Thank you to everyone who submitted an application. Funding decisions will be announced in early 2023.
Program overview

Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support community-led projects that:

  • Create a new pollinator garden or rain garden
  • Expand or enhance an existing garden by adding native pollinator-friendly plants
  • Convert a lawn area or hard surface to a pollinator garden

PollinateTO supports projects that:

  • directly result in the creation of pollinator habitat in Toronto
  • are visible to the community
  • include an educational component to inform others about pollinator stewardship
  • involve the community in some way

All Toronto neighbourhoods are eligible. Priority will be given to projects located in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs).

PollinateTO impact

Since 2019, PollinateTO has:

  • Supported 107 community-led projects, with 25 projects located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, 5 in Emerging Neighbourhoods and 45 projects on school grounds
  • Helped create over 300 gardens resulting in an estimated 22,000 m2 of pollinator habitat

Watch the videos below for inspiration!

Videos by PollinateTO Groups:


Helping pollinators is a climate action!

Pollinators support healthy and resilient ecosystems that clean the air, sequester carbon, stabilize soils, absorb storm water and protect from extreme weather.

Why are pollinators important?

Pollinators, especially bees, provide the important ecosystem service of pollination – which allows plants to produce seeds, fruits, and new plants. This is essential for food production and creating our natural landscapes. Pollinators also support other wildlife – for example, butterfly larva (caterpillars) are a critical source of food for birds.

Pollinators contribute to the biodiversity in our city and hold intrinsic value as wildlife species with unique natural histories.

What is pollination?

Pollination happens when a pollen grain moves from the anther (male part) of a flower to the stigma (female part), allowing plants to reproduce. The majority of flowering plants need help with pollination, which means they need pollinators, like bees, to move pollen for them.

Who are the pollinators?

  • Bees
  • Butterflies
  • Birds
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Beetles
  • Wasps

Bees are the most efficient pollinators – they visit flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen and the hairs on their bodies transport pollen grains as they move from flower to flower. Toronto is home to a wide range of pollinators, including 364 species of bees and 112 species of butterflies.

Why should we be concerned about pollinators?

Pollinators are under increasing stress due to:

  • Habitat loss
  • Invasive species
  • Diseases
  • Pesticides
  • Climate change

Studies have shown that some species are in drastic decline, including the endangered Monarch butterfly and several species of bumblebees including the Rusty-patched bumblebee.

Climate change and pollinators

Pollinators are vulnerable to the negative consequences of climate change.

  • Bee populations are harmed by extreme weather events such as heat waves and storms
  • Temperature changes and warming weather can make it harder for some bees to be active at the right time
  • The warming climate is causing some ecological mismatches between when bees and flowers are out, resulting in less food for bees and fewer pollinators for the flowers
  • Increasing CO2 levels are resulting in less nutritious pollen
  • Invasive plants can spread to new areas with climate change, crowding out native plants, and reducing plant diversity and food for bees

Biodiversity and climate change

Biodiversity is a key component of helping ecosystems adapt to climate change. Healthy ecosystems will be more resilient to climate change. Abundant, well-connected and functioning habitat provides assurance for the future wellbeing of species and ecosystems. This is highlighted in our Toronto Biodiversity Strategy.

What you can do to help pollinators

The best way to help native pollinators is to plant native plants. Native plants provide pollen and nectar for food, as well as places to nest, overwinter and reproduce.

  • Include native plants that support pollinators in your garden, in pots, or in your community spaces
  • Convert some of your lawn to a pollinator garden or meadow
  • Encourage members of your community to include native plants in their gardens

Pollinator habitat creation is a natural climate solution!

Native pollinator gardens…

  • sequester carbon (a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change) in the soil and large root systems of native plants;
  • absorb heat and cool down urban areas;
  • eliminate the need for mowing, saving you time and reducing emissions;
  • require less water than traditional lawns and are more resilient in times of drought;
  • reduce flood risk by absorbing storm water better than lawns;
  • support diverse populations of pollinators who will thrive under different changing conditions; and
  • create pathways that connect to larger natural areas and allow pollinators to move from area to area accessing the resources they need to survive.

What is pollinator habitat?

Pollinator habitat includes the following:

  • food sources – such as pollen and nectar from native plants
  • nesting and overwintering sites – such as bare soil, hollow stems, and leaves
  • larval host plants – such as milkweed for Monarchs

Ideal pollinator habitat features native plants that are locally-grown and pesticide-free. Pollinator habitat can be created almost anywhere – in parks, yards, apartment buildings, schools, faith centres, community gardens and more.

What are native plants?

Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved, without human introduction. Toronto is located where the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region and the Carolinian Zone meet.

Native plants have co-evolved with native pollinators and have formed symbiotic relationships, depending on each other for survival. Plants from other parts of the world or plants that were cultivated by humans into forms that don’t naturally exist (for example cultivars and nativars) do not support pollinators as well as true native plants.

Benefits of native plants:

  • Food and shelter for wildlife
  • Low maintenance
  • Conserve water
  • Sequester carbon
  • Adapted to local conditions
  • Beautiful



PollinateTO advances the principles and priorities of the City’s Pollinator Protection Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy.


Applications are now closed. The next round will open in September 2023.

Future applicants are encouraged to review the information below ahead of the next round.

Application questions from the last round

Download the PollinateTO Application Questions Summary from the last round. You can use this document to help plan, brainstorm and organize your project ideas and application submission for the next round.

Supporting documents

Applications to PollinateTO are accepted each fall and received through an online application form. Some of the information we ask about your project is also submitted using the supporting document templates shown below:

Optional: Proposed Plant List (Word doc) – use this to organize your plant choices.

Future applicants are also encouraged to review these supporting documents to help plan and organize their project ideas.

Pre-approved City Parks

PollinateTO provides opportunities to create new pollinator gardens in select PollinateTO pre-approved City Parks:

Applications are now closed. The next round will open in September 2023. The key dates below are for the next round.

Key dates

Applications open September 2023
Application deadline late October 2023
Application review November & December 2023
Applicants notified January 2024
Gardens planted Spring/Summer/Fall 2024
Completion and evaluation by end of 2025

Please note: Timelines are subject to change

Key steps

Step 1: Form your group & partner with others

Create your own group or join one that is already established in your community. Partner with others who can support your idea.

To be eligible, groups must include at least three Toronto residents residing in three separate households.

Decide on a name for your Group. Select a Group Lead to be the main contact.

Step 2: Pick your garden location & get support

Look for potential garden locations in your neighbourhood. Choose garden sites that are visible to the public, have access to water and are easy for your group to get to (walking distance is ideal). Your project may include multiple locations. Priority will be given to projects located in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs).

Complete the Property Owner Support Letter template (Word doc) for each location.

If the garden location is on…

  • Private property – Get support from the property owner.
  • School grounds – Get support from the principal.
  • City boulevard – Get support from adjacent property owner.

For City park locations – please select from the PollinateTO Pre-approved City Parks List. These sites have been pre-approved so you do not need to submit a support letter.

Step 3: Create a project plan & estimated budget

Decide on a name for your Project (this is different from your Group name).

Create a community engagement and education plan – think about the best ways to involve the community in your project.

Put together an estimated budget (max. $5,000). See the Eligible Costs section for guidance. Please use the Proposed Budget Summary template (Excel doc) provided.

Step 4: Complete the online application & submit supporting documents

You must apply using the online application form before the deadline.

The following documents are required to evaluate your proposal:

  1. Property Owner Support Letter. Not required for projects in pre-approved City parks. For private property, school ground projects, and City boulevards – please use the Property Owner Support Letter template (Word doc).
  2. Photograph(s) of your proposed garden location(s).
  3. Google Maps image of the proposed project site(s). Again, this is not required for projects in pre-approved City parks. For all other locations, please clearly label the area(s) you want to plant in.
  4. Garden Maintenance plan – a description of how the garden(s) will be cared for and who is responsible for the long term success of the project. Use the Garden Maintenance Plan template (Word doc).
  5. Proposed Budget – an estimated list of the costs to deliver your project. Use the Proposed Budget Summary template (Excel doc).

Step 5: Application review & project approval

The PollinateTO Team will review your application to ensure eligibility requirements are met. Applications must be complete and received by the deadline to be eligible.

A Review Committee will evaluate all eligible proposals.

Successful applicants will receive an approval letter via email and details about next steps.

Step 6: Online orientation session

Successful applicants will attend an online information session to learn more about the next steps.

Step 7: Funding agreement drafted & signed

A funding agreement will be drafted and sent to your group or Trustee to be signed. Upon returning the signed agreement, the City signature will be added and the first installment of your funding award (approximately 90 percent) will be processed.

Step 8: Start your project

Most (approximately 90 per cent) of the funding will be provided in advance to get you started. The remainder of the funding (up to approximately 10 per cent for which documentation is provided) will be provided upon proof of completion.

Your group has until December 2025 to complete your project.

Step 9: Complete your project

Please notify the PollinateTO Program Manager when your project is complete. A site visit may be requested.

Your group will be responsible for submitting the following:

  • Impact report: Tell us about your project! Please include photos of your completed project, testimonials or other items to show the impact of your project and evidence of completion. A template will be provided.
  • Expense summary: Your organization will report the actual costs of your project with supporting receipts and invoices. Use your approved budget spreadsheet to track actual costs.
  • Video: Please create a short video (one to two minutes) of your completed project and tell us what you accomplished. We’ll post your video online to share your story and inspire others.
  • Site Visit: Please schedule a site visit with the PollinateTO team

PollinateTO is open to all resident-led groups and non-profit groups. Groups must have at least three residents of Toronto (from separate households) as part of the group.

Eligible applicants

  • resident, tenant and neighbourhood groups
  • community groups and organizations
  • school groups, student clubs and parent councils
  • indigenous groups
  • faith groups
  • business improvement areas (BIAs)
  • registered charitable organizations and not-for-profit organizations
  • not-for-profit organizations with offices outside of Toronto are eligible to apply if the proposed garden is located within a Neighbourhood Improvement Area (NIA)
  • groups previously funded via PollinateTO that have provided proof of project completion (submission of Impact Report, Expense Summary & Video)

Ineligible applicants

  • individuals (must be part of a group with at least three members living in three separate households)
  • for-profit businesses
  • building and property managers
  • grant making organizations
  • organizations allied with political parties
  • groups previously funded via PollinateTO that have not completed their current project

Eligible projects

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • shared community gardens
  • school ground teaching gardens
  • Indigenous education gardens
  • rain gardens
  • multiple (three or more) front yard gardens on the same street or neighbourhood that together create a “pollinator pathway”

Ineligible projects

Examples of projects the City will not fund include:

  • backyard gardens
  • single front yard residential garden (you must have three or more front yard gardens on the same street or neighbourhood to create a “pollinator pathway”)
  • balcony gardens
  • container gardens (open bottom containers and raised beds are eligible)
  • rooftop gardens (funding is available for green roofs via the Eco-Roof Incentive Program)
  • projects that are already fully complete
  • temporary projects not intended to last beyond one growing season
  • gardens used for the sole purpose of urban agriculture
  • beekeeping activities, education or promotion
  • projects that are not visible to the public

Garden locations

PollinateTO supports projects that create pollinator habitat in all Toronto neighbourhoods. Priority will be given to gardens located in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs).

