Urban Farm at Ashbridge Estate

Ready to visit the City’s newest urban farm?

We are the custodian of property in Ashbridge Estate located in the heart of Queen E at Greenwood, in a unique partnership with Ontario Heritage Trust.

The Estate used to be a farm, and when Building Roots was entrusted with the stewardship lands, we thought that the best use would be to turn it back into what it once was.

The result of that decision is the development of a thriving urban farm which is stewarded by Building Roots and cared for by farmers and community partners. Kale, swiss chard, garlic, callaloo, eggplant, tomatillos, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and a Three Sisters garden with seeds from local First Nations, are among the many crops that we are growing in 2019.

In addition we have large stainless steel containers and cedar beds on the lawns that are home to many kinds of fresh herbs and because there used to be an apple orchard we have planted different varieties of apple trees and fruiting shrubs along the back wall.

The Estate is open to the public and we encourage people to go for a walk in this beautiful green space and see what’s growing. Planting is done in the spring and it’s always a thrill to watch as things grow.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this project is that all the food grown will be harvested and sold on a pay-what-you-can basis in Building Roots’ Moss Park Market, serving the community with organically grown and super local food.

We thank the Ontario Heritage Trust and our partners, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Hope Depot Canada Foundation, Carrot Cache, Alan Levine, Black Farmers and Growers Collective of Toronto, NishDish, Bite with Love, Duke of Connaught Public School, Abokichi, Chef Bashir Munye, and our many volunteers.

Food & Community Consulting

Contact Us to learn more or start a conversation about what Building Roots can create with you.

Toronto Community Housing

Building Roots was hired by Toronto Community Housing to help the residents of 250 Davenport create a vision for the future of their community event and kitchen space. We worked closely with the residents for four months and developed a cohesive plan for a community kitchen, hosting potluck dinners and workshops achieving community development along the way.

11 Wellesley Market

Lanterra Developments, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and partners worked with Building Roots to create a market at 11 Wellesley St, a part of downtown Toronto that welcomed the animation of a space sitting dormant for years. Building Roots created a popular summer market focysing on local food artisans, musicians and craftspeople. The program supported Ryerson students to test and develop new enterprises.

Mirvish Village

Westbank with the local community hired Building Roots to engage local businesses and residents in a fall festival in Mirvish Village. Local vendors from the community lined Markham Street with a variety of diverse flavours.Building Roots also hosted three well attended events in Markham House:

    • An open house featuring wonderful Zimbabwean meat and vegetarian pies from Evis, owner of Mnandi Pies.
    • The popular Future of Urban Agriculture Symposium with a dynamic group of presenters; Toronto Urban Growers, Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative, Wastenot Worm Farms, Waterfarmers Aquaponics, Evergreen, Grow For Good Inc. Abokichi served onigiri and Le Dolci provided us with sweet treats.
    • Hosting Bev Yap, owner of Kyopo Kitchen, in a cooking workshop where everyone made dumplings with her vegan kimchee
Edible Allan Gardens

EAG began with The Urban Harvest Festival, the first of its kind in Allan Gardens. Building Roots worked closely with ERA Architects, caterToronto, Friends of Allan Gardens, Ryerson and involved residents to create a hugely successful event in the park. It was a day that brought out many families to see what new and exciting things urban agriculturalists were up to and get a strong sense of what was possible in Allan Gardens.

This event was a springboard for a collaboration between Building Roots, Ryerson University, City of Toronto, Friends of Allan Gardens, Green Thumbs Growing Kids and many local community groups to create a beautiful urban agriculture demonstration urban agriculture demonstration behind the Conservatory. Hundreds of people visited to see how food could be grown in public spaces and it became a tourist attraction as well as a beautiful picnic spot. This project is going into its third summer.

Corporate Team Building Gardens

We worked with enthusiastic employees and management of Ozery Bakery, Tyco Securities and others to design and plant raised beds with edibles that employees harvested and cooked.

Yorkwoods Public School Garden

We partnered with Ozery Bakery and the very supportive principal and staff at this school south of Jane and Finch to design and create a substantial edible garden on the property. The kids were delighted to learn where their food comes from, enjoy soup in September, and couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty!

Syrian Community Potluck Picnic

In Ashbridge Estate, Building Roots partnered with the Arab Community Centre and local advocates to organize a fun, informal potluck with Syrian Newcomers and the broader East End Community. The park was filled with Syrian music, kids playing, and caught a moment of family reunion with a BBC reporter that went viral globally.