Food by Ward
Food by Ward shows the unequal distribution of food assets across the city and addresses the barriers communities face when trying to find or start food programs. It tells the story of the incredible food-minded grassroots organizing that is happening across the city and makes the case that food should be considered just as important as other urban infrastructure. Across Toronto, communities are building food assets to solve city problems like poor access to healthy food, social isolation, economic development, and food insecurity.
About the initiative
The Food by Ward initiative aims to:
- Grow the City of Toronto’s appetite for using food assets to solve city problems
- Optimize the City’s role in managing community food assets
- Inspire, support, and guide community Food Champions
It helps Toronto residents answer questions like:
- Where is my closest food bank?
- Where can I find a community garden in my ward?
- Where are the farmers’ markets in Toronto?
Toronto’s food policy leadership is recognized globally. Vibrant markets, neighbourhoods, and restaurants attract millions of tourists. The food sector accounts for one in 10 jobs in the city. A vibrant food movement has developed a mosaic of gardens, farms, kitchens, and community spaces centred on good food. Yet, 12% of Torontonians are food insecure and food banks in Toronto record almost 1 million visits each year (Who’s Hungry, 2018).
Food by Ward showcases Toronto’s food assets and activities and calls for greater attention to food as an integral element of our urban system. Food by Ward’s goals are to:
- Highlight the geographical complexity of food resources, networks, and systems in Toronto
- Help City Councillors see food assets in their communities and integrate the food assets and activities in each ward into broader planning and decision-making
- Build tools, skills, capacity, and channels so food leaders are able to move food priorities forward;
- Strengthen and connect local and city-wide food networks to facilitate conversations on food with City Councillors and city leaders
- Advocate for the equitable distribution of food assets in all wards across the city
Food Champions are people who care about food, healthy communities, and economic development, and are working together to protect, promote, and strengthen food assets. They advocate for food assets in their ward by contacting their councillors to let them know what is important to their community. They visit local markets and they enjoy community gardens. We can all be food champions.
Food Champions also help to improve Food by Ward. If you notice an error or missing data, please email the Toronto Food Policy Council at TFPCtoronto@gmail.com.
How to use the map
Watch this video to learn how to use the Food by Ward map.