Changing Toronto’s Foodscape

The Toronto foodscape is changing and many commentators and practitioners have been writing about it, their work scattered across many publications. We are assembling this work here, as a resource for those interested in learning more about food in Toronto.

We’ve organized the material according to the 5As of food security as elaborated by our colleagues at the Ryerson Centre for Studies in Food Security: Availability; Accessibility; Acceptability; Adequacy; Agency.

The work you will find here ranges from academic to popular, and roughly to elegantly formatted. Some pieces have been published elsewhere, others not. Often we link to other Toronto based web sites where important work is already posted. What unites this work is the analysis of how the urban foodscape is changing, what forces are driving those changes, and what strategies are being put in place to accelerate the change process.

Our purpose is to make the information available as quickly as possible, since much of this information is time sensitive. We’ll be adding new chapters, or updating old ones, on a regular basis, so we urge you to return regularly. You can comment and offer reviews, updates or corrections. You may want to post your own work or suggest topics for future work.

This resource has been compiled and edited by:
Rod MacRae, PhD, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, and Lauren Baker, PhD, Toronto Food Policy Council.

Many thanks to Mustafa Koc, co-founder of the Centre and a professor in Ryerson’s Sociology Department, and Gerda Wekerle, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, for their advice on the structure of this collection.

Additional resources

Readers may want to review some hardcopy books that cover complementary stories of the Toronto foodscape:
Knechtel, J. (ed.). 2007. Food. MIT Press, Boston.
Palassio, C. and Wilcox, A. (eds.). 2009. The Edible City: Toronto’s food from farm to fork. Coach House Books, Toronto.

How to use this resource

The boxes below have been used to categorize the many articles and resources. You can browse through these categories, or click on one of the tabs (‘tags’) below to search for articles on a specific topic of interest.

How to contribute to this resource

Email us your abstract and link or file at, with the subject: For entry into Toronto Food Research.

This work is copyrighted under a Creative Commons license.  Feel free to use it for public good purposes, with attribution.  Should you wish to excerpt sections for another non-commercial work, please contact the editors prior to publication.


Toronto has a rich history of organizations, enterprises and individuals working towards food security, food sovereignty.
These articles tell the stories of food movements and networks in the GTA.


How does food get from field to plate in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region?

What are the changing dynamics in our foodshed?

The availability of our food is contingent on a food chain that includes global trade, regional food production–urban, rural and rooftop–the processing and distribution sectors, as well as waste management


Where we live and our ability to access fresh food impacts our health and quality of life.

These articles document the changing food environment in and around Toronto and cover topics such as retail and purchasing, procurement, income and inclusion.


The Greater Toronto Area is the most diverse area in Canada, with ever-changing waves of immigrants from around the world.

How do we ensure the food available is culturally acceptable for the diverse diets of our population?

How is Toronto’s diversity shaping our foodshed in exciting ways?


What are the elements of a sustainable food system that regenerate our health and environment?

Sustainable urban design, local sustainable food procurement, organic and agroecological food production ensure that we are adequately planning for the future.


Awareness about food issues is skyrocketing, and people are taking action for a better food system.

These articles review the strategies people and places are developing to transform their food system.

Ideas of food democracy and citizenship are explored.