Building Roots: Empowering Food-Accessible Development


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Many Torontonians young and old lack access to healthy food, but also to ways of growing, preparing, or selling it. That is especially true in Toronto's towering apartment complexes, where neighbourhoods with high immigrant, low income, and racialized populations often exist with much greater distances to food stores, commercial kitchens, urban agriculture, and other food infrastructure.

In Toronto's building boom, are we creating condos that will lead to the same problems? Can we plan food access now that help prevent future "food desserts"?

New developments can benefit and empower their future residents and surrounding communities to improve access to healthy food and places to grow, cook, buy and sell.

Building Roots hopes to achieve stronger access to healthy food for children and familities in diverse and low income neighbourhoods in Toronto through the incorporation of community and commercial food infrastructure being built into new housing developments... things like healthy and diverse food stores, community/commercial kitchens, community food hubs... urban agriculture, street food, or developing and funding others spaces for food programs.

Check out our primer on Building Roots, with what we want to see happen and some examples.

We are working with the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council to train residents in how to advocate for food infrastructure in their neighbourhoods - starting in St. James Town, Downtown East, and Don Mills and Sheppard. We are also helping to facilitate knowledge transfer among stakeholders, so builders and planners and city councillors can work with communities for better food access.

Our Symposium was a great success! Thank you to Daniels Corporation and all participants.

Click here 

Our toolkit (under construction) is here to support you to build roots in your neighbourhood - learn how to advocate for places to grow, cook, buy and sell food in your neighbourhood:

Building Roots Toolkit


Look for coming workshops for residents for Don Mills and Sheppard at the Oriole Community Centre and for St. James Town at the Food Forward centre.


Resources to come:

- Listserv

- Workshops

- More models and ideas