BREAKING NEWS – Community Gardens are Open in Ontario

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your efforts to make this happen! 

Community Gardens Are Opened in Ontario!

The Ontario Government announced this morning that it is amending an emergency order to help ensure food security during the pandemic, which will:

“Permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province. These gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity. Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.”

See this announcement HERE.

Congratulations to everyone in our community who wrote a letter, signed a petition, took part in articles and shared information through your contacts.  You helped identify the importance of growing food at the household level and the importance of community food gardening available everywhere (on balconies, yards, raised beds and community gardens).  You showed the positive ways we can work together with government at all levels as partners serving community interests.    

What’s Next?

Please note that community garden re-opening will need approval locally from Public Health. In Ottawa, community gardens will need to get this approval through Just Food, the partner with City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health to support gardens throughout the city.  Just Food is finalizing garden safety protocols with Ottawa Public Health, and we will be in touch with all garden coordinators this coming week with an online webinar to get started. You will hear from Sun Shan (Community Gardening Network Coordinator) and Morgan (summer student focused on community gardens) from Just Food re. getting your garden set up with the necessary protocols in place in order to get permission for gardens opening.  We will also cover if coordinators or gardeners do not want to garden or coordinate this year, which is up to each person, and how that will work, depending on where your garden is located.