Lowell Lo_ Design Inc. Architect

Fully Licensed Architectural Practice in Ontario

Things Permaculture

Repurposed Candy Wrap Flowers with Plastic Cup Lids and Wine Cork Base

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  Young Street Mission – YSM Double Take Store Downtown TO

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Repurposed Tim Hortons Cup as Inner Seedling Cell w its Outer Lantern Tray & Wooden Pedestal for Grow-light Setup

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Display Unit at King Square Shopping Centre in Markham (Unit 1C25 – End of October 2021)

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Repurposed Coffee Cups Flowers and 2L Pop/Chinese Plum Juice/Chinese White Coco Drink Bottle Vases

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Ventilated Decorative Seed Labelling Outer Repurposed Soya Drink Seeding Lantern Bottle…note the seedling shown is pea not basil nor parsley however*

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St James Town Community Garden Toronto – Rain-barrels Install with help from Community Members (June 2021)

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As Vendor Participant at Virtual Seedy Saturday TO 2021 (for all of Ontario as a single event)



Watermelon seeds sprouting in the damp Inverted Repurposed Pop Bottle !!!



Inverted Flower Petals 2L Pop Bottles with Pepper Seedlings in the red and Korean Melon on the left under Repurposed Plastic Cover



Inverted 2L Pop Bottle Planter and Flower Tray

with Bottle-neck Flaring Flanges for The Airing of the Soil at the tapered bottom. The bottom bottle tray holds up the inverted upper bottle in mid-air because of the snug fit and allowing its base opening to breathe also

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Architectonic Scrap-wood Seedling Cells Base…

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Double Sided LED Striplight Seedling Grow-light Stand with Wine Corks as Light Mount Saddles…


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The Reflected Light Enclosure Soya Drink Lantern Bottle Seedling Grow-light Stand…




The Translucent Repurposed Flower Bottle Planter…



For my new friends at the Markham mall…

(repurposed pop bottle planter & yogurt lid with wood scraps as good-luck turning lazy-susan pedestal)

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New Seedling Grow-light Wood Stand for LED tube light (2ft length)

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New Window Display Office at King Square Ltd. Markham



Single Barrel Install (w a mentee) in Markham (Sept 2020)






Double Spigots Installation because we drill the wrong size hole for the black one and the slightly larger one is a standard drill anchor size from the hardware store (silicone caulking was applied twice later in the weeks around this green spigot but there was a still a slow trickling drip so I used some epoxy I had it seemed to have sealed around this spigot and stopped the leak after the 3rd try…). Now the single barrel (as people tend to complain of its small size) has more potential carry water to other cisterns or directly to planting beds via soaker hoses or for a now dedicated spigot for filling a watering can.



The Grow-light Lantern Barrel Stand version 2 is now lit…

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The Repurposed Palmolive Detergent Plastic Bottle Chinese Vases

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The White Cold-Frame Cover/At-Grade Planter – For Extending the Growing Season in the Colder Climates (The white cover when flipped becomes an at grade bonus planter)

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~5 week old Pak Choi Seedlings…

From a Soil Mix with BioChar and Slow Drip Planter Indoor System by Higarden.ca (Markham)



Poster with Set Price for The Complete Single Rain-Barrel Installation for June 2020

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Flat Top Wooden Crop Protection Arches (in the making) for use with Row Cover


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Complete w Row Cover 20-06-10


Sub-irrigation Balcony White Buckets with Re-purposed Plastic Jugs and Arch Drawing Cardboard Tubes as Sub-irrigation Water Reservoirs and Fill-tube1591730040532



Raised 1/2 Barrel Planter at my former Taoist Tai Chi Instructor’s Yard (Delivered after Self-isolation Convid-19, May 2020)




The New Re-purposed White Barrel Grow-Lantern Furniture Stand with Crescent Moons Shelves and Cross Ventilation Moon Motifs




The Seedling GrowCart -


Finishing Removable Table Top Coloured Plugs

Finishing Removable Table Top Coloured Plugs


Formal Wood Base for The Lantern Barrel Grow-light Bar Height Table -

(Part of DesignTO 2020 Exhibition in Jan 2020 - https://designto.org/event/the-rain-barrel-and-sub-irrigated-planter-bed/)

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Ventilation & Lower Plants Access Opening with 1×3″ Segmented Wood/Metal Ring for Re-holding of the Circular Shape at the top of the Barrel -



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The Good Canadian Left-Leaning Parties IKEA Bed Slats Chair -

The ends of the wood members are painted in the various colours of the Political Parties more to the Left Side of the Canadian Political Spectrum




The 23L Insulated Liquid Compost Bin Half Barrel Outdoor 12 Sided Table Top Table Furniture -

Liquid Compost Technique Method made known by Mina Wong Director of Toronto’s Rain Gardens United Green Urban Initiative supported by The David Suzuki Foundation. Also thanks to Mari Kasstan for the free repurposed bubble wrap as insulation for the inner liquid compost bin.

