346 Lansdowne Avenue, Toronto

MacGregor Park

See also Site Map

Youtube video of kids' theatre performance



Accessible Gardening


A guide to

Creating And Supporting Accessible Community, and ‘Teaching’ Gardens in Toronto

Public gardens, whether the are community gardens, or ‘Teaching Gardens’ are started by different groups – some are part of an agency – and some are stand alone groups, and some of these groups have special needs – so you will find that sometimes we will label some information for your type of group.



Accessible - Inclusive - AND - Barrier Free

Teaching and Community Gardens


Introduction -

Including Everyone in the Benefits of Community involved Gardening


The Benefits for Everyone

  • While growing and sharing your own local, fresh food is a major reason for joining a community garden, there are many other benefits.
  • One important benefit is the social aspect of a community garden, where people from diverse backgrounds can share their gardening experience. It is a great joy to see the bright faces of new gardeners who just harvested their first radishes!
  • Physical activity is also an important component of gardening, and being able to maintain a certain amount of agility can promote long-term health. This is especially true for our aging population, and can also help get our children off to a healthy start.
  • Everyone can benefit from gardening to reduce stress. Having the ability to choose your own seeds, and having your own plot of land or planter, fills our need to nurture and care for life.


These are just some of the key benefits of gardening—and why the Toronto Community Garden Network supports a myriad of community efforts, and supports the MacGregor Park in creating their teaching garden.



Not Everyone Benefits Yet


Toronto Community Garden Network

Personal Introductions


Susan Berman:

My name is Susan, I have been the coordinator of the Perth Dupont Community Garden since 2006. I took the “How to start a Community Garden” course that was presented by the food animators from FoodShare and the Stop – it was a three day course. Since then I have been involved with the Toronto Community Garden Network (TCGN) I write the website and answer the e-mails. This has given me the opportunity to find out more about C.G.s across the city. .. and I have also had contact with folks from across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia. I have seen many success story gardens, and some very stressful situations involving C.G.s as well.

Being Inclusive: it is important to keep in mind those with special needs. When I was fourteen, I got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and later I also got fibromyalgia. As well, one of my vertebra is crushed ... I have some aches and pains, however, going to the garden helps me feel better on the inside. So, as you can see, accessibility is an important issue to me!

However, just building a raised garden bed is not the answer. There are many people with - not clearly visible - disabilities, as well as those that are confined to a wheelchair or that need a service dog. How can can we accommodate them, and give them an opportunity to garden along side the able-bodied gardeners?

Over the next few weeks more information will be added to show you how you can address this question.


Community Gardens

“Starting & Supporting Inclusive Community Oriented Gardens”

Community Garden Introduction

My goal is that you will be able to use this information to help start and support Community Gardens now and in the future here in Toronto. My goal extends to your audience – the folks that you will be helping to start and maintain these gardens – they may just be ordinary people, they may not have letters after their names, but they will have many good qualities and skills non-the-less.

And they are the key to a successful community garden.

Page 7 of the "Community Garden Handbook":

Core Beliefs of a Community Organizer.


The Process of Starting Your Own Teaching or Community Garden In Toronto

The Grassroots Version - Introduction

Addressed to all general community groups


This Story is about the path you must walk to get to the point of a prepared garden, ready for your community group to start planting. This Story is not a text book on “how” to start a community garden, there are several of those that have already been created. However, I hope that this story will help you across all the steps.


I would like to start with the comparison between a sunflower plant and a full tree of the same diameter of branch. In one season the sunflower can can grow seven to eight feet tall, and have a big flower head, however, it doesn't make it through the winter. A tree, on the other hand, will take several years to reach that size, however, it has strong roots that can weather the seasons and will continue to grow strong and endure.


Part one A – the community group


Part one B – The Physical Garden


Part Two – Keeping The Community Garden Alive

Financial & Organizational - Sustainability

- The Summery or The Overview -




Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region

Utah Conservation Corps - Disability Inclusive Crew

Be inspired to make your community garden more than just wheelchair-friendly

Community Gardens Tool-kit

Find out how you can start a community garden in your local park

Community Garden Handbook 2008.
| Uploads:Gardens/CommunityGardenHandbook-2008.pdf| download now]] (pdf,1.7Mb)
Community Garden Handbook 2008

City of Toronto - Soil Assessment Guide

Garden Guide lines and other sample documents for Community Gardens

Seeds For Change - The 2015 Challenge

2,015 New Food Garden Plots by the year 2015 - Great ideas for outreach and getting funding and sponsors for your community garden

Let’s Grow


A Great Handbook about:

Gardening activities to promote mental health, healthy eating and physical activity

Greening Sacred Spaces

A great source for building a sense of community

FoodShare Community gardens

Great basic plan for starting out

London Community Resource Centre

Practical reasons for having a community garden

Live Green Toronto - Starting a Community Garden VIDEO

Content last modified on November 13, 2014, at 10:36 PM EST