.

Watch this page for updates and a proper calendar as we continue to ramp up for PACO’s first full season.

The First Firing of the Oven

Lorrie and Doug sort big logs from small.

Lorrie and Doug sort big logs from small. Photo by Tim Krochak

Saturday, September 22, 2012 was the day we built the first real fire in the oven. What began as a training exercise with a bit of food turned into an all-day cookout. It was wonderful.

This photo was taken a few days prior, as an accompaniment to a piece in the Chronicle Herald. The piece is fair and does justice to the ambitions of the Oven Committee and the concerns of the neighbourhood. We hope a reporter will visit again, now that we are up and running.


The Park Avenue Community Oven is located in the Leighton Dillman Park on the Dartmouth Commons. The Dartmouth Common Community Gardens and Oven are directly inside the gate off Park Avenue (map).

This project is an initiative of the Dartmouth Commons Community Gardens and a group of committed citizens. The group is actively seeking new people to become involved in the project. We hope to provide an inclusive venue for community gatherings and events centered on food education and enjoyment.

We’re a fledgling organization who wants interested community members to take part to help grow and shape the project.

We want community members and neighbours to help imagine programming and activities.

If you would like to be involved or have any questions please join us on Facebook. All scheduled group meetings will be posted here and are open to attendance by anyone interested in being a part of this project.

Our next committee meeting is Monday, July 30 at 7:00 pm in the Helen Creighton Room at Alderney Library, Dartmouth. (This is a change of venue, effective July 30.)

Our site isn’t quite ready for prime time. For now, please find us on Facebook.