Gardens can be on private and public land. Your project proposal can include multiple garden locations at one or more sites (i.e. different addresses). Your proposal can also have one or more garden locations a single address (i.e. separate garden beds on different parts of the property).

Each garden location must have access to a source of water to allow plants to be watered as required.

When selecting your garden location(s), please consider the following requirements and approval process for each type of location.

Private property:

Examples of private property include residential, commercial, post-secondary institutions, faith and spiritual centres, non-profit organizations, etc.

Note: For front yard gardens on residential streets, you must have three or more front yard gardens on the same street or same neighbourhood to create a “pollinator pathway”. The front yards do not have to be directly beside each other.

  1. Must have written support from the property owner(s) for each of the proposed gardens in your project – use our Property Owner Support Letter template.
  2. Must be visible to the public (for example, front yard gardens = yes, backyard gardens = no).

School grounds:

  1. Form a group that has teacher, administration, and student representation.
    1. Ensure that your project has a teaching and learning component (connects to the curriculum).
    2. Get support from the Principal. Please confirm their support by using the Property Owner Support Letter template.
  2. Use the PollinateTO application form to express your interest in creating a PollinateTO project at a specific school.
    1. You do not need to provide details about your garden plans at the application stage, as specific garden location, size and type will be determined in consultation with School Board, upon conditional approval.
  3. Must have a maintenance plan in place. Please use our Garden Maintenance Plan template.
    1. Ensure there is a succession plan – if some key members leave your group, others can fill in.
  4. Approval process:
    1. PollinateTO staff will work with School Board staff to review your application and determine if the school you have proposed is suitable for a PollinateTO project.
    2. If your proposal is conditionally approved, your group will work directly with School Board staff to determine garden location, size and type.
    3. A site visit may be conducted as part of the approval process.
  5. Funding process:
    1. The School Board will enter into a Funding Agreement with the City of Toronto and accept the funding on behalf of approved PollinateTO projects
    2. The School Board will transfer funding to individual Schools.
    3. The Principal will be the main contact for Group Leads ready to start their project and access funding.

City Park:

  1. For new gardens:
    1. New pollinator garden proposals must be located in a pre-approved City Park. New pollinator gardens proposed in City parks not on this list will not be considered.
    2. You do not need to submit a property support permission letter, since these sites have been pre-approved.
    3. Use the PollinateTO application form to express your interest in creating a PollinateTO project in a specific pre-approved City park.
    4. Please do not directly contact the Park Supervisor at the application stage. If conditionally approved, your group will be connected with the appropriate Parks staff.
  2. For existing gardens:
    1. Existing garden beds located in City Parks on the PollinateTO Pre-Approved City Parks List.
    2. Pollinator plantings requested in existing approved Community Gardens, may not extend or increase the space allocated to the community garden. Plantings must be made within the existing footprint of the garden.
    3. Requests for pollinator plantings in Allotment Gardens may be made by the permit holder only and must meet requirements of their permit, conditions of use and the allotment garden policy.
  3. Must have a maintenance plan in place. Please use our Garden Maintenance Plan template.
    1. Ensure there is a succession plan – if some key members leave the group, others can fill in.
    2. Groups must have a plan for storage of equipment and tools. Tools and materials may not be stored on-site.
  4. Approval process:
    1. Priority will be given to proposals located in NIAs, those in Parks lacking pollinator habitat, and Parks with small amounts of pollinator habitat that could benefit from enhancement. Final approval is at the discretion Parks staff based on operational requirements.
    2. If your proposal is conditionally approved, your group will work directly with the Parks staff to determine garden location, size and type.
    3. The Park Supervisor will identify the support they can provide (such as yard waste removal frequency, water and watering tools).
    4. A site visit may be conducted as part of the approval process.

City boulevard:

This is often the area between the road and the sidewalk.

  1. Confirm adjacent property owners support your idea. Please include their support in your application – use our Property Owner Support Letter template.
  2. Considerations when creating boulevard gardens:
    1. Traffic island locations and sloped (more than 2 degrees) locations are not suitable for a PollinateTO project.
    2. Plant height restrictions – to preserve sight lines for safety between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, all proposed boulevard planting must have a mature potential growing height lower than 85cm measured from the road elevation. Therefore with a typical 15cm street curb height, the maximum potential growth height of plants in the boulevard would be 70cm.
    3. Plant species selection – select species tolerant of salt-spray.
    4. Please be aware that planting could be removed at any time in the future by the City or third party (e.g. utility company) without further compensation or replacements.
  3. Must have a maintenance plan in place. Please use our Garden Maintenance Plan template.
    1. Ensure there is a succession plan – if some key members leave group, others can fill in.
  4. Approval process:
    1. City staff will review your application and determine if the boulevard location you have proposed is suitable for a PollinateTO garden.
    2. Please try to provide as much detail as possible regarding your proposed location(s), including a map of the area with your proposed planting sites clearly identified.
    3. A site visit may be conducted as part of the approval process.

Call before you dig

For all approved PollinateTO gardens – you must “call before you dig”. This process will identify any underground infrastructure in the area you want to build your garden. Ontario One Call provides a locate request process that is free, reliable, timely and easy to use. You can make the request online.

PollinateTO garden requirements:

  • minimum of twelve perennial plants (can be a combination of flowers, trees and shrubs)
  • at least 75 per cent of plants must be native perennial species
  • at least one type of native goldenrod species must be used
  • at least two different types of larval host plants must be used, one of which must be milkweed
  • plants must provide continuous bloom:
    • at least 2 species that bloom in the spring
    • at least 2 species that bloom in the summer
    • at least 2 species that bloom in the fall
  • no invasive plant species may be used – see the list of prohibited plants in Toronto
  • must select plants based on site conditions (e.g. full sun/partial sun/shade, wet/dry, etc)
  • must have access to a source of water to allow plants to be watered as required
  • must have ongoing maintenance (watering, weeding, plant replacement, etc)
  • provide nesting and overwintering sites – such as dead wood, hollow and pithy stems, access to bare sandy soil, fallen leaves. Learn more in the Tips for creating pollinator habitat section.

Optional: You can use the Proposed Plant List template to help you organize your plant choices.

See our list of native flowers, trees and shrubs in the section below.

Required plants:

Gardens must include at least one species of goldenrod and at least one species of milkweed.

Goldenrod (Solidago

Get to know Goldenrod brochure – includes photos of the goldenrod species mentioned here.

A hardy native plant with many different species adapted to a wide range of growing conditions, there’s a goldenrod that’s right for every garden. To set the record straight: goldenrod does not cause hay fever. Ragweed, in bloom at the same time, is the hay fever culprit. Goldenrod is insect-pollinated. It has heavy, sticky pollen that doesn’t fly on the wind, so adding goldenrod to your garden will not cause discomfort to hay fever sufferers.

More facts about goldenrod:

  • There are more than 25 species of goldenrod native to Ontario.
  • Goldenrod supports more than 100 species of moths and butterflies in their larval stage.
  • More than 35 species of bees are specialist feeders on goldenrod pollen.
  • Goldenrod blooms in late summer into the fall, and its nectar is an important late-season food source for pollinators.

Here are a few goldenrod species to consider for your garden that are easy to grow, drought tolerant and easy to find:

Sun: Part-Sun: Shade:
Grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia): Grey-stemmed

(Solidago nemoralis)

Zig-zag goldenrod

(Solidago flexicaulis)

Early goldenrod (Solidago juncea)
Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida) Silverrod

(Solidago bicolor)

Blue-stemmed goldenrod

(Solidago caesia)

Sun & Wet: Ohio goldenrod (Solidago ohioensis)


Milkweed (Asclepias)

Milkweed is the larval host plant for the endangered Monarch butterfly. Monarchs will only lay their eggs on milkweed leaves, which is the sole food source for caterpillars. Without milkweed, there would be no Monarchs.

More facts about milkweed:

  • There are 14 species of milkweed in Canada.
  • There was a time in Ontario that milkweed was on the noxious weed list, which meant it could not be planted.
  • In 2014, milkweed was removed from Ontario’s noxious weed list and since then many gardeners have embraced milkweed in their garden.

Here are a few suggestions for milkweed species to consider for your garden and one non-native milkweed species to avoid.

Plant in dry areas: Plant in wet areas: Do not plant:
Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) Swamp milkweed

(Asclepias incarnate)

Tropical milkweed

(Asclepias curassavica)

This is not native to Canada,

but is often sold in garden centres.

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens)
Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)

Learn more and see photos of these milkweed species.

Budgets cannot exceed $5,000. Funding can only be used for the direct delivery of the proposed project.

Download this information here – PollinateTO Eligible Expenses.

What the City will fund

Examples of fundable budget line items:

  • Plant material – seeds, seedlings
  • Soil, compost, mulch, sand, etc
  • Tools – shovels, rakes, forks, cultivators, hoes, spades, pruners, hand tools, etc
  • Garden gloves, knee pads and kneelers
  • Irrigation supplies – hose, nozzles, wands, rain barrels, watering cans
  • Wheelbarrows and garden carts
  • Garden border materials and supplies – wood, logs, stones, pavers, rocks, etc
  • Porous pathway materials – stepping stones, gravel, wood chips
  • Seed starting materials – trays, pots, soil, markers (greenhouses are not eligible)
  • Plant supports – stakes, rings, poles, ties, string, twine
  • Sheet mulching materials – cardboard, newspapers, leaves, compost/soil
  • Rain garden materials and construction supplies (sand, compost, mulch, riverstone, pea gravel, limestone, PVC piping) – if constructing a rain garden
  • Raised beds materials and supplies (must be open at bottom), open bottomed containers where roots can access soil (no closed bottom containers)
  • Plant identification markers and tags
  • Signage – design, printing, installation
  • Outdoor storage – weather resistant bins, small shed, lock
  • Yard waste bags
  • Equipment rentals (no gas powered equipment)
  • Permit fees, space rental, liability insurance for your event/activity
  • Delivery fees for plant material and supplies (max $100 per delivery)
  • Volunteer recognition, volunteer food expenses
  • Food and refreshments (no bottled water) for participants (max $200 per event)
  • Training and workshop expenses
  • Honorarium for speakers/facilitators (max $500 per person, per event)
  • Honorarium for group members (up to $500 per group)
  • Communications and promotion (e.g. flyers, posters, design, printing)
  • Interpretation and translation fees
  • Art supplies
  • Solitary bee nest building supplies (bee condos, bee hotels, etc)
  • Books – reference, gardening, flora and fauna identification guides
  • Public transportation costs for project participants
  • Labour costs to prepare the area and plant the garden, if required (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Removing asphalt, concrete or other hard surfaces, if required (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Consultant fees such as a landscape designer, rain garden expert, etc (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Staffing costs for organizing project (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Trustee administration fees (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Costs to maintain garden (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Other expenses on a case-by-case basis (please check with City staff prior to purchasing)

What the City will not fund

Examples of budget line items that are not fundable:

