This toolkit is designed to help members of the public learn how about how development works and how you can effectively advocate for food access (food stores, commercial kitchens, urban agriculture, markets, food hubs) to be part of new housing.

It includes many resources, which may be relevant for advocating for food policy on other issues, or for advocating for related needs in development (i.e. affordable housing or greenspace). Though specific to Toronto, much of what you read will also be applicable to other municipalities in Ontario, and some tools and ideas useful in other areas.

There is a tremendous amount of development happening in Toronto – more high-rise building under construction than any other North American city including New York and Mexico City. Imagine the possibilities to create this development in a way that increases food access, sustainable community infrastructure, economic opportunities and attractive food-friendly public spaces.

Developments happen when a landowner decides to propose a new building. A development application process begins. Learn about the development process here!

The development process includes many opportunities for public input and sometimes funding for community benefits. Learn about when and how to bring input to a development proposal and make a difference here!

You may want to make a presentation, talk to a councillor or write a letter as part of your advocacy. Learn more about building a case and making an effective pitch to decision makers here!

In advocating for good food infrastructure in new developments, there is a lot that is possible, with a number of recent examples to turn to. Learn what to advocate for to grow, cook, buy and share food in your neighbourhood, here!

Thank you to the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council for their partnership in the development of this toolkit. Written by Anne Siu, Darcy Higgins, Lisa Kates and Avery Carr.