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Re-cycled West-end TO Community Street Yard Sale Wooden Shelves and Curbside Slats from North York Revitalized as Balcony Planter Shelf Stand !!

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Re-purposed Plastic Lid & Scrap Wood Lazy-Susan Base Prototype#1&2 for The Re-purposed Yogurt and Pop-bottle Sub-irrigation Seedling Planter Pot !!

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North York Install with Custom Downspout Disconnection


The caulked, screwed and taped connection between the black flex hose and the metal downspout has actually failed as I was recently notified by the owner (Jan 2020) because of the pressure of the water running vertically down the downspout in heavy rainstorms I think. I am hoping as a low cost solution to extend the white downspout to ground and install a similar white elbow member to lessen the pressure of the water in the pipe an then connect with the black plastic flex hose horizontally after the elbow-bend.




New Blue Barrels from Wisconsin fit perfect with the Pre-made Wooden Barrel Stands



Single Barrel Stand at Regent Park Townhouse Unit’s Roof-deck









New ‘Samurai-helmet-like’ End Profile Re-purposed Barrel Raised Planter Bed (1×6″ Cedar Boards with Pine Bed Slats)




W-brace Low Frame Re-purposed Barrel Raised Planter Bed – July 2019








Distress Paint Look for the W-brace Motif


Single Barrel Stand Install at my former Taoist Tai Chi Instructor’s house in Scarborough – June 2019




X-wing Bracing Repurposed Barrel Raised Planter Bed using mostly IKEA Baby Bed Slats (27.5″ long 2.75×0.75″ members) – June 2019




UofT St. George Student Community Gardens Double Barrel Stands Install with Dig_In Regenesis Student Environmental Group




U of T St. George Dig_In Regenesis Campus Agriculture Facbook Page on The Rain Barrel Build


Lotus Flower Sub-irrigated Planter Pot using Repurposed Yogurt Tubs and Pop Bottles



The light gray blue paint submerged in water and pebbles is an all natural linseed oil paint by Sage Restoration from Kingston Ontario




Workshop for the Re-purposed Sub-irrigated Planter Pots at Access Point/Alliance Community Centre’s Green-roof (East York, July 2019)





Food Grade Barrel made in the UK is raised and held in place by the Demountable and Stackable Wooden Barrel Stand which lifts the Barrel off Ground by 11″

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All Natural Linseed Oil Varnish from Sweden sold by Sage Restoration of Kingston Ontario


The Double Stacked Stand for U of T St. George Campus Student Community Garden (with Dig_In Re-genesis) on Spadina Ave.


Demountable Caged Frames Installation in progress at residence in the former Ward 21 (April 2019) -

Design by Dave Jones and Lowell Lo






The Re-purposed Barrel Grow-light Lantern Furniture Stand with Strip LED purple lights (constructed at Makerspace 192 Spadina Ave. Spring 2019)











Decorative Butterfly and Constellation Motif Drilled for Air Ventilation. (accompanied by a new karaoke speaker from a Markham store)


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Seedy Saturday Scarborough April 2019


2019 Seedy Saturday at Toronto Botanical Gardens


A Double Stacked Stand shown that will lift a rain-barrel above ground by 22 inches which will then create more water pressure for attaching watering hose to water planter beds directly



Commissioned Canvas Banner for Transition Toronto with biased tape edging sewn on by repairathon.com



Painted Canvas Banners for Zero Waste Hub Toronto (Dec 2018) & Green 11 (part of Green Neighbours Network Toronto) (May 2019)




Carving Motifs Decorated Base Rain-barrel Stand

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Red Cardinal Nature Scene Motif for the Stackable version Rain-barrel Stand

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 Painted Nature Vignettes Inspired by the Iconic Paintings of Tom Thomson



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Painted Art Nouveau Inspired Florals

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“Starry Night Toronto” Theme Decorated Double Rain-barrel Stand at the office

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Version 2 Growlight Stand with LED lights (Oct 2018 Harvest Party at 4100 Lawrence Ave. Apartments Community Garden)


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Also assisting Assistant/Intern Architect Insiya (recent Masters Grad from India) working at Senior Gardener Dave Jone’s Storage/Workshop unit.


Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigation Beds install in East Scarborough (July 2018)


The home owner fenced off her backyard last year to grow food this year. We connected with her through Toronto Urban Growers at just the right time when she was looking for garden help this year. Dave created sandbox using scrap pieces of cedar wood from another client’s rear deck project

















Showing start of abundant growth in Aug 2018







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Poster Showing Rain Barrel and Planter Bed Initiative Installs in East York and in East Scarborough (2018)  - The Sub-irrigation Planter Watering Method was made known by Johanne Daoust and Zora Ignjatovic Urban Agriculture Pioneers in Toronto now both are acitve members of Toronto Urban Growers Group. They perfected the sub-irrigation watering methods using re-purposed materials as some photos shown above were their inventions.


Demountable Raised Sub-irrigated Planter Bed by Dave Jones of East Scarborough Community Gardens (Tabling at Kimbourne Park United Church Permaculture Garden Opening Day 2018, East York)



East York Rain Barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Installation in East York (Spring 2018)



Tabling at Seedy Saturday with Dave Jones with our design products of wooden rainbarrel stands and sub-irrigated planter beds at GEBIS in Concord Ontario






The six-legged design allows the cross pieces to be demountable into 2 hand-held pieces for easy storage and strong enough to hold a 50 gallon barrel full of water – made with Pressure Treated Lumber or Natural Cedar using only 2″x4″ members. The current design has a 2′-0″ diameter clearance for fitting the barrels.



Food Grade Plastic Transport Barrel on an older Version 3 barrel stand.  (Note: The white barrel shown will let in ultra-violet light so it is not recommended for use as rain cisterns/barrels)


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Current Version 3 lifts the barrels off the ground by 11″ so a watering can can be placed under the barrel. The double outer Legs eliminated the need for complex wood joinery. The whole assembly is held together using ceramic deck screws and carpenter’s glue at the double leg connection.


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Version 4 – The outer double legs are shifted to grab hold of the barrel above more. By shifting up the outer legs, it allowed the stands to be stack-able.



The Triple Stacked Stand for greater water pressure to planting beds via gravity if required – 2 Version 4 barrels over Version 3 as base.



It is recommended by other gardeners to place the Wooden Stand on top of 2′x2′ concrete pavers so the weight of the barrel will be spread across the concrete paver.

*Interesting fact about wood’s carbon sequestration ability: Throughout the life of a tree, it continually absorbs carbon from its environment. All the carbon absorbed throughout its life is stored in its wood fibre even after it is up-rooted from the ground. All of this stored carbon is kept in its fibre only to be released back into the atmosphere when it is burnt.


To Order:

-Email Lowell Lo at: llo@lowelllodesign.com for notification of subsequent payment via e-transfer and to specify order for Version 3 or Version 4 stands
-Allow at least 2 weeks for Assembly and Delivery Time if within 1 hour drive within Ontario
-$79.10 for 1 Pressure Treated Wood Stand (includes HST)
-$113.00 for 1 Cedar Wood Stand (includes HST)
-Delivery charge within 1 hour drive from North York (Victoria Park Ave. & Sheppard Ave) is $16.95 (includes HST)
-If place of delivery is more than 1 hour drive then professional courier will be used (additionally charged)
-Please also specify if your would prefer the clearance space for fitting the barrel to be smaller than 2′-0″ wide; provide width of the rain-barrel you will be using if possible

Page 1 & 4Page 2 & 3Rain Barrel and Planter Bed - Nov 2, 2016

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Planter Bed Enclosure Structure Design for Protection from Wind, Sun, Rain and Critters



Dave Jone’s Sub-irrigated Planter/Grow Frame Design

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Article published in The 2015 Members Directory Magazine from the Ontario Association of Architects about my volunteer work in the Permaculture community in Toronto.

Pages from 2015 Profiles _ Lowell Lo-1 web



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Bulletin Board Structure for the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services


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Demountable Condiments Shelves


Grow Light Stand

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Rain-barrel stand using 1×4″s IKEA baby bed slats deocorated with Native American motifs

3-d-wf      webDSC_0892  Magazine stand using bed mattress slats designed and built at Permaculture Living Convergence Fall 2013 in Toronto.



Nelson Wong Architect’s Office Vegetable Greenhouse Garden


“Permablitz” – based on the principles of Permaculture (permanent agriculture) which arose during the 1970s in response to Peak Oil is when people come together to achieve the following:Create or add to edible gardens where someone lives,Share skills related to permaculture and sustainable livingBuild community networks and have fun


Skid Structure #1 (in the making) for rain barrel storage and as market stand at The Permaculture Project GTA (www.permaculturegta.org)

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with Chris Hill making an earlier version of the Rain Barrel Stands



Rooftop sub-irrigated planter pods areas using skids at TPPGTA


Skid Storage Screen Shelter

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Dome arbour using twigs at Eva’s Initiative Youth Shelter, North York


Planter Display Box for Elementary School Children

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Permablitz at a suburban home in North York (summer 2011)


Greenshire Eco Farms 2013 Opening, Lindsay Ontario