The Fairy Doors of Central Frederick

Last weekend, a team of dedicated fairy enthusiasts donned rubber boots, rain coats and umbrellas and ventured out in the pouring rain to learn about and find the fairy doors of Central Frederick. This was a “Jane’s Walk”, which is “a movement of free, locally led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to explore their cities and connect with neighbours.”


(Photo courtesy of Laura McBride)

It takes a unique and creative person, with a deep understanding of children and community and perhaps a sprinkling of pixie dust to come up with a project such as “Central Fairies.”

Laura McBride is one of these people.

Laura brought her neighbours together to paint small doors that were later set up around their houses in order to “welcome the fairies.” She is now working on getting fairy doors established at nearby businesses. From the Facebook page: “Central Fairies is a movement of people who, by putting Fairy Doors on their properties, acknowledge the value of our need to connect.”


(Photo courtesy of Laura McBride)

The fairy door project is so much more than a whimsical neighbourhood art project. For one thing, it acknowledges the importance of children in our community. 99% of the time*, communities are built at an adult scale, using adult aesthetics and for adult purposes. I watched the way my little ones excitedly searched for each door (despite the pouring rain and freezing fingers), and realized how much difference even small touches can make. (An earlier, drier walk even included fairy stories and building fairy houses, but unfortunately we could only make it to the later, wetter one.)

For adults, fairy doors are an important reminder to take life less seriously, to remember how to have fun, to think outside the box and be creative. It also connects neighbours in a significant way. To me, a fairy door at someone’s house is a sign that says: “A friend lives here!”


(Photo courtesy of Laura McBride)

In my family, we are no strangers to the fairy community. We look for them every year at Algonquin Park, as I describe here, and we build fairy houses out of twigs and moss. Here is a fun series of books about fairy houses that I came across a few years ago: . My mother has also had a fairy door in her garden for a number of years and my son (inspired by the walk) is now working on his own door. It just needs a weather-proof coat, and will be put up shortly.

Thank you Laura, for helping to bring a little magic into the community! We need more of this.

Readers … are there any examples of creative, playful projects like this in your community?


*Please remember that 98.7% of internet statistics are 100% made up.

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4 Responses to The Fairy Doors of Central Frederick

  1. A red swing showed up at our community garden in Uniroyal Goodrich Park, Kitchener 🙂 Would be fun to see more! And of course… gotta love the Little Libraries of KW!

  2. love love love it…. magical!

  3. Pingback: 100th Postiversary! | Unlocking the Gate

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