  • Costs associated with the regular operation of your organization, current programs and services such as office rental, utilities, computer equipment, phones, fax, internet, accounting services, insurance, etc.
  • Utility bills (water, gas, electricity, waste collection)
  • Mass market advertising campaigns
  • Award ceremonies, banquets, receptions,  annual general meetings, sport tournaments
  • Religious activities/services, political activities, fundraising events, donations to charitable causes, lobbying or advocacy on behalf of for-profit entities
  • Alcohol
  • Bottled water
  • Gas and gas powered tools and equipment
  • Land acquisition, lease or rental
  • Purchase or rental of media equipment (computers, laptops, or software)
  • Purchase or rental of vehicles, personal vehicle expenses and parking
  • Postage and shipping costs
  • Disbursement of funds to provide additional grants to other parties
  • Conference registration and travel fees
  • TTC monthly passes
  • Reserve funds, debt repayment, deficit funding, capital costs (i.e. building repairs, renovations, water service, etc)
  • Fencing, gates, wire mesh
  • Armour stone
  • Garden furniture – plastic patio sets, umbrellas
  • Greenhouses
  • Barbeques, cooking equipment
  • Chemical fertilizers
  • Vermiculture supplies (worm composters)
  • Mushroom logs
  • Container gardening planters and supplies, including canoes
  • Stocktanks with closed bottoms
  • Beekeeping supplies, hives, honey bees
  • Water fountain or water connection service
  • Pesticides
  • Activities that extend beyond Toronto’s borders

PollinateTO Review Committee

A Review Committee will review applications and recommend funding using the following process:

  1. Applications will be reviewed by City staff to ensure that your group and project are eligible.
  2. Complete applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be evaluated by a Review Committee comprised of representatives of various City of Toronto divisions. In the case of proposals on school grounds, City staff will engage School Board as part of the review process. The review is a detailed evaluation of the proposals, including identification of irregularities and/or missing information as well as the feasibility of the proposed project. Priority will be given to projects located Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
  3. The Review Committee will make funding recommendations to the Executive Director, Environment and Climate Division based on their assessment of the following elements of each application:
    1. group experience, history and track record
    2. proposal’s ability to meet the goals and objectives of the program
    3. group readiness to undertake the proposed work
    4. likelihood of generating measurable results and likelihood of success;
    5. long-term sustainability of the project
    6. use of strategies and tools to engage and educate the community, including new audiences who have not been targeted by previous initiatives.

PollinateTO Trustee – Pollinator Partnership Canada

Pollinator Partnership Canada (“P2C”) is a registered charity and the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems in Canada.

P2C has been engaged by the City of Toronto to serve as the official trustee organization for PollinateTO. P2C will provide administrative oversight of the funding disbursement to successful PollinateTO grant recipients.

P2C will:

  • Hold financial authority and a position of trust and responsibility for the grant funds;
  • Maintain proper fiscal oversight including using their existing financial systems and policies when dispersing the grant funds;
  • Sign a Letter of Understanding with each PollinateTO Group (or your chosen Community Partner), which outlines the terms and conditions of the grant funding;
  • Provide payment(s) directly to PollinateTO Group (or your chosen Community Partner), according to the project budget approved by the City of Toronto
  • Deliver Pollinator Steward Certification Training for PollinateTO Group members


Best practices for pollinator habitat creation

Download this information here – PollinateTO_Best Practices for Creating Pollinator Habitat

Your group should consider the following best practices when designing pollinator habitat. Please note: These are best practices only – not mandatory project requirements.

Use this checklist to help you create or enhance pollinator-friendly habitat in your community.

1. Provide food sources

Plant native: Choose native plants, trees and shrubs rich in pollen and nectar. Locally grown and pesticide free are best.

  • At least 75% of plants are native species
  • At least one species of goldenrod must be used
  • If using non-native plants, invasive species are to be avoided

Plant host plants: Butterflies lay their eggs on specific plants. Monarch butterflies, for example, will only lay their eggs on milkweed, the sole food source for their larva.

  • Incorporate at least 2 different types of larval host plants
  • At least one species of native milkweed is to be included

Provide continuous bloom: Pollinators need a continuous source of food from spring to fall. Select a variety of plants with a range of bloom times.

  • At least 2 different plants that bloom in spring
  • At least 2 different plants that bloom in summer
  • At least 2 different plants that bloom in fall

Mass plantings: Planting multiples of the same plant together in large groupings makes it easier for pollinators to find and collect pollen and nectar.

  • Plants are planted in groups of 3 or more (at least 3 plants per species)

Plant single bloom varieties: The petals of double or triple bloom varieties can block access to pollen and nectar.

  • Single bloom varieties only

Avoid nativars (native cultivars): These are named varieties and not the true native species. Studies have shown that many nativars are less beneficial (e.g. contain less pollen) than the true native species.

  • Try to avoid using nativars and stick to the true native species (if possible)

2. Provide nesting sites

Bare ground: Many native bees build nests in soil, so leave some bare patches and limit your use of mulch.

  • Limited use of mulch – if you must use mulch only use at base of plant with areas of open bare soil provided
  • When using mulch opt for hay or straw mulch, which is a better alternative to wood chips.

Dead wood: Large branches and decaying logs can be kept in a sunny spot to provide additional shelter, resting sites for birds and nesting locations for bees and other wildlife.

  • Dead branches or logs are incorporated in garden

Fallen leaves: Leave the leaves where they fall or rake them into your garden to provide overwintering habitat for butterflies. Leaves can be removed in late spring, after overwintering adult butterflies are gone, or left in the garden to decompose.

  • Leaves are raked into garden in the fall

Dead stems:  Some cavity nesting bees use hollow or pithy stems to lay their eggs.

  • Choose plants with hollow or pithy stems. See the list below for inspiration.
Hollow-stemmed plants: Pithy-stemmed plants:
  • Sunflowers
  • Spotted Joe Pye Weed
  • Elderberry
  • Cup Plant
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • Raspberry
  • Goldenrod
  • Wild Bergamot
  • Sumac
  • Echinacea
  • Rose

3. Provide water

Offer a drink: Pollinators need water. Add rocks for perch points to a birdbath or shallow dish of water to help bees and butterflies quench their thirst.

  • Water source provided or nearby (does not have to be directly in the garden)

4. Provide sun

Create sunny spots: Butterflies like to bask in the sun.

  • Place flat rocks in sunny, sheltered spots

5. Provide a chemical free zone

Avoid pesticides: Don’t spray pesticides or insecticides, especially neonicotinoids. Ontario has a Pesticide Ban that prohibits the cosmetic use of pesticides.

  • Pesticides will not be used on site at any time

6. Be mindful about maintenance

Leave dead stems: Bundles of sticks and stems that are put out for yard waste collection too early in spring will often contain overwintering bees.

  • Bottom 8 inches of dead stems are left in place
  • Cut stems are bundled and left in garden.
  • Wait until the temperature is consistently above 10 degree Celsius (April or May) before you remove dead stems.

Leave the leaves: Leave the leaves where they fall or rake them into your garden to provide overwintering habitat for butterflies. Leaves can be removed in late spring, after overwintering adult butterflies are gone, or left in the garden to decompose.

  • Leaves are raked into garden in the fall

Avoid tilling: Keep large patches of land unmown and untilled to provide secure and undisturbed nesting sites for ground-nesting bees.

  • Ground is not tilled

Prevent the spread of invasive plants: Monitor your garden for invasive plants and remove them when detected. For example, the invasive dog-strangling vine has a negative impact on Monarchs – female butterflies mistakenly lay their eggs on it since it’s in the milkweed family, instead of native milkweeds, causing their larvae to starve.

  • Invasive species are removed or reported when detected (Call the Province of Ontario at 1-800-563-7711).

Plant material is replaced: Monitor garden regularly for dead plants and replace accordingly in order to ensure healthy plant diversity.

  • Plant material that does not survive is replaced as required.

7. Spread the word

Tell your friends and neighbours: Help spread the word about what pollinators need by sharing your experience with others. Let them know how they can create or enhance pollinator habitat on their property.

  • Each project participant shares with one other person

Offer tours of your garden: Inspire others to create pollinator gardens by showcasing yours. Identify plants and offer tips for success.

  • Annual garden tour offered (upon request)

Install signage provided: Identify your garden as pollinator-friendly. Create your own sign or use the PollinateTO sign.

  • Signage installed

Best practices for pollinator education

Download this information here – PollinateTO_Best Practices for Pollinator Education

Educational messaging should align with the guiding principles and priorities of the City’s Pollinator Protection Strategy. The following are best practices for designing a pollinator educational initiative funded by PollinateTO.

1. Incorporate the following key messages:

  • Toronto is home to a wide range of pollinators, including bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, and birds.
  • Threats to Toronto’s pollinators include forage habitat loss, loss of larval host plants, nesting habitat loss, overwintering habitat loss, pesticides, introduced and invasive species (including honey bees), diseases/pests, and climate change.
  • Habitat loss is the greatest threat to pollinators. Habitat protection, creation and enhancement is key to supporting Toronto’s pollinators.

2. Raise awareness about the differences between native bees and non-native honey bees

  • Toronto’s diverse bee community consists of over 360 species of native bees and one species of managed bee, the European Honey Bee, which is not native to North America.
  • Native bees are primarily solitary, don’t make honey, live underground or cavities, come in a wide range of colours and sizes.
  • Honey bees are not native to North America, managed by beekeepers, and they can be re-established when beekeepers experience a loss.
  • Native bee species are more threatened than honey bees.
  • Mention that Toronto has an Official BeeAgapostemon virescens.

3. Discuss alternatives to beekeeping

  • Many well-meaning individuals may wish to pursue hobby beekeeping in the belief that this is how they can help pollinators. Adding more honey bee colonies to the city without the habitat to support them, adds to the problem.
  • Evidence suggests that native bees may be negatively impacted by urban beekeeping activities. Studies have shown that honey bees may act as an additional stressor on native bees, due to competition for food and the spread of diseases and pests. One honey bee colony can potentially out-compete thousands of native bees for food.
  • Establishing a pollinator garden, or adding pollinator-friendly plants to an existing garden is a much more significant way to help pollinators, including honey bees.

4. How can we help? Pollinators need:

  • Foraging resources – native flowering plants rich in pollen and nectar
  • Larval host plants – butterflies can only lay their eggs on specific plants (eg. monarch and milkweed)
  • Places to nest and overwinter – bare sandy soil, hollow stems, dead wood, leaf litter, etc
  • A chemical free environment – insecticides (especially neonicotinoids) are the most harmful. Toronto’s Pesticide Ban has been in place since 2003.

5. Acknowledge funding support from the City of Toronto

  • On your website, direct participants to for more resources.
  • On all project-related communications and marketing materials, including garden signage, posters, brochures, signage, your newsletter, presentations, videos, etc.
  • At project-related events

Community Engagement and Education Ideas

How will your project educate and engage the community? Some ideas you might consider:

  • offering demonstrations, workshops, or garden tours
  • installing informative signage, plant labels or interpretive art
  • inviting the community to participate in planting, maintenance, and celebratory activities
  • engaging users of the green space (youth, teachers, seniors, families and others) to participate in planning, implementing and/or maintaining your project
  • developing an online tool, webinar or instructional video
  • creating toolkits, how-to guides, lesson plans, and/or teaching activities
  • collecting seeds, sharing plants and/or helping others start their own garden
  • participating in citizen science projects and community research

Here are some native flowering plants organized by season to help you provide a continuous source of food for pollinators. We’ve also indicated growing conditions in sun or shade and whether it’s a larval host plant.

