Over the last 10 years, Downsview Park has been working on a plan to establish a 4-hectare/10-acre urban agricultural farm. The farm, which is now under construction, will be located just north of Downsview Park Boulevard and operated by Fresh City Farms. It will be one of the largest in Canada.
Our Park team and Fresh City are very excited to welcome you to the farm once it’s ready. To stay up to date about construction and opening dates, please subscribe to our newsletter.
History of the Urban Farm
In 2011, Downsview Park launched a pilot project to test community and market interest and the viability of urban farming in the area. The results of the pilot showed significant interest in urban farming and food sustainability.
In 2017, the Park launched an urban agriculture initiative and workshop to explore the possibility of creating a permanent urban agriculture space on its grounds. The results of the workshop were shared with the local and broader community at an open house, which was held the same year. The purpose of the open house was to introduce the initiative, acknowledge feedback received from workshop participants, share initial ideas and aspirations for the project, and gather additional public feedback.
In 2018, after locating the most suitable area in the south end of the Park to expand and create a permanent urban farm, Downsview Park issued a request for proposals to seek an operator. Fresh City was awarded the contract in 2019.
Since then, Fresh City and Downsview Park have been working to develop a master plan concept. A landscape architect began the detailed design of the farm’s construction, which was completed in December 2021. The urban farmland is now in the hands of Fresh City.
Downsview Park is proud to have seen this initiative through from a pilot project to a full-scale urban farm. We are looking forward to seeing it grow, as the soil enriches over time and yields more organic produce. For more information, visit Fresh City Farms.
Here’s a fun fact:
During the warmer months, you might be able to find Fresh City’s low-tech greenhouses, otherwise known as “caterpillar tunnels” or “high tunnels,” outside the farm pavilion. These don’t require any electricity!
With Fresh City relocating to the Urban Farm, the greenhouses and three acres of land at the North end of the Park are still being cultivated by Sundance Harvest and the Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective.
Sundance Harvest is a food-justice-centered, year-round urban farm located in Toronto, Ontario. They operate a 0.6-hectare/1.5-acre site at Downsview Park, which includes two greenhouses. Sundance Harvest strives to provide resources, knowledge and guidance to youth who are marginalized within the food system to start their own food and land sovereignty movements, create their own urban farming practice and to eradicate institutionalized racism within the food system.
For more information, visit Sundance Harvest.
Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective
The Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective believe that healthy and nutritious food should be made accessible to everyone. Their initiative aims to provide fresh, healthy, culturally relevant, locally grown food to as many families in need, to facilitate workshops that empower people to live and eat sustainably, and to bring people from all walks of life, from various communities to the table.
For more information, visit Toronto Black Farmers.
Can I pick my own fruits and vegetables?
No, all our farmland is currently operated by Fresh City, Sundance Harvest and Toronto Black Farmers. Picking your own produce is strictly prohibited as you would also be trespassing on their leased property. On occasion, these vendors hold farmers’ markets during the harvest season. We encourage you to make your fruit and vegetable purchases there.
Does Downsview Park have community allotment gardens?
No, however our tenant, Fresh City Farms, has a member farmer program. Please contact them for more information.