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Our Spaces

Many crops growing on the ENG roof, Toronto skyline in the background

Located in the heart of campus, we operate two rooftop farms just steps away from Toronto’s busiest intersection. These locations serve not only as spaces to grow fresh produce, but also allow us to conduct user-driven research in urban agriculture, support Indigenous- and Black-led programming and engagement and serve as community gathering spaces.

Wide shot showing many rows of crops on the ENG roof

ENG rooftop farm

Converted from a green roof to a quarter-acre farm in 2014, the rooftop farm at the George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre (ENG) serves as our primary production space, growing 8,000 to 10,000 lbs of fresh produce each year.

Architectural elements on the roof of the DCC

DCC rooftop farm

Our newest location, the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC) rooftop farm is Toronto’s first purpose-built green roof for food production under the city's Green Roof Bylaw, external link.

Space overview and specs

Location

George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre (ENG)
Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof
245 Church St.
5th floor

Capacity

60 people

Gathering space

  1. 36’ x 14’ paved area on the north side of the rooftop near the main entrance; dimensions include vent protrusions.
  2. 64’ x 10’ paved area on the south side at the wash station.

Growing system

Total growing space is about a quarter acre (10,000 ft²). The main crop production space has 21 60’ long permanent raised beds. Beds measure 30” wide and 10-12” deep with paths that are 18” wide and 2” deep. Drip irrigation system. Portable sprinkler as needed.

Wash station

Stainless steel, featuring work benches, a three tub sink and hand washing sink. Includes a hose and washdown gun for spraying crops. 

Post-harvest processing and cold storage

Plastic folding tables (x2) for organizing and packing harvest orders. Includes an outdoor storage bin for supplies. There is no cold storage on site.

Office and storage

Packing table desk for short tasks, safety and records management, metal pegboard for tool storage, rolling shelves for farm supplies.

Access the ENG roof

To access the primary entrance to the ENG roof, community members will take the main elevator up to the fourth floor and will take the north stairwell up one flight of stairs to the rooftop’s fifth floor entrance. The main entrance is a 32” wide exterior doorway.

A secondary entrance to the rooftop primarily used for deliveries or when transporting produce is also available. The secondary entrance can be accessed by taking the freight elevator to the fifth floor mechanical room, where a few steps lead out onto the rooftop. The mechanical room has a 32” wide exterior doorway. A temporary ramp measuring 37” wide with a 1:12 slope can be set up upon request.

Architectural elements on the roof of the DCC

Location

Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC)
288 Church St.
8th floor

Capacity

140 people

Gathering space

Approximately 68’ x 25’ with steel frame pergola (under construction).

Growing system

Permanent raised beds in the main crop production space. Total in-ground growing space is approximately 372 m² (4004 ft²), with 16 24’ long beds. Planter growing space of approximately 52 m² (560 ft²). Drip irrigation in the main production area. Portable sprinkler as needed.

Greenhouse

Produces seedlings for the Urban Farm’s two rooftop growing spaces. Approximately 18’ x 22’ steel frame greenhouse with tempered glass walls and twinwall polycarbonate roof. Manual shade, automated ventilation, electric heating via heat pump and supplementary resistance heat (under construction). 

Wash station, post-harvest processing and cold storage

Interior post-harvest room is approximately 21’ x 13’ with sliding barn doors. Features a three tub sink, 20 gal electric salad spinner and hand washing sink (all stainless steel). 20-tier stainless steel herb drying rack. Roll-in refrigerator.

Storage

Tool storage room approximately 9’ x 15’. Rolling metal shelves for farm supplies.

Access the DCC roof

To access the DCC roof, community members may take the elevator to the 8th floor interior lobby. The exterior door to the farm is 44” wide.

A note about our space overview and specs

Our space overview and specs have been provided for general reference. In creating these spaces, we were limited by overall building design requirements and do not necessarily endorse or recommend all features or dimensions of these spaces.

Want to know how this infrastructure works for us in practice? Book a tour through the google formToronto Metropolitan Urban Farm Tour Request Form, external link.