Community gardens provide access to land within the City parks system, and on other City-owned lands, for groups of people who wish to grow their own plants. Get more information on joining or establishing a community garden below.
To join a Community Garden, find the one you are interested in on this community gardens map and contact the Supervisor of Community Gardens Program, to find out whether you can join or there is a waiting list.
To start a Community Garden, at least five community members must be accountable for the upkeep of the garden. Each group needs a garden coordinator, who will oversee the project and work with the City to gain support.The city provides support with the site selection process. First you may identify a location or locations that are appropriate sites for your community garden. The site should be safe enough for people to work.
- Contact the Supervisor of Community Gardens Program and identify the specific location
- The Supervisor of Community Gardens Program investigates title history of the site to determine ownership (City or private), and other conditions for use of the site
- The site will be reviewed by Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff, ensuring that electrical, gas or telephone lines have been clearly identified so that there will not be any disruption to these utilities
- The City may assist with installation of the garden, if resources are available
- Ongoing technical support will be provided, as required
Before the Supervisor of Community Gardens Program can offer support, a site plan must be submitted. See section below called, Submit a proposal for a community garden.
The City’s Supervisor of Community Gardens Program can offer suggestions based on what is ideal for the site conditions: light, soil, and context of the garden. Understanding these conditions can help groups determine the best design.
An ideal community garden site has the following attributes:
- Receives at least 6 hours of sun per day
- Close to watering facilities, but does not interfere with any underground pipes or lines
- Easily accessible for community members
- Does not affect the community’s enjoyment of other park functions (e.g., dog walking, sports, permits, etc.)
In order to receive help to create a garden, representatives of the community group must submit a proposal to:
301 Rockcliffe Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario M6N 4R8
Phone: (416) 392-7800
Fax: (416) 392-1335
The proposal requires a description of the group, including:
- its members
- its experience doing projects together
- its purpose
- its organization and decision-making structure
- the time commitment of each member
- the tasks each person has committed to
The group is required to identify a vacant space for a community garden and obtain permission from the City to use it. The group must describe the following characteristics:
- present use
- access to water, sun and delivery trucks
- site plans (one plan of site in its current state, and one of the envisioned project)
- the impact on the neighbourhood
- organizations which have been, or will be, contacted
- maintenance schedule
- list of site preparation needs, hardscape needs, plant needs
- list of tools and a tool storage plan
Once the proposal has been approved, the group will be eligible to receive technical assistance from the Community Gardens Program.
There is no direct cost to acquiring the space for a community garden but soil tests, tools, compost, compost bins, fencing, or plant material require funding or donations. There are various organizations that provide funding for eligible groups. Email the Toronto Community Gardening Network at firstname.lastname@example.org as they may be able to suggest potential funders.