Carrot City Designing for Urban Agriculture

Toronto Urban Farm

Exhibit Category / Catégorie de l'expo: Community & Knowledge

Location/Emplacement: Toronto, ON, Canada
Dates: n/a
Designers/Concepteurs: n/a
Clients: n/a

More Information/Plus d'informations: n/a
Image Credits/Crédits d'images: n/a

Project Description: (version française ci-dessous)

The Toronto Urban Farm is a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). The farm sits on approximately 3.2 hectares (8 acres) of TRCA-owned land near the southeast corner of Jane Street and Steeles Avenue at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Located in one of Toronto’s most vulnerable and stigmatized communities, this innovative community development initiative engages youth and the community in urban organic farming, leadership development, environmental stewardship and health promotion. Services are provided through collaboration with the surrounding neighbourhood and organizations from various sectors, such as social agencies, schools, faith groups, and businesses.

In 2002 the TRCA turned over the eight acre parcel to the City of Toronto’s Community Gardens Program (CGP) within the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division City under a Management Agreement. Then, a master plan for the site was prepared for what was to become the Toronto Urban Farm. It operates as an extension of the CGP’s Rockcliffe Demonstration and Teaching Garden, which offers multiple services to support community gardening and urban agriculture city-wide. These include demonstration of Beneficial Management Practices in urban agriculture, heirloom vegetable seedling production, youth and adult training in organic food production, and children’s gardening.

The Toronto Urban Farm project objectives fulfil Toronto City Council’s mandate to promote urban agriculture and create local food production pilot projects. It also fulfils TRCA’s commitment to the Sustainability Round Table and fulfils the Sustainable Communities objective under its The Living City vision. The project aims to:

  • Provide youth employment and leadership training skills
  • Increase participants’ knowledge and skills of organic farming, environmental stewardship and local food systems
  • Build community capacity to address local food security and environmental issues
  • Promote healthy nutrition and active lifestyles
  • Increase the availability of rare and nearly extinct vegetable and other plant species

The site is a former dairy farm acquired by TRCA in 1952. It includes Braeburn House - a 19th century heritage stone house that is used today as a training facility and support facility. The house was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1962 stone by stone when threatened by demolition. Braeburn House is located in the northwest corner of the Black Creek Urban Farm.

In January 2008, Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University initiated a sustainable design charrette, aiming to develop a vision for the Toronto Urban Farm Centre.

Interdisciplinary teams of students were asked to develop design strategies for the site to encompass the aims of the project and to act as an exemplar for a sustainable community and education facility. Each team developed sustainable strategies which would be incorporated in this project and select a green building proposals that are appropriate to the site. The outcome was a series of visions (see images) for an urban agriculture centre at this location.

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Scale (Carrot City Category)


Location: City

Location: Country