Home Volume 2, Issue 4 Community Supported Agriculture in the City: The Case of Toronto


Content Visible to Subscribers Only


If you do not see a PDF on each article's webpage, you are not a subscriber to JAFSCD. (If you are a subscriber, please log in to see the PDFs.) While the contents of the inaugural issue are open to the public, the contents of issue 2 and beyond are provided for our subscribers only. Please subscribe to have access to this and any other JAFSCD content.


Some "Open Access Content" will be posted from time to time that is available to all viewers.

Not Ready To Subscribe Yet?

Sign up here to receive notification of new papers and other content we post. You won't be able to see full-text PDFs like subscribers can, but you'll be aware when new content is available.

 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
Print E-mail


Community Supported Agriculture in the City: The Case of Toronto

by Sima Patela and Rod MacRaeb,*

http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.024.003, pp. 85–100

Published online 10 August 2012



Farming in cities is gaining momentum within North American urban centers. Community supported agriculture (CSA) projects, previously viewed primarily as rural enterprises, are now starting to appear in cities, including Toronto. Urban CSAs address the new food movement's objectives as they can provide good food that is accessible, an income to those growing the food, education on how food is grown, and show the importance of environmental stewardship and the recycling of resources. We used land parcel analysis to examine the potential for vegetable CSAs in Toronto, identifying 77 parcels with a total of 1270 acres (514 hectares) of potential land for CSA farming, a large portion of which are located in the northeast part of Toronto. This represents about 1 percent of the city's surface area. From this analysis, five scenario types were constructed that could be commercially viable, and having a range of land use, zoning, institutional, and residential characteristics. There are considerable challenges, however, in their widespread implementation. Consequently, in this paper we make policy and program recommendations on how urban CSAs in Toronto might be advanced, including pilot projects, institutional linkages, program supports, training, and extension.


Keywords: community supported agriculture, land inventory analysis, policy change, urban farming, urban land use



a MES graduate, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

b, * Corresponding author: Rod MacRae, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies; York University; 4700 Keele Street; Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada; +1-416-736-2100 x22116; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.


Developed by  CyberSense.US