Site conditions:

Native plant species vary in their light preferences. Select plants based on your site conditions:

  • Full sun – at least 6 hours of direct, late-morning/afternoon sun
  • Partial shade – 3 to 6 hours of morning or afternoon sun, but shaded from the hot, midday sun.
  • Full shade – less than 3 hours of sun


Common Name (Scientific Name) Likes sunny spots Likes sunny or shady spots Likes shady spots Larval host plant
False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum) yes yes
Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) yes yes yes
Hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus) yes yes
Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) yes yes


Common Name (Scientific Name) Likes sunny spots Likes sunny or shady spots Likes shady spots Larval host plant
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) yes yes
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) yes yes
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) yes
Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) yes
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) yes
Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) yes yes
Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis) yes
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) yes yes
Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) yes
Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) yes
Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata) yes
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) yes
Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) yes
Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) yes yes
Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) yes
Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) yes yes
Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum) yes
Lance-leaved coreopsis (C. lanceolata) yes
Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) yes yes
Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida) yes
Pearly everlasting (A. margaritacea) yes yes
Showy tick trefoil (D. canadense) yes yes
Swamp milkweed (A. incarnata) yes yes
Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) yes yes
Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) yes
Virginia mountain mint (P. virginianum) yes
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) yes
Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis) yes


Common Name (Scientific Name) Likes sunny spots Likes sunny or shady spots Likes shady spots Larval host plant
New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) yes
Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida) yes
Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) yes yes yes

Native plant information sheets

Trees and Shrubs

Native trees and shrubs offer benefits to pollinators too. Here are a few to consider based on size and moist soil conditions (see rain garden species).

Large species:

Small to medium species:

Rain garden species:


More native species profiles:


PollinateTO Best Practices Guides:

Wild about Bees:

Wild About Bees brochure – Learn more about native bees and honey bees and what you can do to help.

Get to know Goldenrod:

Get to know Goldenrod brochure – includes photos of the goldenrod species to help you choose a species that’s right for your garden. And no, goldenrod doesn’t cause allergies (that’s ragweed).

City of Toronto Biodiversity Series:

Pollinator Partnership Canada (P2C):

Kids & Schools

Where to find native plants:

Seed starting:

Indigenous resources:

North American Native Plant Society (NANPS):

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA):

Rain gardens:

Pollination Guelph:

David Suzuki Foundation:

Canadian Wildlife Federation:

Carolinian Canada:

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation


Fall tips

Spring tips

Nesting tips

Pollinators and growing food:

Resources created by PollinateTO Groups

  • St Boniface School created a guide that profiles 32 native plant species with photos and details about site conditions, bloom time, pollinators supported and more. Thank you Claire Moulds for creating and sharing this excellent document.


Topics What you’ll learn

with Scott MacIvor

View online

Bees of Toronto book

  • Meet some of Toronto’s wild bees – 360+ species in Toronto
  • Where they live and what they need
  • Ways to help them through individual and community action

with Jessica Linton

View online

Butterflies of Toronto book

  • The wild and wonderful world of butterflies
  • Biology of butterflies and moths, their life cycle strategies
  • Making your garden butterfly friendly
Trees for Bees

with Tara Mabon

View online

Trees, Shrubs & Vines of Toronto

  • Species profiles of native trees and shrubs
  • Choose the right species for your site
  • Tree planting basics
  • Tree planting video
Sourcing native plants

presented by Project Swallowtail

View online

  • Learn about the plants that will be for sale through Project Swallowtail as well as how to order them.
  • We will also discuss other sources of native plants, including specialized nurseries, plant trades and swaps, and how to recognize ‘true natives’ at the local garden centre.
Shrinking the Lawn: Eco-friendly alternatives to sod

with Lorraine Johnson

View online

Resources document

  • Explore the benefits of reducing lawn area
  • Suggestions for low-maintenance alternative groundcovers, native plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Practical techniques, such as sod removal and replacement

Forms – For groups that have been approved for a PollinateTO grant.

Expense tracking:

Photos and Videos:

Impact Report:


PollinateTO Impact

Since 2019, PollinateTO has:

  • Supported 107 community-led projects, with 25 projects located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, 5 in Emerging Neighbourhoods and 45 projects on school grounds
  • Helped create over 300 gardens resulting in an estimated 22,000 m2 of pollinator habitat

Videos by PollinateTO Groups

PollinateTO Projects Map

View the PollinateTO Approved Projects Map to see where all our projects are located.

Grant Recipients

PollinateTO funded projects are listed below by ward and neighbourhood.

NIA = Neighbourhood Improvement Area

EN = Emerging Neighbourhood

Round 3 – 2021/2022

Forty applications were selected to receive funding from among 120 applications submitted. Of the forty approved projects, 12 are located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and two located in Emerging Neighbourhoods.

In total, over 100 gardens and more than 7,500 square metres of pollinator habitat will be created through these projects.

Congratulations to the groups listed below!

Group: All Saints Pollinators

Project: All Saints Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Moss Park

Ward: 13

The All Saints Pollinators will create three pollinators gardens within the Dundas Street and Sherbourne Street neighbourhood. The pollinator gardens will aim to increase the vibrancy and resiliency of the community through this beautification process and bring new life to public spaces to facilitate social exchange. Community members will have the opportunity to come together to exchange knowledge and develop both practical and socialization skills.
Group: Art City in St James Town

Project: SEED (Student Environment Education Demonstration) Garden

Neighbourhood: North St. James Town

Ward: 13

Art City’s SEED Garden will transform a small underused and poorly maintained green area into a live/learn space. The project will create a new pollinator habitat in the dense tower community of St. James Town, and will serve as a space for youth to engage with hands-on environmental education through on-going stewardship of the garden. Environmental Education workshops in the garden will be complemented with youth-led art projects that give voice to local environmental issues. Youth artwork will include informational garden signage, pollinator houses and garden decorations and will culminate in an exhibition of artworks advocating pollinator protection to the broader community.
Group: ASPS – HPAS Garden Stewards 

Project: Garden Renewal/Pollinator Power

Neighbourhood: High Park North

Ward: 4

Annette Street Public School and High Park Alternative School (ASPS & HPAS) are excited to refresh three garden spaces. The Peace Garden will be getting raised beds filled with pollinator plants, pathways and an education board. Students will learn and share the value of pollinators and native plants with the community through post on the education board, signage and plantings in the Butterfly/Pollinator garden.
Group: Bloor Annex BIA

Project: Pollinate the Annex

Neighbourhood: University

Ward: 11

The Bloor Annex Interactive Pollinator Map will be located on Bloor Street between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street, creating pollinator garden in four public parklets. Using interactive plant markers and a local plant map, we intend to build relationships with our community through education and engagement.
Group: Braeburn Neighbourhood Place & Boys and Girls Club

Project: Braeburn Kids Are Making a Difference!

Neighbourhood: Elms-Old Rexdale (NIA)

Ward: 1

The ‘Braeburn Kids Are Making a Difference!’ project focuses on Climate Action Learning for children. Children will be creating a pollinator garden in the community garden alongside adult allies and youth mentors.  Participants will have fun and interactive opportunities to deepen their understanding about interconnectivity of habitats, pollinators, biodiversity and human stewardship. The project will also support and extend learning about the environment, where our food comes from and why it matters for our future.
Group: Bruce Green Committee

Project: The Valerie Mah Pollinator Station

Neighbourhood: South Riverdale

Ward: 14

The Bruce Public School Green Committee will be creating The Valerie Mah Pollination Station as a commemorative garden dedicated to former Bruce Public School principal Valerie Mah, the first female Asian Vice-Principal in the Toronto District School Board. Through the process of creating, maintaining and enjoying the garden, the project’s goals include sparking student, educator and community member interest in the phenomenon of pollination and local horticulture. The project team will also invite the surrounding community to explore the garden and participate in its caretaking.
Group: Carlton Park Pollinators

Project: Carleton Park Pollinator Patch

Neighbourhood: Junction-Wallace Emerson

Ward: 9

The Carleton Park Pollinator Patch will be a demonstrative garden, playing a role in beautifying the park and educating residents about the value and the benefit of native plants and their beauty. The gardens will attract pollinators, increase the biodiversity of the neighbourhood, and help establish a pollinator corridor with nearby Symington Avenue Playground community garden and the greenspaces along the West Toronto Railpath.
Group: Community History Project

Project: The Tollkeeper’s Garden

Neighbourhood: Wychwood

Ward: 12

The Community History Project maintains a small museum, The Tollkeeper’s Cottage at the corner of Bathurst and Davenport. This colourful project will become a gateway to the forest escarpment that will become part of the National Healing Forest.
Group: Corktown Residents and Business Association

Project: Corktown Community Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Moss Park

Ward: 13

The Corktown Residents and Business Association is comprised of residents and businesses that seek to enhance and build an inclusive community within one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. The Sackville Playground Pollinator Garden project will create a habitat that will be used to educate people and children in the community about the importance of pollinator protection as well as the elements that make a healthy ecosystem. This new garden will serve to start the process of creating and connecting more pollinator habitats within the neighbourhood.
Group: Cornell Gardeners

Project: Cornell’s Butterfly Garden

Neighbourhood: Golfdale-Cedarbrae-Woburn (NIA)

Ward: 24

Cornell’s Butterfly Way is a pollinator garden that will be created in front of Cornell Junior Public school with easy accessibility to all. The pollinator garden will teach students and families about the benefits of pollinators on the ecosystem. Through this process, community organizations and people of all ages will be engaged in the creation and maintenance of the garden.
Group: Dewson Street Junior Public School

Project: Dewson Pollinator Gardens

Neighbourhood: Palmerston-Little Italy

Ward: 9

Dewson Pollinator Gardens will transform under-used space into healthy, thriving pollinator gardens. These new native ecosystems hold natural value, create beauty and provide a space for important ecosystem education. The Dewson Pollinator Gardens will be located on the school grounds of Dewson Street Junior Public School and will create an educational gathering space for 450+ students, their families and the surrounding school community.
Group: Dixon Hall

Project: Dixon Hall Peace Gardens

Neighbourhood: Regent Park (NIA)

Ward: 13

This is an environmental education and place making project that will give Regent Park youth an opportunity to animate the garden beds of the Bill Graham Youth Centre. The youth will learn about pollinators and the importance of building pollinator habitats in the city, gain gardening skills that they can use in the future, and have a hand in building something they can proudly display to their community. The goal is the creation of a collaborative garden space that increases biodiversity and pollinators, honour Regent Park’s urban agriculture tradition, and celebrates Regent Park youth and everything they are capable of.
Group: Eastview Gardeners

Project: Bee-utify Eastview

Neighbourhood: West Hill (NIA)

Ward: 24

The Bee-utify Eastview project will create a large and attractive pollinator garden at the front entrance of Eastview Public School. The goal is to create a place for students and community to come and observe the amazing pollinators and also have a comfortable place to relax and enjoy. By taking on this project, the teachers of the school will engage their students in fun and exciting learning opportunities and cultivate the environmental stewards of tomorrow.
Group: Feed Scarborough

Project: Scarborough Junction Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Clairlea-Birchmount

