Mike Holmes To Help Rebuild High Park Children’s Castle

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Mike HolmesThe people who are rebuilding the High Park castle are getting some high-profile help.

Mike Holmes is a celebrity contractor. A contractor is someone who is skilled at the kinds of jobs needed to build or renovate homes. Contractors hire and oversee all of the work—for instance, electrical, plumbing, carpentry and design work.

Holmes became famous for his motto, “make it right.” On his TV show, he rescues homeowners from renovations that have gone wrong and he brings in workers who fix the house properly and “make it right.”

Holmes also does a lot of charity work. On one of his TV shows, he helps people in New Orleans whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Now he’s lending a hand to help rebuild the children’s play castle in the High Park neighbourhood of Toronto, Ont. Much of the wooden structure was destroyed by a fire last March.

Many people and organizations in the area have already come together with a plan to rebuild the castle; their plan was supported by a $50,000 donation from Canadian Tire as well as donations from Lowe’s, the TD Bank Group and the Sprott Foundation. The money will be put towards supplies like wood and nails.

And now they’ll have Mike Holmes’ help as well.

The High Park Castle; image by Greg Robinson

Children's castle in High Park after part of it was destroyed by a fire; image by Greg Robinson

Holmes said he’s excited about the project. “I haven’t been this excited since New Orleans,” he said. “We asked the community what they want—especially the kids—and we’re going to do it for them… build the kids what they want. It will be beautiful. We’re going to make it right.”

He said he wants to stay true to the original vision of the castle designed by Jamie Bell and even take it a bit further.

“I love the castle idea. But we’re bringing it up to today’s safety standards (and) there are going to be more slides, more benches and more things for kids to do,” he said. The needs of physically challenged kids will also be considered in the new design.

The renovation of the castle will be filmed for a TV show Holmes is planning.

In a 2010 survey conducted by the magazine Reader’s Digest, Mike Holmes was voted the second most trusted person in Canada (behind environmental activist David Suzuki).

There is no doubt that the people of High Park are putting their trust in Holmes to make the High Park castle “right.”

Related link
The original TKN article about the High Park castle fire; pictures and story by TKN reporter Greg Robinson.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Mike Holmes said, “I love the castle idea. But we’re bringing it up to today’s safety standards (and) there are going to be more slides, more benches and more things for kids to do.”

What are some games and activities that you play on a climber and in a park? What should Mike Holmes add to the new structure to make it more fun for kids of all ages and to make sure all people can play (including people with physical challenges)?

Reading Prompt: Metacognition
When you were reading today’s article, were there any parts that you didn’t understand? What do you do if you come to a word, phrase or idea that you don’t know? What strategies do you use to solve it? How do you check to see if you were right?

Primary
Identify, initially with support and direction a few strategies that they found helpful before, during and after reading (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Junior and Intermediate
Identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Grammar Feature: Motto
A motto is a word, phrase or sentence that expresses an attitude or a belief. Mike Holmes’ motto is “make it right.” What does it mean to you?

Does your school have a motto? If so, what is it and what does it mean? Do you think it fits your school? If you were to make up a new motto for your school, what would it be?