Why do gardens matter?

    Gardens are important to the planet because they represent a natural environment. Plants and trees grow there, taking in carbon and releasing oxygen. Backyard gardens can supply food and support pollinators. Gardening gets you outside and can be a great stress releaser.

    What is a community garden?

    A community garden increases local food production and encourages community involvement in food sustainability. Community gardens may incorporate individual plots or shared growing access. The Sustainability and Asset Management department oversees gardens on City property with support from other departments from May to October. Gardens are fenced and locked, with perimeter mowing, general maintenance, mulch, soil and a water supply.

    For more information, please visit the City of Markham's Community and Allotment Gardens webpage.

    What are the benefits of a community garden?

    1. Local gardens cut down greenhouse gas emissions caused by transporting food long distance.  
    2. Gardens support biodiversity and encourage inclusion and community pride. 
    3. Gardeners can learn from each other and share their resources.
    4. Gardens can be grown in unique areas like rooftops, balconies and green walls.  

    For more information, please visit the City of Markham's Community and Allotment Gardens webpage.

    What is a food security program?

    Food security programs increase health, economic opportunities, equity, skills development and sustainability. The Markham program supports eight community gardens and administers the Kirkham Community Allotment Garden. Community gardens were recognized by Markham as an essential service in 2020 providing access to high quality, affordable & culturally appropriate food during the pandemic and could remain open during lockdowns.  

    What is the Markham Food Charter?

    The Markham Food Charter aligns with the York Region Food Charter. The charter is a collaborative and integrated approach to create a healthy and just food system for all. It guides residents, businesses, and governments in creating a thriving and resilient food system to improve and inspire health.

    What funding is available?

    The Sustainable Neighbourhood Small Grant is a funding program for projects on private property.  Any Markham resident is eligible to apply for a SNSG grant of up to $500. 

    The Markham Environmental Sustainability Fund supports larger community initiiatives as part of the City’s greenMarkham initiative. MESF grants of up to $10,000 will support larger projects and those on public property. 

    Where can I find more information on local gardens?

    GardenAddressOpen to PublicSize of PlotNotes
    Cornell Community Garden**
    Corner of Murray Wilson Dr. and Almira Ave.
    Kirkham Allotment
    120 Kirkham Dr.
    Community Outreach Garden (Blessed Frederic Ozanam)
    250 Walkerville St.
    YesAllotment + Communal
    Expanded in 2021
    Community Garden at Grace Church Markham
    19 Parkway Ave.
    Priority Community Groups
    Several communal areas – one for each group
    Opened in 2021
    Legacy Community Garden**
    Located next to the Markham Green Golf Club practice field, access via trail near Serviceberry Rd.
    YesCommunalDid not operate 2020-2021 due to COVID
    Markham Fair Grounds

    10801 McCowan Rd, Markham, ON L3P 3J3

    10' x 20'
    Expanded in 2021
    Older Adults Community Garden**
    22 Water St.
    Must be a member of Older Adults in Action
    All raised beds

    Did not operate 2020-2021 due to COVID

    Thornhill United Church Community Garden
    25 Elgin St, Thornhill, ON L3T 1W5
    YesAllotments - 6x4ft
    Smaller garden

    **Operated on City property.

    Where can I find locally produced food?

    York Farm Fresh Guide
    Guide to local food producers. Available on line (several languages) or in print from members
    Good Food BoxGood Food Boxes are boxes of fresh, high-quality vegetables and fruit. With the box contents changing depending on availability, each Good Food Box offers a convenient and affordable way to eat healthy, local food.
    Markham Farmers' MarketsFor more information on Farmers' Markets in Markham, please visit Destination Markham.
    Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) 
    Urban agriculture is growing, processing and distribution of food or livestock within and around urban centres with the goal of generating income.
    Local Food Banks
    Markham Food Bank
    Cornerstone Church Food Pantry
    105 Gibson Centre Food Bank
    Food banks and food pantries support local families in need.