Ward: 20

Feed Scarborough will introduce a community pollinator garden as an expansion of its Scarborough Junction Community Farm. The green space will provide families and neighbours a place to come and connect with the Land, their shared culture and each other, while promoting plant biodiversity, food security, and importance of growing native plants and pollinators.
Group: Friends of Henrietta Park

Project: Henrietta Park Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Rockcliffe-Smythe (NIA)

Ward: 5

Friends of Henrietta Park will create a pollinator garden at Henrietta Park, a small and tranquil pocket of green space in the west-end of the city. The garden will provide an educational opportunity by creating a space for participants, both adults and children, to learn and share their skills and knowledge, as well as cultural opportunities, by providing a space to share knowledge between people of different ages and backgrounds.
Group: Friends of Smythe Park

Project: Healthy Park Healthy People

Neighbourhood: Rockcliffe-Smythe (NIA)

Ward: 5

Friends of Smythe Park is pleased to be adding a rain garden and pollinator garden. The rain garden will help absorb overland flooding from streets that has been contaminating the ponds, resulting in a negative effect on both the flora and fauna. The pollinator garden is strategically placed where very few insects have been seen.
Group: Green Industries Program

Project: David and Mary Thomson Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Bendale-Glen Andrew

Ward: 21

The David and Mary Thomson Pollinator Garden will be run by David and Mary Thomson Collegiate Institute staff and students, and will be located on the school property. The goal of the project is to create a pollinator garden which will feature a variety of flowering plants to attract a wide variety of pollinators throughout the spring, summer and fall. It will increase pollinator populations, and also educate all who visit about the importance of native plants and pollinators.
Group: Hillside Outdoor Education School

Project: Pollinator’s Paradise

Neighbourhood: Morningside Heights

Ward: 25

Hillside Outdoor Education School will create a pollinator garden with the help of students. Students will be involved in all aspects of the creation and maintenance of the garden plot.  The pollinator garden will be used as an engaging learning tool with a focus on raising awareness around the role of pollinators and native species within our ecosystem.  The group hopes to continue building on this for years to come.
Group: Huron-Sussex Community Garden

Project: Huron-Sussex Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: University

Ward: 11

The Huron-Sussex Community Garden (HSCG) was founded in April 2016 in a busy neighbourhood in the heart of University of Toronto. The pollinator garden is a welcome addition to the existing community garden and will educate the gardeners and others about pollinator stewardship.
Group: Ecole Jeanne – La Joie

Project: Jardin des Merveilles

Neighbourhood: Victoria Village (NIA)

Ward: 16

Jardin des Merveilles will create five pollinator habitats at Jeanne-Lajoie Elementary School. The garden will feature native plants and shrubs and serve as an education space for students.
Group: Jonesville Allotments Pollinator Group

Project: Jonesville Allotments Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Victoria Village (NIA)

Ward: 16

The Jonesville Allotments Pollinator Garden will establish a vibrant pollinator garden within the busy gardens located in the Victoria Park and Eglinton Ave neighbourhood. The garden will feature native plant species, provide nesting/overwintering habitat, include interpretive signage, and offer points for close observation. The garden will both beautify the space and importantly, equip visitors with a new-found awareness of how this pollinator-supporting habitat directly impacts the success of urban vegetable growing.
Group: Manor Road United Church

Project: Pollinator Garden @ The Manor

Neighbourhood: Mount Pleasant East

Ward: 15

Manor Road United Church will be planting a drought resistant native garden that encourages pollination by bees and butterflies and provides a habitat for birds, insects and wildlife. The church houses many community programs and sits next to a busy park. The native garden will be an opportunity to teach our community about native plants and the importance of pollinator gardens, with signs that identify the different types of plants and shrubs.
Group: Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School Garden Committee

Project:  Indigenous Medicine/Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Roncesvalles

Ward: 4

Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School will plant an Indigenous medicine and pollinator garden. This garden will support learning in Indigenous knowledge, pollination, habitats, plant health, and food. It will also beautify the community, creating an inviting space for neighbours and Parkdale families.
Group: Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School Community

Project: Jardin de Pollen

Neighbourhood: Trinity-Bellwoods

Ward: 11

This group will raise awareness and educate their multi-lingual community about the role of pollinators and native species in our ecosystem. The students will learn about pollinators and the role they play in the school’s existing vegetable garden. They will be involved in planting and caring for the garden and will even assist in creating bee hotels. Located along a well-walked downtown street, the three pollinator beds will not only provide enjoyment, but will also provide an opportunity to educate the broader community through informative signs in multiple languages.
Group: Pollinator Pedestrian Access Path

Project: Pilkington to Santa Monica

Neighbourhood: Clairlea-Birchmount

Ward: 20

This project will create six pollinator gardens including five in front residential yard, and one on a public corridor that joins two neighbourhoods in Scarborough. These spaces will be planted with species that support pollinators such as native shrubs, thickets, and flowers. Plants that offer food will be a consideration. We also want to offer natural seating and play space such as boulders and tree stumps.
Group: Portage Parent Council

Project: Portage Trail Garden

Neighbourhood: Mount Dennis (NIA)

Ward: 5

This project will create a pollinator garden in front of the Portage Trail Community School. With assistance from the Portage Parent Council, the goal is to promote a space for children to learn about plants in a playful environment.
Group: Roden School Council

Project: Kindie Heart Garden

Neighbourhood: Greenwood-Coxwell

Ward: 14

As part of honouring and remembering the Indigenous survivors of Canada’s Residential schools, Roden School Council is planting a Heart Garden with students. The garden will be a permanent living memory that students contribute to and care for year to year. By pairing the Heart Garden with native plants, we honour the land and provide a much needed habitat for our native pollinators during all stages of their development. Our hope is that this project helps to establish increased biodiversity of our native pollinators strengthening our food system for generations to come while reminding us of the generations of Indigenous peoples that have come before.
Group: San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre

Project: El Jardin San Lorenzo

Neighbourhood: Yorkdale-Glen Park (EN)

Ward: 8

El Jardin San Lorenzo will create three pollinator gardens in the green areas of the San Lorenzo Parish and Community Centre. Community members, including immigrant and refugee families from Latin America, will learn the importance of pollinators and native plants and their impact to our local environment. This project will incorporate traditional and lived experiences from Latin American countries to help raise awareness on the necessity to protect, restore and create new natural habitats for life diversity in our neighborhoods.
Group: SKETCH Working Arts

Project: Weave and Mend Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Trinity-Bellwoods

Ward: 10

Weave and Mend Gardens will be located alongside SKETCH Studios at Artscape Youngplace on Shaw Street. The pollinator bed, titled The Mother’s Bed, will be designed by artist Harley McDowell to honour the impact mothers have on our lives. The group believes that similar to mothers, pollinators play a significant role in our eco-systems and without this vital relationship we would be lost.
Group: St. Aidan Catholic School

Project: Stardust Pollinator Project

Neighbourhood: East L’Amoreaux (EN)

Ward: 22

Through The Stardust Pollinator Project, St Aidan Catholic School will create a pollinator friendly school through the construction of a pollinator walkway leading to the front entrance of the school. The project proposes the creation of two new pollinator gardens that will serve to educate students and the community about the importance of our pollinators.
Group: St. Boniface Elementary School

Project: Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Scarborough Village (NIA)

Ward: 20

St. Boniface Elementary School will create a pollinator garden at the front of the school, which will be seen and experienced by all and will inspire and educate staff, students, families and community members. The garden will be a teaching tool for students and classes where all can learn the importance of pollinators and their need in the environment. The hope is that the lesson goes beyond school and that students and staff become advocates for pollinators.
Group: St. Francis De Sales

Project: The Learning Garden

Neighbourhood: Glenfield-Jane Heights (NIA)

Ward: 7

The goal of this project is to beautify the school while at the same time providing natural areas to support the natural environment.  The hope is that students will have the opportunity to participate in the maintenance of the pollinator habitat.
Group: The AppleTree Group

Project: The Outdoor Classroom Project

Neighbourhood: South Eglinton-Davisville

Ward: 12

The Outdoor Community Classroom Project will create a pollinator garden in June Rowlands Park. The goal is to transform the existing educational garden into a fully functional outdoor learning space for school and community groups to gather and learn about the importance of pollinator gardens and their positive effect on the environment and the world at large.
Group: The Junction BIA

Project: The Junction Butterfly Gardens

Neighbourhood: Junction Area

Ward: 4

The Junction Butterfly Gardens will create a pollinator pathway along Dundas Street West. The project aims to return biodiversity to The Junction by providing butterflies and bees with additional food sources and mark The Junction as the most pollinator-friendly neighbourhood in Toronto.
Group: The PACT Program

Project: Pollinator Garden at Thistletown Collegiate Institute

Neighbourhood: Rexdale-Kipling

Ward: 1

The PACT Grow-To-Learn Pollinator Garden at Thistletown Collegiate Institute will serve as an invaluable educational resource for both students and the community. PACT will develop pollinator workshops which will be delivered to students (Grades 1-12) during school hours, and to the community at our weekly markets. PACT will offer TDSB staff and students access to the pollinator space, and will provide all visiting classes a detailed self-guided tour with the help of QR codes, sitemaps and digital information.
Group: The St. Clair Diggers

Project: The St. Clair Pollinator Patch

Neighbourhood: Clairlea-Birchmount

Ward: 20

The St. Clair Pollinator Patch will consist of three gardens located at St. Clair Avenue East and Maybourne Avenue. This project aims to greatly increase the number of native plants on the property to attract and support a significant number of pollinators, beautify the neighbourhood, and share learnings with our community. The group will work with Grade 3 classes in local schools, teaching them about pollinators and assisting them with planting in our garden.
Group: Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers

Project: Thorncliffe Park Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Thorncliffe Park (NIA)

Ward: 15

Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers (TPUF) is a community-based farming group working in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood. This project will be located on a large area of 53 Thorncliffe Park Drive and transform grassy areas to landscapes designed exclusively with native plants to create vibrant habitats for pollinators. The project will provide Thorncliffe Park area youth and adult volunteers with space, material resources and training to create garden spaces and promote community engagement. This project will serve as an example and model for other property managers in the area to transform their landscapes from lawns to pollinator habitats and nurture interest in urban horticulture to support mental health and physical well-being of area residents who otherwise may not have an opportunity to create their own garden spaces.
Group: Toronto Botanical Garden

Project: Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Banbury-Don Mills

Ward: 15

This project will ensure our pollinator garden is accessible to the public for better education on the importance of native pollinators and plants. The plan is to redesign and replant an existing perennial border with at least 75% native plants for pollinators. We will create an engaging and educational pollinator garden for the estimated 250,000 visitors that visit Toronto Botanical Garden each year.
Group: West Bend Green Community

Project: West Bend Butterfly Way

Neighbourhood: High Park North

Ward: 4

West Bend Butterfly Way is a pollinator garden located on the west side of Indian Road just north of Keele Subway Station. This project will plant 250 native plants to attract pollinators and encourage others to follow suit. This project is part of a series of boulevard gardens lining High Park to the rail corridor gardens on the east side of Dundas Street West from Glenlake Avenue to Humberside Avenue. The butterfly pathway thus created will facilitate further pathways for butterflies along the rail corridors in the west end of Toronto.
Group: Withrow Parent Outdoor Education Committee

Project: Pollinators at Withrow School

Neighbourhood: North Riverdale

Ward: 14

This group will create multiple gardens at Withrow School to increase awareness of native pollinators are and how creating habitats for them has many environmental, ecological and social benefits. This project will extend the pollinator pathway already started by our neighbours The Bain Co-op (previous PollinateTO grant recipients). Withrow students will learn about the Indigenous worldview through the lens of gardening, and caring for the plants and land they grow on.  In response to the calls to Truth and Reconciliation and in memoriam of Indigenous children at residential schools, the staff at Withrow would like one of the gardens to be designed as an Indigenous Medicine Garden and will have the names of all the plants identified in multiple languages.


