Kats victory garden

Toronto woman is paying homage to her mother with her joyful new business

One Toronto woman's pandemic project has turned into a full-fledged business that's growing more and more popular by the day.

When Kat Lanteigne, founder and owner of Little India's Kat's Victory Garden, lost her mother in the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, she made a vow to herself to start working towards her dreams — and the flower shop stands as a testament to that promise.

"She was a remarkable, fearless woman who did not believe in limitations - especially for women," Kat tells blogTO. "She was adamant that the change that would come with a global pandemic was a chance to dream about a new way of living."

Inspired by her mother's optimism during a time that struck fear and uncertainty into the hearts of many, Kat began working on a vegetable and flower garden, showing it off to her mother, who was living in Nicaragua, over FaceTime.

kats victory garden

"Sustainable sourcing in the floral industry is imperative," says Kat of her responsibly-sourced florals.

"When I was virtually showing her the garden during the pandemic my mum said to me , 'You have a Victory Garden, darling,'" she tells blogTO, referring to the home food-gardening projects that were popular in homes during the First- and Second World Wars.

Not only inspiring the name of the business, the garden also sowed the seeds for the business itself, Kat tells blogTO.

"Our garden is a mainstay in our neighbourhood," she says, "strangers would walk by and tell me I should "do something" with my flowers."

Thus, Kat's Victory Garden was born.

"Opening our shop happened really fast," Kat says, mentioning that she had run a handful of successful pop-ups out of her home before a serendipitous offer to set up shop inside Astral Grow, a local grow shop, arose.

kats victory garden

Kat's Victory Garden takes up half of the space in Little Italy's Astral Grow.

"I was a customer at Astral Grow because a grow shop also has everything you need for organic gardening," she tells blogTO, "every time I went in I asked them if they had new spaces for rent in the area.

"One day they asked me, 'how much space do you need?'" Two months later, Kat signed a lease and began setting up shop in the other side of Astral Grow's space.

"It was wonderful," Kat says.

A 'foam-free' floral shop, sustainability is at the heart of everything Kat does, purchasing locally-grown, fair-trade and farmer-direct flowers and staying away from non-biodegradable florist foam.

After opening on Thanksgiving weekend of 2023 and completely selling out on their second day in business, Kat tells blogTO that the shop and its success is a testament to the love and support of her friends, customers and peers in the industry.

kats victory garden

"Running our store has been a profoundly life changing experience for our family," Kat says.

The shop has also become a way for Kat to reckon with ther own grief while paying homage to her mom's legacy.

"When I decided to open my shop, it was another way to create a monument to her joyful, loving spirit: Her quote is on the window of our store, her nickname was 'Lala' and her middle name was 'Joy,'" she says. "Now I get to honour the Moms that are still here on Mother's Day."

"It delivers much more for me than our customers could ever know," she tells blogTO. "I willed happiness back into my life by making people beautiful bouquets."

Kat's Victory Garden is located at 1386 Gerrard East.

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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