Harry Rhodes: Urban Agriculture in Toronto

This former industrial site is undergoing major redevelopment, including several urban ag projects. There are three greenhouses on the site.

I was invited to Toronto to participate in “GrowTo: Urban Agriculture Speaker Series” at Ryerson University. This series was a collaboration of a number of NGO’s and the Toronto Food Policy Council. It looked at the “What, How, Where and Why of Urban Agriculture,” with our panel focusing on the “why.”

Nevin Cohen from the New School in New York joined me on the panel, along with two local people who are working on urban ag projects in Toronto. There were about 100 people in the audience. The discussion went on for over two hours, before the moderator cut it off.

My host, Joe Nasr, with Nevin Cohen from the New School, outside Ryerson University.

I spent two days visiting with urban ag and food activists in Toronto, and visiting some important projects. I was impressed with all of the activity, and with the enthusiasm of those involved. It was a great visit and I look forward to returning when the weather is warmer and more food is growing.

-Harry Rhodes
Executive Director


Evergreen Brick Works is a large industrial site where they used to make bricks. It had been abandoned for many years until it was turned into an ecology center, with a focus on educational programs for youth, centered on food and the built environment. They have refurbished many of the old buildings, and created some new structures, such as this one made from cob.

Artscape Wychwood Barns is an old city bus garage that has been turned into a community food center with a greenhouse, community kitchen, and a farmers market; and an arts center with studios and a theater.

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