Round 2 – 2020/2021

Thirty-two applications were selected to receive funding to create pollinator gardens in their communities, including 11 located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and one located in an Emerging Neighbourhood.

In total, over 60 gardens and 5,000 square metres of pollinator habitat will be created through these projects.

Congratulations to the groups listed below!

Group: 757 Gardening Committee

Project: Bee Kind Pollinator Rockery Garden

Neighbourhood: Oakridge (NIA)

Ward: 20

757 Victory Park Condo has a large empty rockery area that is located within the North West portion of our property. It is a perfect location for a large pollinator friendly garden and we are excited to get working on this garden. This area is clearly visible to our residents and our neighbours. We hope this project will bring together members of our community to help plant and help beautify the neighbourhood.
Group: 75th Old Mill Scouts

Project: 75th Old Mill Toronto Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Runnymede-Bloor West Village

Ward: 4

The project will create a pollinator garden at St. Paul’s Church, home of the 75th Old Mill Scout Group. This space will provide education for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts as well as to the church parish and local community. It is hoped that this garden will inspire others to plant native pollinator plants to create an ever expanding pollinator pathway within our city.
Group: Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)

Project: Chester Le Pollinator Pad

Neighbourhood: L’Amoreaux West (EN)

Ward: 22

The Chester Le Pollinator Pad will create a pollinator garden within the current Chester Le Olive Garden through the placement of a wide variety of native pollinator plants to create a sustainable pollinator habitat. Through this project community residents will receive workshops and demonstrations that feature the importance of pollinators, the connection to climate change and food production, and will learn about the tools needed to do more pollinator work within the community. This community-based project seeks to enhance the resiliency of the Chester Le Olive garden and the surrounding neighborhood’s ecosystems while supporting local food availability.
Group: CALC Secondary School

Project: CALC Secondary Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: North Riverdale

Ward: 14

City Adult Learning Centre (CALC) is excited about our Pollinator Garden, which will actually cover several areas and thus be part of more than one outdoor teaching space. The centerpiece will be our food garden, which will be surrounded on three sides by a pollinator garden. The pollinators will benefit the food crops, be aesthetically pleasing, and promote learning about all aspects of botany and agriculture.
Group: Flemingdon Park Ministry

Project: The Common Table Pollinator Garden and Labyrinth

Neighbourhood: Parkwoods-O’Connor Hills

Ward: 16

The Common Table is a food security project of Flemingdon Park Ministry. We grow fresh, organic produce on our urban farm for the Flemingdon Park neighbourhood. Our Pollinator Garden and Labyrinth project will increase the biodiversity of our farm, supporting pollinators and wildlife. With signage, workshops, and a prayer labyrinth, this garden will also provide a space for education and reflection for the community.
Group: FoodShare Toronto

Project: Flemo Farm Pollinator Corridor Project

Neighbourhood: Flemingdon Park (NIA)

Ward: 16

Flemo Farm is a new community-developed and community-owned ½ acre urban farm located in Flemingdon Park. This project will create a pollinator area in the Farm perimeter and plant over 1,220 perennial native flowers to create and support the habitat for bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators in the park. The pollinator garden will sustain the growing production at Flemo Farm.
Group: Fr. Henry Carr (FHC) Environmental Club

Project: BEE-U-TIFLY Done habitat project

Neighbourhood: West Humber-Clairville

Ward: 1

The Father Henry Carr (FHC) BEE-U-TIFLY Done habitat project will be a collaborative effort supported by a diverse team of FHC students, parents, staff, and community members. Our project’s primary goal is to increase the ecological value of the school’s existing greenspace by planting several different native flowers, shrubs, and trees to create new habitat for native pollinator species. The garden will include informative signage, observation areas, and an eco-friendly pathway. This natural setting will also serve as an inclusive cross-curricular outdoor education resource, providing an opportunity to enjoy and learn about nature. This includes descriptions and visuals of environmentally significant plants which may be observed. We hope that our garden will demonstrate what local communities can do to promote the biodiversity and protection of pollinators in urban environments.
Group: Friends of Allan Gardens

Project: The Pollinator Playground at Allan Gardens

Neighbourhood: Moss Park

Ward: 13

The Friends of Allan Gardens is a volunteer-based organization that is working to imagine and lead the revitalization of Allan Gardens park and conservatory. The “Pollinator Playground” project will create a demonstration garden within the children’s playground at Allan Gardens. This new garden will connect with existing pollinator gardens in the park to create a pollinator pathway. The garden will help to green the playground, and get families up close and interested in native plants and pollinators. Through community planting days, children’s activities, volunteer-led garden tours and signage, this project has the potential to engage and educate hundreds of local families who visit on a regular basis.
Group: Friends of Guild Park / Guildwood Butterflyway Project

Project: Guild Park Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Guildwood

Ward: 24

The Pollinator Garden at Guild Park will help support the Carolinian Forest ecosystem found at this 88-acre site atop the Scarborough Bluffs. Guild Park is part of a well-established migratory route for butterflies and birds. Local volunteers will convert an underused area into the park’s first native pollinator garden. The project includes an outdoor education resource where local residents and students from nearby schools can learn about pollinators, horticulture and our urban green space.
Group: Garden Club of Toronto

Project: Metropolitan United Church Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Downtown Yonge East

Ward: 13

The Garden Club of Toronto has partnered with Metropolitan United Church (MUC) to create two native plant-only pollinator gardens that flank the main entrance. Our plans include a rich tapestry of 41 different varieties of native plants, shrubs, trees and a vine that will provide rich displays from March to October and food and shelter for a variety of wildlife throughout the year. To recognize MUC’s inclusive nature, one section has been designed as a “Pride” garden and will bloom with the rainbow colors of the Pride Flag during the month of June. We have used online remote events such as an online seed-starting workshop and blog as our first steps to engage members. To ensure the long-term success of this project, we will be training volunteers and preparing a manual on appropriate maintenance methods that minimize soil and plant disturbance.
Group: Harmony Community Food Centre

Project: The Harmony Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: O’Connor-Parkview

Ward: 19

The Harmony Pollinator Garden will be an extension and expansion to South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s Harmony Community Food Centre and Senior’s Active Living Centre programs on site at 2 Gower St. The garden will create a pollinator corridor around our site and with neighbouring George Webster Elementary School garden. The primary goal of the project is to introduce new habitat and food source for pollinators with native perennial plants. The garden will create opportunities for community education and engagement around the importance of pollinator stewardship and how crucial they are to the health of our ecology and food systems. It will provide a beautiful space to connect and grow with our diverse community and participants.
Group: Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Group 

Project: Right Relations Garden

Neighbourhood: Wychwood

Ward: 12

Noojimo’iwewin Gitigaan—Healing Garden at St. Matthew’s United Church is a modest start for the National Healing Forests Initiative in the city of Toronto. In 2021, our crew is building a rain garden and pollinator pathway, labelling the 125+ plants we grow, and—with the guidance of Elder-in-Residence Peduhbun Migizi Kwe–offering opportunities to learn about Indigenous and settler peoples, and as human beings living within the natural world.
Group: JBV Gardening Committee

Project: Pollinating South Parkdale: A Cooperative Community Garden

Neighbourhood: South Parkdale (NIA)

Ward: 4

Located in the heart of South Parkdale, John Bruce Village Housing Cooperative is fortunate to have over 1800 square feet of garden space that is shared by 40 mixed income households. We will enhance this existing green space by creating a pollinator-friendly garden that is comprised primarily of native plants, and that captures rain water more efficiently. The project aims to foster a shared commitment to stewarding our natural spaces. We will do this through youth engagement during the development of the garden, and through awareness building and educational events for the wider community.
Group: John A Leslie Parent Council

Project: JAL Bee-utiful Garden Expansion Project

Neighbourhood: Cliffcrest

Ward: 20

This project at John A Leslie (JAL) Public School will expand the existing pollinator garden, as well as create new beds in the adjacent field. Increasing the number of native plants in our neighbourhood will allow us to participate in a greater community initiative, the Cliffcrest Butterfly Way, which is important, as our school grounds lie on an migratory pathway for many pollinators and birds. Our JAL Bee-U-tiful garden expansion project will also beautify school grounds, and provide stewardship teaching to students and the greater community on the importance of supporting native pollinators and increasing local biodiversity.
Group: Lambton Park Community School

Project: Lambton Park Environmental Learning Garden

Neighbourhood: Rockcliffe-Smythe (NIA)

Ward: 5

The Lambton Park Environmental Learning Garden will serve as a school teaching garden, a learning ground for environmental literacy and a pollinator habitat creation project using native North American plants that educates and engages the community.
Group: Malvern Family Resource Centre

Project: Eco-Learning Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Rouge

Ward: 25

Malvern Family Resource Centre is excited to create a natural pollinator garden so we can increase eco-learning opportunities in Malvern. Our design will include pollinator plants which will form a natural backdrop to enhance and beautify our garden. Signage, tours and eco-learning sessions will help community members understand the importance that pollinators have on our eco-systems, inspiring them to grow their own eco-gardens to make a difference in our environment.
Group: Monarch Park Pollinator Partners (MPPP)

Project: Monarch Park Collegiate Institute Pollinator Gardens

Neighbourhood: Greenwood-Coxwell

Ward: 14

This project involves the revitalization of a student-planted pollinator garden and the creation of a second garden on school property. Local residents and students will collaborate to maintain the gardens and educate the community about pollinators and pollinator habitat.
Group: OCAD University

Project: Friendship Community Garden

Neighbourhood: Kensington-Chinatown

Ward: 10

OCAD University is proposing a pollinator garden at the site of Butterfield Park located at 100 McCaul Street. This garden will strive to increase habitat for pollinator species, support universal design and accessibility, and bridge staff/students/faculty in a living project that expands natural spaces for learning, well-being, and a sense of belonging. It’s an opportunity to increase awareness of the artist/designer role to protect ecological systems and integrate biodiversity into daily urban life and build connections between people and land.
Group: Scadding Court Community Centre & Friends of Alexandra Park

Project: Alexandra Park Pollinator Power

Neighbourhood: Kensington-Chinatown

Ward: 10

Alexandra Park Pollinator Power is a partnership between community gardeners from the Alexandra Park Diversity Garden; urban agriculture program staff and volunteers from Scadding Court Community Centre; and volunteers with the Friends of Alexandra Park neighbourhood group. AP Pollinator Power will work collaboratively to develop a pollinator habitat and a site for community building, education and recreation. Community members will be involved in planting and maintaining the pollinator garden during the growing season and will participate in educational workshops to deepen their knowledge of pollinator insects, native plants and best practices for maintaining this type of garden.
Group: Shirley Street Junior Public School Gardeners

