Urban Grower Project
Urban Grower Project – A community-led initiative hosted by Withrow Park Farmers’ Market (WPFM)
Our project aims to foster and encourage urban agriculture and provide a space for urban growers to participate at our farmers’ market as a vendor. Open to all local outdoor growers whether you garden in your backyard, on a roof, or in containers on your balcony. We launched our pilot project in 2020 – you can learn more about the experience of one of our participants here and see our 2021 participants here.
Urban agriculture increases access to local fresh produce, reduces barriers to accessing farmland, creates green spaces that help cool the city and clean the air, tackles climate change, provides pollinator-friendly habitat, brings people together, builds stronger communities and so much more!
Below we highlight the structure of the Urban Grower Project.
Content: Market Location and Hours | Definitions | General Market Guidelines | Application Process | Time Commitment | Fees Per Vendor | Tents & Storage | Key Resources
Market Location and Hours
Withrow Park Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from June 3 to October 14, 2023. This is an open-air seasonal market. We operate rain or shine!
North/East corner of Withrow Park – 725 Logan Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3B9
(One block south of Danforth Avenue, between Logan Avenue and Carlaw Avenue)
Set-up: 7:30am to 8:30am
Public Hours: 9am to 1pm
Growers must arrive by 8:30am and should try to remain on-site until 1pm.
If a Grower sells out, they must display a sold-out sign and may start packing up after checking in with the Market Manager.
Urban Grower: An urban grower is a micro-scale vendor selling or offering for sale their own produce.
- A grower who grows their produce on property owned/rented by them or under their direct cultivation where they have the permission of the property owner.
- Is located within the boundaries of the City of Toronto.
- Has not been grown in a City of Toronto park. (The City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 608-46, Parks, restricts commercial enterprises in City parks, making it illegal to sell food grown on or from City-owned land (for example, from a community or allotment garden in a park).
- This project does not support Microgreen operations at this time.
- Products include produce, herbs, flowers and seeds.
- Must be organic or ecologically and sustainably produced.
- Cultivated without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) of any kind are not permitted.
- Growers are only allowed to sell products cultivated by them.
- Reselling of other products is not permitted by urban growers.
At all times it is at the discretion of the Market Manager to accept or refuse certain products. If you have a product that is not listed, enquire with the Market Manager for assistance.
Every vendor is required to submit an application form which will be reviewed by the Market Manager and/or a Committee. We welcome and encourage applications from all qualified candidates, including women, the LGBTQ+ community, Indigenous people, people of colour, and people with disabilities. All participants must follow and abide by our Vendor Handbook.
The Market Manager and/or Committee Members reserve the right to visit urban grower properties during the season in order to inform themselves about food production, processing and cultivation practices. At all times it is at the discretion of Withrow Park Farmers’ Market to accept or refuse certain products and vendors.
We understand that most urban growers might only have a vague idea of when their harvest will be ready and may not have enough harvest to participate every market day. Growers will need to indicate their interest in attending that week’s market by Wednesday of the same week. Available spots will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. 24hr notice is required if a Grower can no longer make it to the market. Send notification to the Market Manager by 9am Friday.
Fees Per Vendor
Urban growers will be charged 20% of total sales, up to a maximum of $40, to help the WPFM cover its costs. The money will be collected at the end of each market day. The grower must facilitate their own sales during the market. We encourage you to offer at least one form of cashless payment to your customers, such as e-transfer, debit or credit.
A $10 no-show fee will be charged to growers who don’t show up without notice or don’t provide 24 hours notice. This fee must be paid before you can participate on another market day. The no-show fee may be waived at the Market Manager’s discretion under extenuating circumstances.
Tents & Storage
We recognize that access to a tent, table and appropriate transportation could be a barrier to participating in this program. For the season of 2022, WPFM will loan one tent and one table to participants on a first-come-first-serve basis. Participants take responsibility to care for the property of the WPFM and that any equipment borrowed stays in working order without damage. Participants must also retrieve and return the borrowed tent and/or table to the storage location at the start and end of the market day. We welcome participants to share tables and tents if it can be done in a physically distant manner.
Vendors are responsible for providing all other items that may be required to operate their booths, including but not limited to: display items, signage, chairs, cash box etc.
Due to limited storage facilities, the WPFM can not store any items for participants.
- A Guide to Growing and Selling Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Toronto: http://torontourbangrowers.org/img/upload/GrowingSellingGuide.pdf
- I Want Land: Resources from Toronto Urban Growers to find growing spaces: torontourbangrowers.org/i-want-land
- Tools for creating garden sharing agreements: torontourbangrowers.org/garden-sharing-network
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