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 fresh food access 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 & inadequate civil investment.

Shifting our focus in response to these issues – which became even more glaring during the COVID-19 pandemic – we began to build resources for social cohesion and co-create targeted development of community tools alongside the community.

Among a large list of “firsts” – we created a long Canada’s first ever market operating out of a shipping container, which has been seen on CBC, CTV, Globe and Mail & the National post all to discuss our impact

Since 2013 this vision has led us to co-create innovative projects that provide fresh food access, meaningful engagement, and transform communities.

In 2019 we launched a charity to expand this work, the Growing Neighbourhoods Foundation.

Meet The Team

Lisa Kates20210614151246

Lisa Kates

She/Her | Founding Partner
Darcy Higgins20210614152535

Darcy Higgins

He/Him They/Them | Founding Partner
Dustin Stern20210614152851

Dustin Stern

They/Them He/Him | Director of Operations
Hannah Backman20210614153035

Hannah Backman

She/Her | Director of Community Outreach
Kate Hamilton20210614153522

Kate Hamilton

She/Her | Urban Farm Manager
Bayley Nargang20210614153924

Bayley Nargang

He/Him | Communications Manager
+ Many more inspiring Volunteers, Community Partners & Participants

Our Projects

Moss Park Coalition20220316190756
Coffee & Conversations20220316185050
Our Mission

To foster a community-led environment  which will enable socially cohesive communities. We do this through our programming, community partners, participation opportunities and constantly listening as allies.

Read Our Blog for More Info

Our Vision

We envision Vibrant & Resilient neighbourhoods. A vision which engages the community through a spread of inclusive tools & services.

Developing new connections between neighbours, increasing the use of public spaces, and providing increased access to fresh, diverse & affordable foods.

Donate to the Vision

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, supporters and a few kind funders – we bring the neighbourhood voices to the forefront.