Examining Urban Agriculture in Toronto
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This report focuses on the density of urban agriculture in Toronto. To begin with, the group reviewed literature to determine the current setup of food production and distribution in the city. As a result of our initial research, it appears that Toronto is lacking a strong focus on agriculture. In collaboration with Fresh City Farms, the group reveals the current spatial pattern of community gardens and urban farms, two major sites of food production in Toronto. The team made use of various scholarly literature, websites, suggestions from Fresh City Farms, Toronto’s Open Data resource, QuantumGIS (QGIS) and the Google search engine to come up with the data necessary to complete this assignment. In QGIS, team members plotted locations for both community gardens and urban farms by digitizing. These spatial and attribute data were gathered through Google searches and the ‘Toronto Community Garden Network’ webpage. The address and contact information in relation to the plotted points were recorded in order to properly identify the establishments. In addendum to this report, the team has also uploaded maps with corresponding tables, via fusion tables, of contact information for community gardens and urban farms onto Google Sites <https://sites.google.com/site/torontourbanfarms>. Subsequent to the mapping process, this report makes use of David Hulchanski’s (2006) research on the Three Cities model in Toronto. Through this framework, this report offers an analysis section that describes the possibility of discriminatory practices in the distribution of public goods, in this case, community gardens and urban farms, based on incomes, as measured by census tracts. The team suspects this as a result of a clustering of community gardens in certain regions of the downtown core (City #1, in Hulchanski’s terms) and few to no community gardens in some of the middle (City #2) and peripheral (City #3) regions of Toronto. We conclude that the results align partially with our hypothesis, as the densest bundles of community gardens are in relatively more affluent areas. Further, this report includes sections that communicate the process of our research.