Edible Community Gardens are located throughout the downtown east, and managed by Fred Victor for the benefit of residents and local social service agencies. Three Communal Gardens are located at 40 Oak Street, the Big Park (Regent Park) and Nelson Mandela Park School. 243 Allotment Gardens encourage local residents to grow their own food in their community.
- Allotment Gardens are located at five locations in Regent Park, with 243 10’ x 10’ plots available to residents in Regent Park to plant, maintain, and harvest. We provide compost and good soil, seeds and seedlings, and encourage plant sharing. Our current wait list for Allotment Gardens is at 100 individuals.
- Communal Gardens are located at 40 Oak Street, in Regent Park, at Nelson Mandela Park School, and in pop-up raised gardens at Dundas Street East Mews. We manage and share the Regent Park Communal Garden with 15 community-based social service agencies, including Regent Park Birth Centre, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Green Thumbs Growing Kids, and Street Health.
Fred Victor manages this City of Toronto property, as well as the Wood-Fired Bake Oven and Greenhouse facilities for community use. The 40 Oak Communal Garden is maintained, harvested, and shared by tenants and Food Skills programs.
The benefits of our edible garden program include:
- Good food access: We provide hundreds of people living in Regent Park, including families, children and youth, and seniors, resources to grow their own fresh, nutritious food.
- Promotion of diverse food: Through the Garden Program, we help keep the urban agriculture tradition alive in Regent Park. These gardens reflect newcomer communities from across the globe and the years. Native and foreign produce grown in Regent Park represents our community’s vibrant cultural diversity. In our gardens, kiwi and amaranth grow alongside strawberries, carrots and garlic, which grow alongside Indigenous healing and ceremonial plants such as tobacco and sage.
- Physical health and community engagement: Gardening promotes good nutrition and physical health for all ages. Community volunteers play an integral role, with twice-weekly gardening work-bees, seed exchanges, and compost programs that run year round.
- Gardeners participate in our Seed Exchange Events twice a year
- Fred Victor partners with Toronto Urban Growers for our annual Harvest Festival as part of urban agricultural week, and Not Far From the Tree for local berry harvesting
- Worm-share and composting demo events take place throughout the year and include our partners Food Share, Evergreen Brickworks and Green Thumbs Growing Kids.
- All produce scraps from our Meal Program prep are collected daily to create our own compost. We also include eggshells from breakfast service (200 eggs a week), coffee grinds, and tea bags. Egg cartons are recycled for seed starting or are added to our compost along with shredded paper from our offices.
This program is supported by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Watkins Fund/Wesley C. Smith Fund for Innovative Programs and Projects in Addressing Poverty and Children at Risk at The United Church of Canada Foundation.