Community Gardening and COVID-19

Updated May 25, 2021


Community Gardening During Stay-at-Home Orders

Gardeners are allowed to tend to their individual plot, and follow rules at each garden about keeping distance, wearing masks, sanitizing hands and tools, etc.

Garden coordinators will assess whether to keep, restrict or remove garden-owned sitting and gathering areas, based on public health advisory and specific garden layout.

No events during stay-at-home orders, which includes socials, training, or work parties at the garden that brings people together to the site. Garden construction is deemed as essential building and is allowed – Just Food will work with gardens before building starts, to review and approve the safety plan. For any questions on this, please get in touch with Sun Shan at communitygardening@justfood.ca.

Opening Your Community Garden

Updated May 25, 2021

Just Food encourages all community gardens in Ottawa (including those on lands owned by the City of Ottawa, NCC, Ottawa Community Housing, Schools, Faith Groups, Businesses, etc.) to contact comms@justfood.ca to get approval to open.

We worked with stakeholders at City of Ottawa – City of Ottawa Community Garden liaison, staff members at Ottawa Public Health, and Bylaw officers, who provided review for the following garden agreements.

Same as last year, it is essential that all community garden coordinators sign on to the Coordinator COVID Agreement before opening the garden in 2021. A list of the gardens whose coordinators have signed onto these agreements will be provided to Bylaw, for gardens to operate during the pandemic. We continue to count on everyone’s effort to keep gardeners safe and healthy during this unordinary time.

To get approval, each community garden will need to read, fill out, and submit the following:

  1. Coordinators Agreement: download the Word document in English or in French (will need to save onto your own device).
    • A reminder that a minimum of two garden coordinators per garden must sign the Coordinator Agreement, and all adult garden members (all coordinators, gardeners, staff, volunteers) must sign the Garden Member Agreement.
    • Signed Coordinator Agreement will be returned to Just Food at comms@justfood.ca, so we can review, and provide approval for your garden to formally open for 2021. We are working as fast as possible to provide the approval.
  2. Gardeners Agreement: click here and download the Word document onto your own device. The gardener agreement is available in English, French, Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish, Somali (click each link to view and download the document).
    • Same as last year, signed Garden Member Agreements will NOT need to be returned to Just Food, as they are for coordinators to keep track. Garden members can only access their plots after they agree to the terms and sign. This agreement can be incorporated with your existing gardener agreement, or be used alone.

Just Food is printing these signs for all gardens and will plan out the installation with City of Ottawa and other partners. Please contact Carmen at comms@justfood.ca with your requests for signs and what wording you are looking for.

  • Garden plot sign: click here to view PDF
  • Community garden COVID-19 etiquette sign: click here to view PDF

Community gardens are among the very first outside of farms and grocery stores to be regarded as essential services on April 25th, 2020. Community gardens, as Essential Food Services, are allowed to be kept open. In order to maintain access as essential services, we need to ensure continued safety. Let’s keep up the good work!


Other Links

BREAKING NEWS – Community Gardens are Open in Ontario – April 25, 2020

Update on Community Gardens Opening in Ontario – April 16, 2020

Update on Community Gardens as Essential Food Services – April 7, 2020

Gardening and COVID-19 Info – March 27, 2020