Summer 2015

Last year, over 186,900 lbs of local food was produced on public land in the Greater Toronto Area: the epitome of public land for the public good.

And really, this Toronto and Region Conservation Authority land is offering much more than what pounds can measure.

Read our recent blog post here as we  take a look at the immeasurable benefits of prioritizing agriculture land, farming on public land, and all the good that is growing from diverse urban farm projects across the GTA.


Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) is working with the province to reach youth and new Canadians through building the profile of the food and beverage processing sector.


The campaign will officially launch in the fall, along with a new informative, web-based platform. The campaign comes at an important time, with a deficit of people entering the industry, yet an increased need in the growing, flourishing sector. 

Currently in the research phase, FBO has issued a survey for processors
to gather a deeper understanding of the specific skills that are in need. Read more on the campaign here, and if you are a processor we encourage you to fill out (and/or share) the survey.


Harvest Speciality Mills is currently in the building phase of an innovative grain cleaning, milling and packing facility in Halton Region's Burlington with prime state-of-the-art technology.

The plant will offer grains, pulses and dried fruits to customers of all sizes, marketing the specialty grains via shopify, an online marketing company.


The 21,000 sq ft facility will have equipment the first of its kind in Canada. Read more here.

So your home base, your work place, and your summer getaway are all in three different areas, but your craving for fresh, local food stays with you, wherever you find yourself.

What if, in these 3 different places, you want to find a specific product, or the closest market, or perhaps a restaurant nearby that serves local?

Ei.Ei.Eat is putting the finishing touches on an online app that will do just that - organize and centralize all of this local food information, distributing it to you through your phone or computer: a one-stop shop (or app, rather). The web app is launching this month, with the mobile app following closely behind.

Read more here on how the app will work, and the innovative features that will roll out after the initial launch.

Congratulations to King Township Councillor and Holland Marsh Farmer Avia Eek, who has been elected chairperson of our Greater Toronto Area Agriculture Action Committee. We are happy to see this news being shared. 

Many of you are aware that Avia has already been working with us, and we are more than pleased she has taken on this well-deserved position with the GTA AAC, which assists in the implementation of our Action Plan, alongside the rest of our skilled, dedicated team. 

If you follow Avia's strong social media presence, you may already know that plans are well underway for the 2015 Holland Marsh Soupfest - an initiative between
the Holland Marsh Growers' Association, the Township of King and the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.

An exciting event for Canada's "soup and salad bowl", they're currently looking for Soupmakers, Vendors and Sponsors to help in celebrating the Holland Marsh.

In the Hills Magazine has published an important piece discussing the decline in bobolinks and meadowlarks, a familiar sight to southern Ontario farm fields, as they're in search of breeding space.

The bobolink was listed as a threatened species in Ontario and Canada in 2010, and the meadowlark in 2011; there has been a steady decline in their population over the past four decades. Read more from In the Hills Magazine here.

The City of Hamilton Council passed Zoning By-law No.15-172 on July 10, 2015, adopting and approving Official Plan Amendment No. 9 to the Rural Hamilton Official Plan.


The stated purpose of the amendment is to change current policies, include new policies, and amend mapping within the Rural Hamilton Official Plan to enable the implementation of new City-Wide Rural Zoning. The Rural Hamilton Official Plan implements the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Greenbelt Plan, and the Parkway Belt West Plan.


The amendment would change land use designations, expand/clarify uses and regulations for the Agriculture, Rural and source protection policies, and add site specific uses and regulations to certain properties within the Rural Area.


Anyone who wants to appeal the decision of Council can do so until August 10, 2015.


"The new zones for the rural area provide consistent definitions and regulations across the entire rural area (replacing 5 Zoning By-laws), and the zones are more flexible and recognize the evolving agricultural industry," says Joanne Hickey Evans, Manager, Policy Planning and Zoning By-law Reform with the City of Hamilton. 

We hope you are all enjoying your summer, and of course supporting 

your local markets. Find Farm Fresh across the Horseshoe here!

Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance