Advancing Urban Agriculture in the Rexdale SNAP Neighbourhood

Advancing Urban Agriculture in the Rexdale SNAP Neighbourhood

Woodbine Entertainment and Partners in Project Green are working with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Sustainable Neighbourhoods team to advance urban agriculture in the Rexdale neighbourhood! 

The Rexdale Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) is a comprehensive plan developed by TRCA in partnership with the City of Toronto and the local community, to advance diverse sustainability and climate resilience objectives in Rexdale. One of the recommendations from the Action Plan is supporting and advancing urban agriculture, with the community identifying access to fresh, affordable food as a top priority. To advance this recommendation, the Sustainable Neighbourhoods team has been busy facilitating the following two projects: 

Woodbine Cares Community Garden 

The Sustainable Neighbourhoods team have been working closely with Woodbine Entertainment to facilitate the re-establishment of the Woodbine Cares Community Garden and Greenhouse at 555 Rexdale Boulevard, which has laid fallow since 2020. After reviewing a variety of proposals, Woodbine Entertainment identified Sundance Commons as the ideal candidate to manage and operate the community garden, growing food for the Rexdale community in addition to providing skills training, education, and volunteer/community engagement opportunities.  

Sundance Commons is an agricultural non-profit which operates at four farm locations in Southwestern Ontario. They provide land access, equipment, infrastructure, and educational training at no cost for new farmers. They are committed to advocating for equity and agency for the farm worker and/or underrepresented farmer in the midst of food-secure and regenerative bioregions. Read more here. 

Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) Partners in Project Green Funding: Urban Agriculture Implementation Initiative 

With generous funding support from GTAA Partners in Project Green, the Sustainable Neighbourhoods team was able to develop an Urban Agriculture Strategy for Rexdale, undertaking research and extensive community engagement. Rexdale’s Urban Agriculture Strategy was finalized in October 2023 and provides recommendations to increase access to fresh food in the community, while achieving other environmental and socio-economic objectives. 

This funding not only supported the development of the Urban Agriculture Strategy but will also support the implementation of urban agriculture projects/initiatives in Rexdale. A Call for Proposals was recently announced, inviting applications for funding to be used towards advancing urban agriculture, including but not limited to community gardens, skills training and education, rainwater harvesting, and balcony gardening. GTAA Partners in Project Green and the Sustainable Neighborhoods team look forward to supporting a variety of urban agriculture projects/initiatives working towards addressing food access in the neighbourhood.