November 2012


Entrepreneur trainings

9:30am-12pm How to Start a Food Business from the City of Toronto Economic Development Division in partnership with Enterprise Toronto at North York Civic Centre, Lower Level, Committee Room 3, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto

Got an idea about starting a food business? Want to learn more before you "venture" into a food business? Looking to find out how to search for a licensed industrial kitchen in Toronto, that can help you get your venture off the ground? Or just got a delicious recipe you eventually want to cook up into a money- making business? Then be sure to attend this valuable morning workshop on "How to Start a Food Business"

To Register Contact: Mr. Michael Wolfson at 416-392-3830 or email at mwolfso@toronto.caOnline Registration:

10-11:30am: Your Ideal Client: Who They Are, And How to Attract Them, Enterprise Toronto, Toronto City Hall 100 Queen St. West, 2nd Floor Committee Room 3
Do you know which of your clients get the most value out of your services? Why do some keep coming back while others complain and ask for a discount? If you don’t know who your ideal client is, you chase after the clients who are not the right fit for you, and neither you nor they will get the best value out of the relationship. In this informative and interactive seminar, you will learn how to recognize your ideal client and create an environment that attracts and retains them.
Presented by: Olga Brouckova, OB4innovation Inc
Register online: OR please leave us a message at (416) 395-7416
*Note we will not be returning calls unless there are cancellations
** Please check our website 24 hours before your seminar date for any room changes

6-8PM: Growing Business the Food Way - Innovating Start-ups from Across the Food System, Wilson Lounge at New College U of T, 40 Wilcocks St.

Join us for the next joint Toronto Youth Food Policy Council/TFPC Community Meeting and Panel on Food Startups in Toronto. When: December 3rd, 2012 at 6-8pm (with snacks starting at 5:30pm) Starting at 6 pm: Bryan Gilvesy of YU Ranch, keynote presentation, and time for a Q&A We have some great panelists involved in food businesses in Toronto that will be joining us for this event, like Matt Basile from Fidel Gastro, Seema Pabari from Tiffinday, Erica Lemieux from City Seed Farms, and Leila Timmins of GathererTO!

We hope you can join us! Facebook event: https://www.fac​​s/1301187571416​98

Tuesday December 4th

7PM-9PM: Foodie Drinks - Etobicoke edition! at The Longest Yard, 313 Bloor St West

Wednesday December 5th

10-11:30am: Managing Your Cash Flow, Enterprise Toronto, North York Civic Centre 5100 Yonge St. Lower Level Committee Room 3  
One of the main challenges for any small business owner is managing cash flow. Many businesses are actually profitable but poor cash flow chokes their ability to operate. In this "hands on" workshop we will walk you through real world examples and practical tips that will help you maximize your cash flow, minimize the need to borrow and ensure you are taking full advantage of the cash flow cycle.
Presented By: Sera, Schipani, TD Canada Trust, Small Business Banking
Register online: OR please leave us a message at (416) 395-7416
*Note we will not be returning calls unless there are cancellations
** Please check our website 24 hours before your seminar date for any room changes


Calling for unanimous support to GrowTO

Food Forward has called on councillors to fully endorse Scaling Up Urban Agriculture today as the Parks and Environment Committee discusses a report moved by Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon highlighting recommendations from the GrowTO Action Plan.

We have written in support of the recommmndations after a remarkable show of interest in urban agriculture this summer and increasing support over the last decade in the form of several reports, city strategies, community programs and new enterprises. We are looking forward to see the City will take another step forward in its support of an urban agriculture program and a co-ordinated office. 

As the number of Torontonians vulnerable to food insecurity increases due to the economic situation, urban agriculture can be part of a strategy for increasing access to good food, and create jobs in all parts of the City. 

To do this, we'll need to see an increase in support and leadership from the City to end any unnecessary hurdles faced by community members, agencies, or budding entrepreneurs. The City support within a number of divisions that exists has been helpful in producing results. Stumbling blocks are sometimes faced in Parks, due to lack of City staff resources, and will erode somewhat in 2013 due to the loss of the Live Green animator program. The recommendations also aim to review policy change to support land use and sale of food.

We hope for unanimous support and a strong call from the Committee to see a report return in good time that will bring enhanced City support and a clear, simple program to respond to Torontonians' action in the growing and distribution of food.

Find Councillor McMahon's letter and motion and the GrowTO Action Plan and its many more recommendations for Toronto's food and political community. And more here on our past urban ag work.


How do our gardens grow?

Community gardening is on a roll in Toronto. Gardens are part of most community food programs and a part of developments in new park and neighbourhoods plans throughout the City.

Despite this, the City hasn't met its 1999 target of a garden in every ward... we're short about 19 wards (outof 44). Though the target may have been more symbolic than practical (it takes a community not government itself to create a garden), there is still work that City staff, residents, and councillors can do together to achieve our potential.

Taking leadership in this work has been the Live Green community animators under EcoSpark, who have been working all over the City supporting residents to start community gardens along with other local food and environmental projects. Food Forward has worked in partnership with the four animators and watched them do amazing things to support and enable community work. For example, our Food For Ward rep in ward 25 is working with North York's community animator to start a community garden in York Mills.

It is unfortuante then, after a five year run, the community animation program (destined to run for that length), is ending this year. As a final event, the animators are organizing four panels for community members working to start environmental projects. I am excited to be moderating the discussion on community gardens with a number of experienced community food organizers. 

I hope that a type of animation program can again be re-born with the City's support. For now we can learn from each other's work through forums like these; food and community organizations in the City; and one-on-one connections built through events like Foodie Drinks', Facebook, and networks including the Food For Ward Project we've established. 

We can also work with local city councillors, many of whom are more than happy to assist gardens get started. We've had conversations with many and know of councillors who are helpful or want to help - here's an incomplete list of food & garden keeners if you're want to connect (and let us know who we should add): Councillors Bailao, Councillor Berardinetti, Councillor Carroll, Councillor Cho, Councillor Colle, Councillor De Baeremaeker, Councillor Doucette, Councillor Filion, Councillor Fletcher, Councillor Fragedakis, Councillor Layon, Councillor Matlow, Councillor McMahon, Councillor McConnell, Councillor Parker, councillor Pasternak, Councillor Robinson, Councillor Vaughan, Councillor Wong-Tam.

Check here for more resources.