Urban agriculture


Fruit trees and Food Nation at #SummerFoodKickoff

Do you think Toronto's next Mayor and Council should create a better city through food?

Food Forward is presenting Food Nation! This time at the University of Toronto as part of the #SummerFoodKickoff with our partners.

Come learn about the movement that brings Food Justice to Toronto and find out ways to get involved in the most exciting election campaign in Toronto at out Food Nation Town Hall

What: Learn about food justice and how to tackle it in Toronto. Discuss and get involved.

When: 1-2PM Friday April 25th

Where: East Common Room, Hart House (7 Hart House Circle/Harbord Street)

Let people know you're coming!
Spread the word on Twitter (#FoodNationTO), Facebook, and endorse our platform, volunteer or donate: Join Food Nation.

But Wait, there's more!

A very exciting project from our partners at Transition Toronto...

Treemobile is pretty much the day-time version of the Batmobile. Instead of delivering rough street justice, it delivers food justice and climate justice. Instead of seeking revenge on crime, it’s working toward repairing damage done by December’s ice storm. 

Through Transition Toronto’s Treemobile project, Torontonians with a place to plant can order food-bearing trees and shrubs online and the Treemobile will deliver them on the weekend of April 26th*. 

With just a few clicks, you can have a plant that will provide you with delicious apples, cherries, pears, raspberries, goji berries, hazelnuts, plums, or any of the other varieties available. The Treemobile website also provides guidance on which plants are appropriate for your situation, and how to give your plant the best chance of growing from infancy to food-bearing maturity. 

Aside from providing you with beautiful, tasty food, the Treemobile project has plenty of benefits for you and Toronto. Bearing locally produced food means fewer food miles and lower grocery bills. As saplings and young shrubs ready to grow, the plants delivered will take carbon dioxide out of the air and store it where it’s not going to harm alter the climate. Trees can also shade and cool properties, reducing summer air conditioning bills, and new trees are just what Toronto needs to replace some of the beautiful tree canopy that was lost in the ice storm. Left over Treemobile stock will be donated to community properties to provide food for all. Treemobile is great for you, for Toronto’s environment, and for Toronto communities. It’s everything Transition Toronto wants a project to be.

The Treemobile project is designed to minimize cost barriers, with the most expensive item being $42, and the least being $5. (DON’T FORGET TO CHOOSE A DELIVERY OPTION, at most an additional $5 charge, with pick-up being free!). This is not a for-profit project. We just want to see more trees in the ground and more accessible, local, healthful food in Toronto.

If you want to see the same, and want your own extremely local food, go to www.transitiontreemobile.org and choose the right plant for you. 

*If the planting site is in the delivery zone. Otherwise, plants can be picked up at one of three locations in Toronto. Also, if the ground doesn’t de-frost early enough, delivery may occur on the weekend of May 3rd.


What food in development looks like

Building Roots is working to create neighbourhoods as places to grow, cook, buy and sell food.


Paint Box Bistro is at once a food incubator for helping new food businesses, a training program for residents of Regent Park, a bistro serving healthy delicious skills and a jazz club.


Another project by Daniel's is the Erin Mills Backyard Farm at a future development site owned by the developer.


Even though there are traditional big box stores available for grocery shopping in the area, the Backyard Farm gradually garnered a following.
By the end of the season, 35 people had subscribed to CSA boxes.


At One Park Place in Regent Park enthusiastic residents planned, planted and eventually picked vegetables from their gardens.
To ensure success, planting seminars and information sessions were held with the residents.


TAS is another developer with a strong belief in urban agriculture.

The Farm Lot, a garden on an empty TAS lot at 369 King St W, was built in conjunction with the Detox Market and Fresh City Farms.
Herbs, kale, chard, spinach and survived beautifully in the partially shaded lot.


The other impressive TAS urban agriculture project was the rooftop garden in Regent Park.
Lead by Micki Mulch in collaboration with Cultivate Toronto, seventy two planter boxes were installed on the roof.
A large variety of vegetables, strawberries, flowers and the special Three Sisters Box yielded a lot of healthy food.


While the garden had it's challenges, such as getting all the soil and the Earth Boxes up to the roof, in the end, CRC at 40 Oaks received the bulk of a good harvest.



Building Roots: Empowering Food-Accessible Development

Find Building Roots on its new website


Follow Building Roots on Facebook! Twitter!

Contact us: darcy@pushfoodforward.com, lisa.ann.kates@gmail.com

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


Food Forward @ The Farm!

Our friends at Black Creek Community Farm, the winner of this year's Sweet New Initiative Award, have graciously extended an invitation for Food Forward members and friends to tour this brilliant new project. They'll be following with a Cucumber Party and food justice chat in the community. Please RSVP to Liwei. See you there! Newbies most welcome :)