Could Toronto Provide 10% of its Fresh Vegetable Requirements from Within its Own Boundaries? Part II, Policy Supports and Program Design

  • Rod MacRae York University
  • Joe Nasr MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University
  • James Kuhns MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University
  • Lauren Baker Formerly Sustain Ontario, now Toronto Food Policy
  • Russ Christianson Rhythm Communications
  • Martin Danyluk University of Toronto
  • Abra Snider Ryerson University
  • Eric Gallant York University
  • Penny Kaill-Vinish York University
  • Marc Michalak York University
  • Janet Oswald York University
  • Sima Patel York University
  • Gerda Wekerle York University
Keywords: Planning, Policy and Program Supports, Toronto, Urban Agriculture

Abstract

Urban agriculture in Toronto largely focuses on self-provisioning, but it could be scaled up significantly. Our findings in an earlier paper indicate that the supply of land is not an insurmountable barrier. Rather, other more subtle impediments exist, including taxation systems and structures that assume agriculture is a strictly rural activity; inadequate sharing of knowledge among urban producers; limited access to soil, water, and seeds; and the lack of incentives to attract landowners and foundations to provide financial or in-kind support.

The potential exists to develop urban agriculture so that it supplies 10% of the city's commercial demand for fresh vegetables. Scaling up to this level requires significant policy and program initiatives in five key areas: Increasing urban growers' access to spaces for production; putting in place the physical infrastructure and resources for agriculture; integrating local food production into the food supply chain; creating systems for sharing knowledge; and creating new models for governance, coordination, and financing. Our recommendations, while focusing on Toronto, offer lessons for those currently attempting to strengthen urban agriculture in other cities.

Author Biographies

Rod MacRae, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; 4700 Keele Street; Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada; +1-416-736-2100 x22116.
Joe Nasr, MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University
MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University Centre for Studies in Food Security.
James Kuhns, MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University
MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture; Ryerson University Centre for Studies in Food Security.
Lauren Baker, Formerly Sustain Ontario, now Toronto Food Policy
Toronto Food Policy, Toronto, Canada.
Russ Christianson, Rhythm Communications
Rhythm Communications, RR4 Campbellford, Ontario K0L 1L0 Canada; +1-705-653-0527.
Martin Danyluk, University of Toronto
Geography Department, University of Toronto.
Abra Snider, Ryerson University
Graduate, Food Security Certificate, Ryerson University; now Fresh City Farms.
Eric Gallant, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Penny Kaill-Vinish, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Marc Michalak, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Janet Oswald, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Sima Patel, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Gerda Wekerle, York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.
Published
2012-02-09
How to Cite
MacRae, R., Nasr, J., Kuhns, J., Baker, L., Christianson, R., Danyluk, M., Snider, A., Gallant, E., Kaill-Vinish, P., Michalak, M., Oswald, J., Patel, S., & Wekerle, G. (2012). Could Toronto Provide 10% of its Fresh Vegetable Requirements from Within its Own Boundaries? Part II, Policy Supports and Program Design. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(2), 147-169. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.022.002