Project: Shirley Street Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Little Portugal

Ward: 9

Our garden transformation plans include adding an abundance of native plants and shrubs to our existing outdoor space to attract many different pollinators, providing learning opportunities and a place of serenity and joy for our students and the wider community.
Group: South Parkdale Pollinators

Project: Springhurst and Close Pollinator Corridor

Neighbourhood: South Parkdale (NIA)

Ward: 4

This will be a woodland garden in South Parkdale on a corner adjoining five houses that will also be adding pollinators to their front gardens. It’s a corner is used my many pedestrians, as well as being very close to two elementary schools, a rehabilitation centre, and a long-term care facility.
Group: St. Angela Catholic School

Project: Environment Club Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown (NIA)

Ward: 1

A pollinator garden will be created at St. Angela Catholic School.
Group: St. Basil-the-Great College Pollinators (SBC)

Project: SBC Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Pelmo Park-Humberlea

Ward: 7

The SBC Pollinators are grateful for the opportunity to use this grant to support our role as stewards of the Earth. Through this project, we aim to foster students’ development into responsible citizens and life-long learners who actively sustain the well-being of our environment. Our pollinator garden will be located at the front of our school and will be visible for all to enjoy.
Group: St. Cyril Parent Council

Project: St. Cyril Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Willowdale West

Ward: 18

We will be enhancing our outdoor yard by creating a home and a safe space for our butterflies, bees as well as any other type of insects. We look forward in teaching, not only our students but also our community, about the benefits of planting native species as well as educating everyone about how to care and maintain such a garden. Our project is exactly what our community needs as this will create new dialogue about the insects and what it takes to help protect them. Our team will be using native plants as well as perennials and creating a “drinking station” for our insects. We have a beautiful space where we will build 2 separate gardens in order to attract twice as many insects as we can. Let’s keep them “BEEsy”. Our goal is to have a safe space for them to feel comfortable to eat, drink and possibly nest.
Group: St. Louis Catholic School

Project: St. Louis Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Stonegate-Queensway

Ward: 5

St. Louis school plans to transform our existing community-facing green space into a pollinator garden with the help of our students, staff and community volunteers. In addition, we will plant larval host plants at the base of our trees in the main schoolyard, which will add more plants amidst the concrete, assist with water retention for our trees and create more habitat for our pollinator friends. This project will engage our students in hands-on learning about the role of pollinators and native species in their own backyard for many years to come.
Group: Sustainability at Centennial

Project: Pollinators at Progress

Neighbourhood: Woburn North (NIA)

Ward: 24

Sustainability at Centennial College group will be creating a pollinator garden on the south half of Progress Campus, which boarders Morningside Park in Scarborough, Ontario. The garden will feature over 130 native species plants and shrubs, with plant identification signage. Our college community will be invited to engage in an on-site planting and virtual webinar focused on the importance of native species pollinator gardens, increasing our canopy cover and green spaces to mitigate the impacts of climate change in our urban communities.
Group: Taddlewood Heritage Association

Project: Butterfly Entrance, Wychwood Barns Park

Neighbourhood: Wychwood

Ward: 12

Taddlewood Heritage Association will create a pollinator garden where Slade Avenue meets the south entrance to Wychood Barns Park in the St Clair/Christie area. What is now bare ground will become the Butterfly Entrance to Wychwood Barns Park and when finished will be full of life and colour and visible along the full length of Slade Ave as well as from several vantage points inside the park.
Group: The Neighbourhood Organization (TNO)

Project: TNO Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Thorncliffe Park (NIA)

Ward: 15

A pollinator garden will be part of Leaside Park Community Garden and will not only create habitat for the pollinators to thrive but also create a beautiful, colourful space in the neighborhood that will help raise awareness, educate the community, especially the younger generation through workshops and training.
Group: Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee

Project: Thorncliffe Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Thorncliffe Park (NIA)

Ward: 15

Thorncliffe Pollinator Garden is an intergenerational project that will enable and empower families of Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood to learn environmental sustainability, conservation and other earth-friendly practices. Our project will create the pollinators garden areas in our existing Thorncliffe Family Garden to promote education and awareness of the role of pollinators and native species to the families in a fun, free, creative and accessible way.
Group: Toronto Birth Centre (TBC)

Project: T’Karanto Ondaadizi-Gamig Mushkiki Gitigaan – TBC Medicine Garden

Neighbourhood: Regent Park (NIA)

Ward: 13

The TBC currently has a small garden which we have maintained with little funds but a lot of care. Currently the garden mainly grows calendula, strawberry and sage. We are committed to put on more educational events within our existing programing at the Garden. We want to invite Elders and Indigenous teachers to share plant knowledge and teachings with our larger community about growing, harvesting and storage of the medicines. Speakers will teach about Indigenous medicines and decolonization, food justice, planting and creating a welcoming habitat for pollinators such birds, bees, insects and butterflies to share the space and educate about their importance to the Regent Park community.
Group: Toronto Green Community

Project: Eglinton Park Community Garden (EPCG)

Neighbourhood: Yonge-Eglinton

Ward: 8

Since 1997, Eglinton Park Community Garden has been a haven of edibles and native plants. In 2020, we began restoration following a two-year closure due to nearby construction. This project will allow us to engage volunteers who are excited to cultivate native plants, and a wild meadow of pollinator plants. Signage and plant ID tags will raise awareness of the role of pollinators and native species in our ecosystem. A message board will promote our activities and workshops to help further educate and build community. Through our collaboration with “Growing Our Roots” (a project funded by the Indigenous Arts & Culture Partnership) and EPCG’s Medicine Wheel Garden, we will highlight Indigenous ecological knowledge and create a welcoming space for Indigenous people to grow and harvest food and medicines.
Group: Woburn JR. Public School

Project: Pollinator Learning Garden

Neighbourhood: Woburn North (NIA)

Ward: 24

Woburn Junior Public School is a TDSB certified EcoSchool, and will use the grant to create a Pollinator Learning Garden. The school will build a pollinator garden on school grounds and Woburn Junior families from the Tuxedo Court buildings will help maintain it through the summer months. School staff and Community Members will promote the awareness of the role of pollinators and native species in our ecosystem, and provide education and enjoyment for students at the school and the wider community.


Round 1 – 2019/2020

Thirty-five applications were selected to receive funding from among 151 applications submitted. Of the 35 approved projects, 2 are located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and one is located in an Emerging Neighbourhood.

Approved projects include community faith gardens, Indigenous education gardens, residential rain gardens, schoolyard teaching gardens, and multiple front-yard gardens on residential streets (which serve as pollinator pathways).

In total, over 115 gardens and almost 9,000 square metres of pollinator habitat will be created through these projects.

Congratulations to the groups listed below!

Group: Appleton Ave. Community Organization

Project: Appleton Ave. Pollinator Corridor

Neighbourhood: Corso Italia-Davenport

Ward: 9

This project will create a pollinator corridor consisting of 15 pollinator patches along Appleton Ave. The project will result in a complex urban ecosystem and engage the community through planting days, speakers, children’s activities, and a community potluck.
Group: Argonaut Rowing Club

Project: Argonaut Growing Club Pollinator Project

Neighbourhood: South Parkdale (NIA)

Ward: 4

The Argonaut Rowing Club is proposing a pollinator garden near the Martin Goodman trail. The project will create plant identifiers and signage that is easily visible from the Martin Goodman trail. The project is supported by a dedicated gardener and team of volunteers.
Group: Bain Butterfly Way

Project: The Bain Butterfly Way Project

Neighbourhood: North Riverdale

Ward: 14

The Bain Butterfly Way project will create five pollinator gardens at the Bain Cooperative. The goals are to map and create a pollinator pathway that would connect our native plant species throughout the Bain, while also building a sense of stewardship for the land and an appreciation for native plant species. The community engagement and education plans include a community planting day, guided plant tours, and a partnership with a local school to co-create a pollinator-themed art project.
Group: Bell Manor Pollinators

Project: Bell Manor Park Community Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Stonegate-Queensway

Ward: 3

This project will create a pollinator community garden in Bell Manor Park. The community garden, which is part of the Community Health Centre’s Food Access Program, addresses the lack of space for growing in lower-income neighbourhoods and provides an alternative food source and access to community activities and connections among many cultural diverse circles. A component of the project will be to have AlterEden deliver four workshops to educate the community about the needs of pollinators.
Group: Bernard Betel Centre

Project: Bernard Betel Centre Community Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Westminster-Branson (EN)

Ward: 6

This garden will be created on a non-profit community centre property that has been serving the community for 54 years. The Bernard Betel Centre currently holds 120 programs a week and the pollinator garden will be incorporated into their programming, allowing residents in the community to enjoy and learn more about pollinators.
Group: Carlton-Sherbourne Garden Group

Project: Rooming House Beeuties

Neighbourhood: Moss Park

Ward: 13

The Carlton-Sherbourne Group is partnering with Dixon Hall to create multiple pollinator gardens in the front yards of Toronto Community Housing properties in the Cabbagetown area. This project aims to increase the vibrancy and resilience of the community through this beautification process. The goal is to build upon and nurture the pollinator patches and expand the project to all 23 Toronto Community Housing properties in the area.
Group: Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS)

Project: The ENRICH Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Agincourt South-Malvern West

Ward: 22

CICS is a multi-service registered charity and a leader in serving immigrants in Toronto and the GTA for 50 years, helping newcomers develop a sense of inclusion and belonging in their new communities. CICS would like to introduce a pollinator garden to enhance their educational programming and their work towards building community connectedness and leadership skills around urban gardening.
Group: Chester School Pollinator Garden Team

Project: Chester School Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Broadview North

Ward: 14

This proposal from the Chester Eco Community will create a pollinator learning garden at Chester Elementary School, a Platinum EcoSchool. The school will create and maintain a year-round pollinator garden and promote the awareness and education of the role of pollinators and native species in our ecosystem, and provide enjoyment for students and the wider community.
Group: Church of the Resurrection

Project: Resurrection Garden

Neighbourhood: Danforth East York

Ward: 19

The Church of the Resurrection will fill seven beds with native plants and shrubs to create habitat for bees, butterflies, and birds. The garden spaces will contain signage to educate the community about the need to support these creatures.
Group: CSPC – Transfiguration

Project: Transfiguration Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Willowride-Martingrove-Richview

Ward: 2

The parent council at Transfiguration of our Lord Catholic School will lead the creation of a pollinator teaching garden at the school. The goal is to provide pollinators with an additional resource in our neighbourhood by creating a pollinator garden and to educate the community.
Group: Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association

Project: Pollinator Corridor

Neighbourhood: Clairlea-Birchmount

Ward: 20

This neighbourhood association is proposing a pollinator pathway that will create pollinator gardens at Danforth Gardens Public School, and transform several residential properties from lawns to pollinator habitat. The project will engage the community through garden tours and native plant sales to inspire others to transform their green spaces.
Group: David Hornell Junior School & Mimico Residents Association

Project: David Hornell Pollinator Gardens

Neighbourhood: Humber Bay Shores

Ward: 3

This proposal from David Hornell Elementary School and Mimico Residents Association will create three pollinator garden areas within David Hornell’s established eco school grounds. This initiative will help to revitalize David Hornell’s outdoor classroom and provide students with important eco-learning opportunities. This project will also provide significant benefit to the surrounding Mimico and neighbouring communities.
Group: Evergreen

