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NEWS: Fairy doors “magically appear” (Nov. 2020)

December 4th, 2020 · No Comments

Though their origin is a mystery, they are being mapped

Martha Davis and Daniel Levine created fairies to go along with the doors as a way to help contribute and keep the community spirit up in Seaton Village. Who built the doors remains a mystery. MARY AN/GLEANER NEWS

By Mary An 

The Annex has welcomed new mystical community members who live in unconventional dwellings: tiny homes nuzzled into tree roots. Doors to these homes can be found on  trees all over Toronto, and if there’s a human-builder behind them, he or she remains anonymous. 

A customized Google map showing the fairy door locations can be found on several Toronto neighbourhood community pages on Facebook. 

“It’s to help the kids find the fairy doors, otherwise you wouldn’t even know to turn down that street, because you would never discover it,” says Shana Tilbrook, creator of the fairy doors map.

The map has been viewed close to 8,000 times since Tilbrook created it. She says she was inspired to create the map for the community when her five year-old daughter started noticing the doors around the neighborhood over the summer. 

“This is something that can help a lot of families, because it is a distraction from the pandemic.” 

Fairies go along with the mystical doors. Martha Davis and Daniel Levine “found” fairy tenants at the doors this autumn.

“It was Daniel’s idea to have some action at the doors, because they’ve been going without any action for months,” says Davis, co-creator of the fairies. 

Daniel, 7, helped hand out fairy kits in October to those who wanted to create fairies for the existing doors. Inside the fairy kits are a single fairy, along with art supplies to create a fairy. Forty people have requested fairy kits so far. A “message board” can also be seen by the doors to help connect the community by leaving small messages. 

This isn’t the first time Toronto has seen fairy doors. 

In 2015, Natalie Coulter, an assistant professor of communication studies at York University, created an art initiative called Danny’s Urban Fairies for the Danforth Avenue community. Businesses within the area installed fairy doors inside or outside of their stores, encouraging a stronger community connection through a playful activity. 

Now, in the Annex, these doors and fairies help children and families enjoy the outdoors safely. 

“Everything’s been cancelled for the kids, but they still need something to look forward to,” says Tilbrook. 

“It’s more than just fairy doors for these kids, it helps them believe in magic.” 


ON THE COVER: Fairy Doors in Seaton Village (Oct. 2020)

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