Ottawa Seed Library Network

What is the Ottawa Seed Library Network ?

The Ottawa Seed Library Network (OSLN) is a collection of free seed libraries around Ottawa that emphasize providing residents with regionally adapted seeds for growing food.

The Ottawa Seed Library was established in 2016 as a means to share locally grown seed, but to also build skills and resilience within our communities to learn about growing food and saving seeds.

We encourage users to “borrow” seeds from their local Little Free Seed Library to grow food at home, and save seeds from what they grow to return at the end of the season to replenish the library.

This will allow library users to continue participating and will provide stronger Regionally Adapted Seeds! 

Register your Little Free Seed Library here

Regionally adapted seeds are harvested from plants grown and replanted in the same region. By replanting and harvesting, the plant has produced resilience to the growing conditions and allows for greater yield because of its adaptations.

It allows home gardeners to build the skills of harvesting and drying seeds to use them the following year. Developing home gardeners into stronger gardeners will give them more knowledge and independence in their food-growing careers.

OSLN builds resilience within our neighbourhoods. Ottawa/Canada is relatively seed insecure due to our dependence on imported seed, and growing more regionally adapted seed allows for greater food sovereignty.

It is free and provides equitable access to seed.  

  • Receive a selection of seeds to get your library started
  • Access our forum for Seed Librarians to connect with others across the region
    • i.e. find excess seed for your library,
    • chat about ideas for your library,
    • share resources
  • Receive technical support for facilitating your Little Free Seed Library, including access to signage to connect library users to growing guides
  • Contribute to building neighbourhood food resilience by providing free access to seed
  • Have your Little Free Seed Library mapped as a neighbourhood food asset

There are multiple roles within the Seed Library Network that you can dedicate your time to to help build resilience across communities in Ottawa.

  • Become a Little Free Seed Librarian 
  • Register your existing Little Free Seed Library
  • Volunteer to be a seed packer or seed germination tester

For more information on how to get involved, contact

We hold regular workshops on How to Run Your Little Free Seed Library.
Check out our Upcoming Workshops page for your next opportunity.

Don’t see an upcoming date? Reach out to to let them know you’re interested.

The workshop covers:

  • Different design ideas
  • Seed management
  • Library care
  • Placement regulations
  • Outlines of Seed Librarian benefits (FoodChat)
  • Connections to other Seed Librarians

We are proud to partner with The Good Shit to supply both DIY kits and pre-assembled libraries for the Ottawa Seed Library Network.

To build your own:

  • Purchase a DIY kit locally from The Good Shit (in partnership with the OSLN)
    • Purchase DIY kit – $99
    • Purchase DIY kit with posts and ground spike – $139 
  • Check out the Little Free Library website for excellent resources and plans

To purchase pre-built:

  • Purchase a pre-built Little Free Seed Library including ground post, signage etc., locally from The Good Shit (in partnership with the OSLN)
    • Purchase pre-assembled -$150 
    • Purchase pre-assembled with posts and ground spike – $190
  • We welcome all types of Little Free Seed Library to register, including ones on front lawns, schools, organizations, community gardens, etc. 

Before you Install a Little Free Seed Library on your front lawn,
make sure you consult Ottawa’s Bylaws. 

  • If the library will be placed in the Right-of-Way, please ensure you have completed the acknowledgement letter for the City Ottawa.
  • Follow this link for the following information:
    • Installation requirements
    • Building requirements
    • Maintenance responsibilities
    • Registration information

What is the Right-of-Way (ROW)?

  • The Right-Of-Way is the City-stewarded parcel of land that is typically located at the front of every property steward’s land, to allow for utilities, road/sidewalk maintenance, etc.

To find where your ROW is:
    • Visit geoOttawa
    • Search your address
    • Add the “Property Parcels” layer
    • See how much of your front lawn falls outside of your property lines


To register your Little Free Seed Library with Just Food, complete this Google Form

  • NOTE: If your Little Free Seed Library is on your property within your right-of-way, you must fill out this acknowledgement letter for the City of Ottawa.


We welcome all Little Free Seed Libraries to register including ones on front lawns, schools, community gardens, etc. 

Are you Ready to help grow the Ottawa Seed Library Network but don’t know where to start?
Or do you already have a Seed Library or home garden and want to learn how to save seeds?

Here are some resources to help you get started:


Start-up Farm Program

Just Food established the Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment, and training, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm business.

> Read More about Just Food’s Start-up Farm program