Near Urban Agriculture
Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) recognizes that agricultural land is a vital resource, which must be conserved, and that progressive environmental stewardship in the farming/agricultural sector will be a requirement for TRCA to collectively realize The Living City vision. The Living City vision is a vision for a healthy, attractive, sustainable urban region extending into the 22nd century, based on a foundation of Healthy Rivers and Shorelines, Regional Biodiversity, Sustainable Communities and Business Excellence. Toronto and Region Conservation's vision for sustainable near-urban agriculture on its lands includes the use of diverse crops, innovative and sustainable agricultural production methods-a combination of appropriate technology, Environmental Goods and Services (EG&S), Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) and new partners. Farming operations may be on a smaller scale than the typical agri-food industry approach and do not compromise other TRCA objectives (i.e., the Terrestrial Natural Heritage System Strategy).
Objectives of sustainable near-urban agriculture for TRCA lands include:
- promotes social equity and food security in communities by providing opportunities for increased accessibility to fresh, healthy and local food; provides opportunities for community economic development by helping to reduce the number of imports and by creating jobs and meaningful work for the local produce;
- reduces our ecological footprint by providing locally grown, raised and sold food, reducing food miles and greenhouse gas emissions related to food transportation and helps to reduce the impacts of climate change;
- provides a space for celebrating the cultural diversity of communities by growing adiverse range of crops;
- provides a positive influence on adjacent natural heritage; and
- complements Toronto and Region Conservation Authority's (TRCA) vision for The Living City by participating in growing local foods that contribute to sustainable communities;