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March 17, 2010
City celebrates urban agriculture at Canada Blooms 2010
  
The City of Toronto is showing residents how easy it is to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in any space at this year’s Canada Blooms. Residents can visit the City’s feature garden - “Get Growing Toronto! Urban Agriculture in our City” - at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place from March 17 to 21.

“Gardening is a wonderful way for people of every age, race and ability to get active and to lead a healthy lifestyle,” says Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), this year’s City of Toronto spokesperson for Canada Blooms.

“Urban agriculture is also known to cultivate community,” he says. “It breathes new life into neglected areas and brings neighbourhoods together to achieve their goal of producing food that is healthy, affordable and culturally diverse.”

Visitors to this year’s City of Toronto feature garden can gain a wealth of information about urban agriculture, from cultivation and harvesting techniques to how to plant a container garden, create nutrient-rich compost, and sign up for a free Summer WaterSaver Visit.

Members of Toronto Urban Growers will also be on-site to provide expert advice, along with Toronto’s Community Food Animators - a team that works with residents on a wide range of food programming, such as food markets, community gardens and kitchens.

Even the youngest gardeners can learn at the City’s Children’s Demonstration Garden, featuring live composting worms, a touch and smell garden, and hands-on activities like scavenger hunts and crafts.

For more information about the City of Toronto’s feature garden (such as participating divisions, displays and exhibits), visit http://www.toronto.ca/livegreen/pdf/canada_blooms_to_feature_garden.pdf.

Urban agriculture is a key element in the City’s Climate Change Action Plan, an aggressive environmental framework aimed at reducing Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

“Food miles - the distance food travels from production to consumption - have increased dramatically over the last generation,” says Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone. “Local food not only tastes great, but it also travels less, helping to clean our environment and the air we breathe.”

According to research, the average food item sold in Toronto has traveled nearly 4,500 kilometres, the equivalent of driving from Toronto to Victoria, British Columbia.

In 2008, the City of Toronto became the largest government in Canada to put in place a local food procurement policy for its own operations. Currently, it is estimated that over 25 per cent of the City’s food purchases are from Ontario sources.

The City also operates numerous children’s, allotment and community gardens across Toronto, and provides tips, tools and grants to help people ‘get growing’ through Live Green Toronto.

For more information about the City’s urban agriculture programs, including a video on how to start your own community garden, visit http://livegreentoronto.ca.

For information about Canada Blooms, visit http://canadablooms.com.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Lyne Kyle, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-397-1410, lkyle@toronto.ca





 

 

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