Once upon a time

on Mabelle Avenue...

It was in the summer of 2007 that MABELLEartists first loaded up shopping carts with supplies, garden equipment, and snacks and headed over to the Mabelle Park which was then an abandoned thoroughfare in the centre of the Mabelle neighbourhood. The wheels of the carts would rattle against the cracks in the sidewalk, causing Mabelle kids to come out of their apartments and onto their balconies shouting: “Is it starting!"?


Fill the cart

for 2018!
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At MABELLEarts, we believe that art has the power to transform people and neighbourhoods. We’ve spent the past ten years proving it.

Ten years ago, the Mabelle Park was just a shortcut. Now it’s the vibrant heart of the community: a place where strangers become neighbours. Over the years, our shopping cart has been filled with the stories, songs and aspirations of thousands of Mabelle and Etobicoke residents.

This summer, when hundreds of asylum seekers made their way to Canada to begin their resettlement journey in Etobicoke, MABELLEarts was right there with them. Our cart expanded to offer in-shelter workshops, trips to MABELLEarts events and most importantly, a warm welcome to those who’d risked everything in search of a new life. Through it all, our youth were the drivers, helping with workshops, offering translation and sharing their own lived experience as immigrants.

This year we are poised to offer more. More workshops, more events, more parks, more celebrations, more community meals, more leadership opportunities and more art that builds community.

To deliver on this promise, we need your help. Help us fill the cart for 2018!

Scroll down to find out how

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"This highly successful park project remains one of the most exciting in Toronto."

Dave Harvey, Executive Director, Park People

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MABELLEarts transforms parks and public spaces into places of welcoming for newcomers, refugees and asylum-seekers! Places where diverse Torontonians get to know one another and become friends!  Places where low-income residents can build a sense of community pride and connection!

You can help us reimagine the role parks and public spaces can play in Toronto. All you have to do is scroll down and decide how you want to #FillTheCart!

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"My heart is always with you Mabellearts. During my stay at the shelter you really uplifted my spirit. Through art you made it very easy to forget my traumatic experience and challenges I had. Through art my kids were able to make friends and learn new skills. Through music you united all the different nationalities by different songs from different countries. [This] united us and made us know more about one another. Thank you for your time and dedication. Some of us were healed.”

Cleopatra Mbali Masinga, Community Participant

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Ten years ago, Mabelle kids came running down their apartment stairs when they heard the rattling shopping cart travelling down Mabelle Avenue and into the Mabelle Park. Today many of these same kids are now pushing the Mabelle cart themselves.

Young people play a crucial role in hosting MABELLEarts events, providing translation, childcare, and workshop assistance to hundreds of community members in Central Etobicoke. They're learning how to build community in some of Toronto's most underserved places. This winter, show these bright, creative minds that their impact matters by giving to Fill The Cart.

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"I helped plan everything out, set it up, and it became as good as it could be. I found myself taking charge and engaging with everyone who was there. I wasn’t just shown the magic: I was making it happen."

Tasmeen Syed, Youth Leader

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Iftar Nights

Every year, MABELLEarts works with community leaders to create four intercultural celebrations to mark the holy month of Ramadan. For Iftar, we invite residents from a range of cultural backgrounds to gather in Mabelle Park and join their Muslim neighbours as they break their Ramadan fast.  Each night,  we welcome bus-loads of asylum-seekers and refugees from across the GTA, who join the Mabelle community for festive evenings of musical performances, art-making, fire-side stories, and a meal served at sundown.

This holiday season, donate to Fill The Cart and make it possible for more people to experience the magic of Iftar Nights. 


"First Iftar for me ever in Canada. We enjoyed our time. We heard Azaan, we shared food, we celebrated and enjoyed arabic traditional songs and music. People from everywhere, from every religion were there. This is what humanity looks like. Thank you MABELLEarts, no words can explain how precious your work is."

Islam Rezk, Community Participant