toronto fruit orchard

Someone is building a fruit tree orchard in the middle of Toronto

As increasing food insecurity among Toronto residents continues to be one of the most urgent issues to come out of the pandemic, one neighbourhood is taking matters into their own hands and planting an urban fruit orchard to address the issue.

The new ThorncliffeGrows project aims to provide fresh, local food to the community in Thorncliffe Park and tackle current and longer-term food access issues by growing fresh produce anywhere that allows for it.

"COVID-19 has made it clear that access to safe, healthy food is more important than ever before," notes a release about the new project. 

"For many people this may mean starting a 'Victory garden' in their backyard, or growing food in an allotment plot, but for tower communities, this access to green space isn’t an option. The ThorncliffeGrows project plans to change that."

The project will bring an "edible landscape" to the residents of nine tower communities in Thorncliffe Park through two urban garden sites and fruit trees planted among the towers. 

The new trees will allow residents to pick their own fruit and vegetables, and the garden and orchard will serve as a place for educational programs where residents can learn skills like fruit pruning, planting, maintenance and harvesting in future years.

On May 17 at 2 p.m., volunteers will gather to work on the project by planting 37 fruit trees across Thorncliffe Park. And of course, social distancing measures will be implemented and respected.

"I look forward to seeing edible trees incorporated in our local gardens and community streets' landscaping," said Kathleen Wynne, MPP for Don Valley West, in a statement.

The new project is a collaboration of summerlunch+Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers and land owners Park Properties and Starlight Investments. Trees and support have also been donated by The Neighbourhood Office, GrandTrees, Not Far from the Tree, TreeMobile, and Extinction Rebellion.

Lead photo by

Hermes Riviera


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