About Building Roots
We Envision Vibrant, Resilient Neighbourhoods.
Starting in 2013 as a progressive grassroots social venture, Building Roots was initially founded in response to a lack of access to fresh food and agricultural growing space across Toronto.
We believe that inadequate food systems are a by-product of greater social issues within these communities. Without addressing the need to heal our roots, we cannot address poverty, social isolation and inadequate civil investment.
Shifting our focus in response to these issues–which became even more glaring during the pandemic–Building Roots and community members began to build resources for social cohesion and co-create the targeted development of community tools.
Among a large list of “firsts,” we created Canada’s first ever fresh food market operating from a shipping container out of a parking lot. The news story has since been seen on CBC, CTV, the Globe & Mail and the National Post.
Since 2013, this vision has helped us co-create innovative projects providing fresh food access, meaningful engagement, and the transformation of communities.
In 2019, we launched a charity to expand this work, namely the Growing Neighbourhoods Foundation.
Covid-19 brought with it immense challenges. Through participating in, and bearing witness to, the Moss Park and Downtown East community, we’ve seen people come together to take care of one another through collaboration, recovery, participation, connection, and healing.
The community we work with is comprised primarily of folks who are deeply impacted by poverty, food insecurity, and associated social determinants of health.
We work with Black folks, Indigenous peoples, and People of Colour, seniors, folks living in isolation and people with accessibility barriers to accessing food and other programming. Through our programming, advocacy, and outreach, we partner with the community through a 360 degree community-based approach, centering around community voices, skills, and capacities. While the core of our programming is for folks from marginalized backgrounds, we recognize and encourage anybody and everybody to participate.
Meet The Team
+ Many more inspiring Volunteers, Community Partners & Participants
How do we do it?
We maintain a streamlined team, using an asset-based community development approach, creating impact that punches beyond our weight. Our team creates successful partnerships with public agencies, groups and businesses while fostering resident leadership, job creation and volunteerism.
Directly supported by community partners, residents, allies and a few kind funders, we bring the neighbourhood voices to the forefront.