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Photo courtesy of Awesome Ottawa.

Awesome Ottawa: September award to support hidden toadstool homes and mushrooms

By Awesome Ottawa on October 6, 2021

September’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Olivia Wittenburg to support her project of making toadstool homes and mushrooms and leaving them around the city for people to find and take home.

“I started back in May,” explains Olivia, “because I was temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 and I needed something artistic to do for my mental health and to get some exercise. I decided to make mushrooms because I collect vintage ceramic mushroom kitchen wares and thought other people in the city might enjoy some mushroom decor too!”

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Explaining her creative process, Olivia says, “I make them out of natural clay, paint them, and decorate them mostly with natural things I forage while hunting for good spots to leave them. I do drops every weekend and share the locations of each shroom on the Toadstool Town 613 Instagram.”

“This project has been so good for my mental health,” continues Olivia. “I think it positively affects others as well. Every single day I get the nicest messages and comments from my followers. I’ve met a lot of amazing people through this project. People in the art community, neighbours, and individuals that just needed a reason to get out of the house during this tough time.”

“Toadstool Town is 100 per cent a free street art project,” adds Olivia. “I don’t sell them or plan on doing so.”

The project will continue every weekend until Halloween, then resume after the winter.

Olivia is a barber living in Centretown. She has two tarantulas, named Morticia and Gomez.


Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, 10 or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month, and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of the pooled funds—usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, over $5 million has already been awarded—$142,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa. For more information, visit awesomeottawa.ca.