December 2012


Kitchen Questions...

Questions to ask when renting a new kitchen space

(for business activity)

Rental Requirements

Do you rent the kitchen for commercial purposes? 

Do you require renters to have insurance? What kind? 

Is the rate hourly/daily? Is there a discounted rate for non-profit/unwaged?


Kitchen Amenities

What is the kitchen outfitted & certified to make? Are there any relevant restrictions? (for example no deep frying permitted)

What equipment is included in the kitchen - is there anything I am required to bring myself?


Storage and Access

What hours is the space available? Is there a way to get access in off hours in order to pick up/drop off product?

How much space is available for storage (for equipment, ingredients, and product)?

What kind of storage (dry and refrigeration) is there? If required, can I bring my own refrigeration space? 

How long can I leave products in the space? Is the space secured from other users of the kitchen?


A project of Housing Services Corporation's Social and Environmental Enterprise Development and Food Forward's Kitchens Forward initiative.


Growing Food & Justice Initiative (GFJI)

Food Forward has been supporting the development of the Growing Food and Justice For All Initiative (GFJI) Local Empowerment Group (LEG). Soon after our founding we began discussing the connections between food, equity and racism/oppression in Toronto, and soon connected with folks from Afri-Can Food BasketGreen Thumbs Growing Kids, and others who did early work in food justice and in forming GFJI and Toronto’s LEG. Food Forward staff and volunteers, Caitlin Langois Greenham, Linda Swanston, Vanessa Ling Yu, and Darcy Higgins (see here) have been working collaboratively to support the convening and strategic planning for our LEG, which plans to be an active food justice contributor in Toronto, connected as a strong partner of the international movement. In 2011, we provided anti-oppression training for Food Forward volunteers and members with positive interest, and a desire for more practical applications in community settings.

Most recently, Vanessa with others from Toronto visited Growing Power in Chicageo to attend GFJI’s Intensive Leadership Facilitator Training: A Dismantling Racism through the Food System to further develop her roster of knowledge and skills around racial healing through food, and connect with the broader community of food justice activists. We are also pleased to connect with Hurly Navarro-Meraveles, Project Coordinator of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) Positive Spaces Initiative and Food Forward advisor to deepen our examination of gender and sexual identities and newcomer communities, as we make anti-oppression relevant to our every day work together.

In 2013, we are excited to move forward with further anti-oppression training for Food Forward members and friends and supporting diversity work in the food and environmental movements with our partners in collaboration with the Sustainability Network and significant volunteer support from Sabrina Bowman. We also look forward to sharing key next steps for action from the growth of the GFJI network locally and welcome further participation. GFJI Toronto LEG does not yet have a website, so contact Darcy to get involved and join the listserv.