Supporting Food-Security Initiatives + Social Connectivity

Community Anchor & Social Services/Experience

Through community services based on gardening and cooking, locals improve their relationships with one another and create a more connected and engaged community.
Opportunities for Education (Agricultural & Cultural)

Local organizations seek to promote wellness, sense of belonging, and community through their programming. Gardening provides an environment for these existing programs to conduct consistent and engaging linguistic, cultural, and lifestyle education.
Access to Greenspace & Health and Affordable Food

The community coming together to provide a healthy neighborhood with the ability of affordable food within a green environment.
Integrated Local Economy

Integrating food security programs would not only provide reasonably priced foods for lower income members of the community, but would create an active interdependence between organizations to boost a local economy. Connecting local resources provides more job opportunities and builds resilience among small business owners.

How Might We…

... Create welcoming and safe spaces for people to use year-round for cooking/gardening?

… Address tensions that may arise from cultural differences that could affect the intended positive impacts of shared gardens?

... Involve community consultation to identify the needs of the neighourhood?

Name: Azaadi
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Ethic Background: First Native, Metis
Personality: Family Oriented, Curious, Eager
  • Undiagnosed mental illness
  • Looking for a social connection being recluse and distant
  • Takes care of younger siblings (needs to cook for them)
Goals and Needs:
  • Need of reconnection to his roots/history/tradition. This related back to medicine and anything involved with gardening.
  • Food literacy, Learn to cook and help provide for his family
School and sports (extracurricular activities)

Name: Yeshe
Age: 70
Gender: Female
Ethnic Background: Tibetan
Personality: Determined, Community Oriented, Curious
  • Not fluent in English
  • Recent arrival (2018)
  • Previously lived in home with garden, now adjusting to living in an apartment building
  • Enjoys gardening
Goals and Needs:
  • Learn and understand the culture and improved relationship with youth
  • Contribute to local community and make friends with classmates in ESL class
  • ESL Learner, Life Long Refugee, Gardening

Name: Garab
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Ethnic Background: Tibetan
Personality: Hardworking, Hilarious, Optimistic
  • Owner of a local mom and pop run restaurant – Tibet on Queens
  • Great customer outreach; made it a priority to respond to every review (good or bad)
  • Spending more on his business than he’s making
Goals and Needs:
  • Attempting to raise enough and sponsor his kid’s immigration to Canada
  • Expose people to Tibetan Cuisine
  • Establish a successful business
  • Customers who are uneducated about Tibetan culture/food practices leaving negative reviews and jeopardizing the business reputation


Existing Resources

Scope of Potential Interventions

Scenario Diagram

Mapping target group interactions to establish approaches to address shared needs and desires.

Cowan Ave & Milky Way
: Scenario showing the before and after of Cowan street in the next 10 years or so. The proposal is to close off Cowan Ave from Queen St until Melbourne Ave. This improves community relations and creates a pedestrian based streetscape with the potential for the implementation of pop- up kitchen and market space. This promotes interaction between the residences of the neighbourhood. The community is able to be involved in this intervention by choosing the colours of the street paving, taking care of the modular planters and the organization of the pop up shops.

Masaryk Park: More community events and social services in a revamped park may bring more participation to help grow the gardening/food community. This scenario shows a market place right off of the current garden, and the organic food process which will proceed from garden, to preparation and then to the plates of the neighbourhood. The community is able to pilot this intervention with pop up shops, kitchens and eating spaces for local events. This design intervention provides a casual and affordable way for the community to interact.

Dunn Ave Parkette: This initiative looks to create a year round space for gardening and urban agriculture through the intervention of a greenhouse structure. This would provide food security year round, a communal space for gatherings and events, and improve the overall experience of the locals in the neighbourhood. The greenhouse will also look to establish itself alongside the existing church to utilize the pre-existing resources and services.




  • Laneways have the potential to act as inviting, educational and social spaces
  • Greenery can be invited into these spaces to enhance mental and physical health
  • Provided that spaces are of ample size, gardens can be implemented and follow similar initiatives as the Milky Way Community

Beside the Local Market which is an organic food store - relation in program corner condition: traffic

Beside Parkdale Collegiate Institute (potential to act as social space for students)


  • Adjacent to an art gallery
  • Close to the public library which is an existing community gathering space
  • On Queens St W: lots of traffic
  • Dollarama being one of the largest stores in the surrounding area would be somewhere that attracts youth


Building upon the existing infrastructure of the site and revitalizing spaces
Consider sidewalk paving, lighting, greenery, etc.

  • Strong programming: library, ESL classes, home to Milky Way Garden
  • Building doesn't seem suitable to fit these needs, lacking an inviting feeling
  • Could be revitalized

  • Social gathering space

[decentralized] garden installations + youth

[centralized] urban farm + communal hub

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.