See also Site Map
In the 1880s, when downtown industrial growth meant soot and smoke, Toronto’s parks were celebrated as “the lungs of the city”. Parks were places where people could retreat from the hustle of daily life to find peace and quiet in nature. At the turn of the century, parks and open spaces came to be appreciated as places where youth could develop their physical and moral strength. Parks were health outlets for Toronto young people’s boundless energy.
More recently, as hours of work gradually dropped and family time came to be more valued, parks and open spaces became places where the entire family could enjoy an outing and where children’s playgrounds were available. That’s when the once-separate terms “parks” and “recreation” came to be linked together and spoken about in the same breath, as we do today.
At the beginning of a new millenium, a new generation of Toronto citizens see community gardening as an important function of city parks. Citizen tended gardens help keep parks attractive and safe. They also provide recreational opportunities for young and old. They are places where families can grow together, where children can learn with their parents about where food comes from and the caring that goes into growing it.
Our green spaces continue to serve as lungs for our city by reducing carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere, pumping out fresh oxygen and water vapour, and cutting down the need to import as much produce. With the Community Gardens Program, Torontonians can grow and eat fresh produce from their own local neighbourhoods. Community gardens provide new ways for parks to link with the world around them. They enhance fresh food production and stimulating community development.
So, community gardens honour the traditions that have made Toronto’s parks and open spaces so important among our public as well as sow the seeds for new traditions. Our generation of Parks and Recreation staff are privileged to be able to play a role in promoting these new traditions. We hope to makes community gardens even more accessible and popular than they are now.
There is a need for another community garden in the Junction Triangle. There are many people on the waiting list for a plot at the Perth Dupont Community Garden, as well as many other interested people, including the local Girls and Boys Club.