Project: Pollinator Revitalization Project

Neighbourhood: Leaside-Bennington

Ward: 11

Evergreen Brick Works is located in the Don Valley ravine system and is a vital access point to nature for Torontonians. Evergreen works to promote and preserve native species and will transform the Tiffany Commons space into pollinator gardens. Evergreen welcomes nearly half a million visitors a year and with their contact through these gardens, visitors will be able to learn more about pollinator habitats.
Group: FJR Pollinator Group

Project: FJR Pollinator Project

Neighbourhood: New Toronto

Ward: 3

Father John Redmond (FJR) Secondary School will create a pollinator garden that will provide benefits to the school, the Ken Cox Community Centre and the greater Lakeshore community. It would include the collaborative efforts of the biology department, Eco-club, and the parent council to build and maintain the garden. Wider school community including the Summer School courses and Ken Cox Community programs will also share in the regular care of the garden during summer months. The vision is that the pollinator garden would serve to invite the enjoyment of the school community and beyond, and at the same time, provide a necessary habitat for pollinators.
Group: Garrison Creek Park Community Garden (GCPCG)

Project: Garrison Creek Park Pollinator Gardens

Neighbourhood: Wychwood

Ward: 12

This group plans to build a community pollinator garden in Garrison Creek Park. The garden will engage over 50 families in the area already involved in urban gardening, serving as an educational tool for the public with signage, plant labels and tours. This pollinator garden will complement the existing pollinator murals located in the area as well as the Green Line project connecting green spaces in the city.
Group: George Chuvalo Community Center (GCCC)

Project: GCCC Gardens

Neighbourhood: Junction-Wallace Emerson

Ward: 9

The pollinator garden will be one of the first community projects for this new community centre. The goal is to establish sustainability as one of the community’s priorities through the collaborative experience of growing a pollinator garden. The key elements of the project will be a garden design inspired by the rainbow flag, and educational workshops on pollinators, seed saving and seed starting.
Group: Green Thumbs Growing Kids

Project: Flower Power

Neighbourhood: North St. James Town

Ward: 13

Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a community group that have been growing plants with children, youth and families for 20 years. They are partnered with four schools in the Toronto District School Board to create and maintain pollinator gardens, used for experiential learning connected to curriculum objectives in the school year.

Watch how Green Thumbs Growing Kids Opens in new window created pollinator gardens at schools in Toronto!

Group: Greenland & Community Butterflyway Pollinator Garden

Project: Pollinator Waystation

Neighbourhood: Banbury-Don Mills

Ward: 16

Greenland Public School is a platinum level Eco school with a long tradition of creating learning spaces, beautifying school grounds and educating children and the community of the importance of eco initiatives.  The pollinator garden will be used as a teaching tool, Monarch waystation and tour site for the larger community.
Group: Harbord Collegiate Institute & Palmerston Area Residents Association (PARA)

Project: Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Palmerston-Little Italy

Ward: 11

This proposal is a school-community collaboration between the Harbord Collegiate Eco team and the Palmerston Area Residents Association (PARA) Green Committee. The goal of this project is the creation of two permanent pollinator gardens within the south-facing front yard of Harbord Collegiate and along Harbord Street. As part of meeting this goal, the garden will educate and engage students, staff and community on the importance of pollinators, native plants, biodiversity and organic gardening.
Group: Hopewell Community Garden

Project: Hopewell Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Briar Hill-Belgravia

Ward: 8

This group plans to introduce a community pollinator garden to an underused area in Walter Saunders Memorial Park. The garden expands the capacity of Hopewell Community Garden, allowing for increased participation and alternative horticultural learning opportunities for participants. The goal is to become a local resource for the public, schools and community groups wanting to learn more about horticulture, pollinators and the importance they play in our urban ecosystem.
Group: Kapapamahchakwew Parent Council, (Wandering Spirit School Parent Council)

Project: Gitigaan

Neighbourhood: Blake-Jones

Ward: 14

Wandering Spirit School Parent Council is a group of dedicated volunteers and staff who have strong ties to the Indigenous community in Toronto. The project will create a garden that will provide opportunities for the school community to share cultural knowledge about pollinators and Indigenous plants with the surrounding community. The goal is to inspire others to plant native plants, create their own pollinator garden, and share information.
Group: King George Junior Public School Parent Council

Project: King George Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Runnymede-Bloor West Village

Ward: 4

The King George Garden Committee is proposing a pollinator teaching garden at King George Junior Public School. The garden will space for students to engage in active learning about biodiversity, ecology, and stewardship. The garden will also be presented as a demonstration garden that encourages residents in the area to consider how their plant choices and gardening practices affect native pollinator species.
Group: Naadmaagit Ki (NKG) “Helpers of the Earth”

Project: Aamoog, Memengwaag miinwaa Nenookaasiwag (Bees, Butterflies & Hummingbirds)

Neighbourhood: Little Portugal

Ward: 9

St. Anne’s Church invited NKG to care for the land adjacent to the church in 2013. With the help of committed volunteers, the space will be transformed into a shared community pollinator garden. NKG intends to offer culturally-rooted, indigenous educational opportunities for the community.
Group: Neighbours4Nectar

Project: Pollinator Pathway

Neighbourhood: Woodbine-Lumsden

Ward: 19

Six households at the intersection of Westlake and Westbrook Avenues will form the Neighbours4Nectar project, planting demonstration pollinator gardens in front yards to create a pollinator pathway, and engaging local residents in learning why pollinator gardens are important and how to establish them successfully. Open planting days, garden tours and pollinator-themed kids’ activities will involve a wide range of neighbours in the project.
Group: Rain Gardens United (RGU)

Project: Greenwood Pollinator Rain Gardens

Neighbourhood: South Riverdale

Ward: 14

The first phase of the Greenwood Pollinator Gardens includes three rain gardens on Alton Avenue and Sawden Avenue near Greenwood Park. The three rain gardens will capture and infiltrate at least 90% of annual rainfall from the roof downspouts. This will benefit the overall stormwater system in the neighbourhood, which is known to cause nuisance issues throughout Greenwood Park. As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of rainfall events, green infrastructure such as these rain gardens will help make the storm sewer system more resilient by retaining rainfall close to where raindrops hit the ground.
Group: Ravina Community Garden

Project: Ravina Community Garden Pollinator Project

Neighbourhood: High Park North

Ward: 4

The Ravina Community Garden will transform an existing lawn bowling club space and create an experience for community members to directly engage with the plant and wildlife growing in the garden. The project proposes the creation of a stone wall for cavity nesting native pollinators. There will be educational opportunities for members of this intergenerational community garden to learn through hands-on experience of creating the garden.
Group: Regenesis

Pollinate UTSC (University of Toronto Scarborough Campus)

Neighbourhood: Highland Creek

Ward: 25

The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) aims to create a pollinator-friendly campus. The project proposes the creation of four new pollinator gardens AND the enhancement of an existing butterfly garden. The project will use signage to raise awareness about native bees and outline the best practices to create a pollinator-friendly garden. Through the process of creating the gardens, students and staff will engage in awareness building activities (e.g. planting session, seed saving session, seed and plant sharing).
Group: Rouge Valley Foundation

Project: Bombus Native Garden Project

Neighbourhood: Morningside Heights

Ward: 25

The Rouge Valley Foundation will be planting native flower species specifically selected for the native Bumblebees that are in dramatic decline, specifically American Bumble Bee and the Yellow Banded Bumble Bee. There will be four unused areas of the existing native garden area that will be planted with species designed to flower throughout the spring, summer and fall season. Each area will also be paired with a series of bumble bee nesting boxes that will be installed within the garden plots and monitored throughout the year to determine presence, abundance and species usage.
Group: Scarborough Arts

Project: Pollinator Art – Planting and Botanical Illustration Program

Neighbourhood: Birchcliffe-Cliffside

Ward: 20

Scarborough Arts is a non-profit organization with over 40 years of service and is the only arts organization of its kind specifically serving residents from low-income, and newcomer populations in Scarborough. This project will engage participants (youth, adults) in arts and environmental education activities centred on pollinator-friendly plants, with the ultimate goal of planting a collaborative community pollinator garden at the Scarborough Arts’ home office.
Group: Scarborough Bluffs Community Association

Project: Bluffs Pollinator Garden

Neighbourhood: Birchcliffe-Cliffside

Ward: 20

The Scarborough Bluffs Community Association is proposing a community pollinator garden in Sandown Park. The goal is to encourage children to visit the park with their families and learn about pollinators. The final result can be used as an educational tool for future school projects on pollinators, native plants and environmental issues.
Group: St. Wilfrid Catholic School

Project: ECO Rangers School Grounds Greening Project

Neighbourhood: York University Heights (NIA)

Ward: 7

The ECO Rangers at St. Wilfrid Catholic School have kept the students, staff and community involved in issues that are related to saving our Earth. Students and staff will work together to create a pollinator teaching garden. These gardens will enhance student learning by providing a natural, pleasing, relaxing setting and sparking discussions about the new additional plants and animals that they attract.
Group: Sunshine Centres for Seniors

Project: Sunshine Pollinator Gardens: Seniors and Youth Bee-utify Our Community

Neighbourhood: St Lawrence-East Bayfront-The Islands

Ward: 10

Sunshine Centres for Seniors was first established in 1970 with its flagship program, Camp Sunshine on Ward’s Island. The organization now comprises eight centres offering innovative and empowering programs for seniors and youth throughout Toronto. This project will create three pollinator gardens at the Parsonage building on Ward’s Island, providing opportunities for all who visit to learn about the importance of pollinators. The community will also be significantly involved in planting and maintaining the gardens.
Group: The Toronto Heschel School

Project: Project Nectar

Neighbourhood: Clanton Park

Ward: 6

Project Nectar will be an educational pollinator garden at the Toronto Heschel School. The goal is to give students, teachers, and community members an opportunity to learn about the important role that pollinators play in supporting local and global ecosystems as well as to contribute to Toronto’s ongoing effort to expand pollinator habitats. As a Jewish school, it is incumbent to care for the Earth as part of the concept of ‘Tikkun Olam’ or repairing the world.  Project Nectar will be open to all community members and we will actively engage our neighbours in its construction and care. Project Nectar will be a hands-on way for students to explore how they fit into the complex ecological processes of nature.
Group: Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church

Project: Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church Community Garden

Neighbourhood: Danforth East York

Ward: 19

This project proposes the creation of a community pollinator garden at the Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church at Woodbine and Danforth. Many residents engage with the space including three congregations within the church (English, Mandarin, Cantonese), “Kei Lok Yuen” senior’s group, children’s Sunday school, and daycare. This pollinator garden will beautify the site, engage the various groups using the site, and raise community awareness about the needs of pollinators.
Group: Windermere United Church

Project: Windermere United Church and Friends’ Pollinator Project

Neighbourhood: High Park-Swansea

Ward: 4

The project will create a pollinator garden at Windermere United Church. The project will engage children from the church school, community cooking class, the on-site daycare (Windermere Kids) and the Swansea School of Dance, as well as many other groups that use the church building during the week.