Growing Where We Are: Sharing Histories & Futures of Urban Agriculture

June 18th 2019. 09:30 to 17:30

Presented by Culinaria Research Centre & New College

June 18 9:30 am -5:30 pm

New College & University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

FREE event

Please email Dr. Jo Sharma to register



9.30 am – Coffee & Light Snacks, New College Welcome & Workshop Introduction: 
Sharing Histories of Urban Gardening: Dr Jo Sharma (Culinaria) & New College Staff

10am-11 am: Roundtable: Indigenous & Newcomer growers share practical knowledge of gardening for food security: Mr Isaac Crosby (Evergreen), Mr/Mrs Mustafa (Bangladeshi Agriculturists) & Ms Ashrafi Ahmed (Regent Park Community Food Centre): Facilitated by Ms Sarah Elton (UofT) and Discussant Professor Donna Gabaccia

11-11:25 am: Ms Rhonda Teitel-Payne: Toronto Urban Growers & grower-to-grower initiatives

11:25-12 noon: Introductions & Discussions

12pm-1 pm: Lunch from Syrian newcomer caterers Beroea Kitchen 

1pm-2 pm: All-day participants travel by pre-arranged chartered bus to UTSC 


2-3:30 pm: UTSC farm & garden tours with Dr Beatrice Lego & informal group conversations

3.30-3.45 pm: UTSC Seed Library, Indigenous book exhibit & UTSC library cookbook collection  

3.45-4.45 pm: Sharing community growing stories from the Danforth, Parkdale, Scarborough and elsewhere: Access Alliance & Greenest City community gardeners from Caribbean, Bengali, Tamil, Tibetan backgrounds; Refreshments from Banglar Shaad & Rouge Bakery

4.45 pm: Histories & Futures of the GTA’s Urban Agriculture: Keynote Session with Ms Cheyenne Sundance and Ms Lorraine Johnson

5.30 pm: Workshop ends and people take TTC express buses from UTSC to Kennedy subway

This one-day event provides an opportunity for individuals and communities interested in urban farming and agriculture to hear from leading practitioners in Toronto, share stories, build networks, and see UTSC’s rooftop garden, urban farm, and the Culinaria kitchen lab. No prior knowledge or experience of urban agriculture is required.

With speakers and facilitators drawn from Toronto’s Indigenous, settler and newcomer communities, as well as contributions from university faculty and students, this event is a forum for cross-cultural sharing and an opportunity to highlight food security and social justice initiatives of importance to the city’s academic and non-academic communities alike. This initiative will bolster collaboration between UofT’s food-focused academic communities, strengthen community relationships across the GTA, create a network for participants to connect and remain in touch about this and other issues. The organizers invite participation from university communities as well as practitioners, theoreticians, and the curious. 

We invite interested participants to email an inquiry and RSVP to the main organizer Dr Jo Sharma at:, ideally by June 2, but even thereafter. We are serving lunch and have booked a bus to convey us from downtown to UTSC, so it is important to let us know for proper planning so you may be registered as an attendee. This is also so that we can release any remaining spots to our community partners and the general public in the week before the event and facilitate your & your students’ participation in the proposed digital network counterpart to this workshop. If you wish to participate only in the morning or in the afternoon session/s, please indicate so in our email and we will get back to you.

(Note: There is plenty of paid visitors’ parking at UTSC that people are welcome to access on their own – see the university website - but TTC is the easiest & quickest mode of transport in the evening if returning downtown, therefore no other arrangements are being made).

ASSOCIATES & SPONSORS: Access Alliance Danforth; Culinaria Research Centre; Evergreen Brickworks; Greenest City; Ho Centre for Buddhist Studies; Intellectual Community Fund UofT Department of History; Milky Way Community Garden, Parkdale; New College; Toronto Urban Growers; UTSC Campus Farm & Edible Campus Initiative; UTSC Partnerships Office