Growing in the City

The City supports urban food production on public and private land.

Urban gardening and food production contribute positively to health and well-being, social interaction, connection to nature, and environmental education. They help create healthy and diverse ecosystems while building community and our food security.

Gardening and Growing Your Own Food

Get Growing, Victoria!
The City is launching a new and exciting gardening program, one that’s so good you can taste it. Parks staff are temporarily using the Beacon Hill Park nursery to grow vegetable and herb seedlings for people in the community. Using existing nursery staff time and budget, as many as 75,000 edible plant starts will be grown. With support from the City's food advisory group, the Urban Food Table, City staff are working on the development of an equitable distribution model. It’s one small thing the City can do with its resources to provide food for those who need it most.

Growing food is a way to build community and a way to feed yourself and your family. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated renewed interest in community resilience and food security, and many residents have expressed interest in learning to garden to supplement their food supplies. Although local food supply chains are stable, it’s always a good time to experience the joy of growing your own food!

This program will provide a selection of the top 10 vegetable and herb starts for easy growing for the novice gardener, and suitable for a variety of locations, such as garden beds in your yard or container gardening on your deck or balcony. The starts will be made available to the public along with compost and leaf mulch to help gardeners grow healthy plants. The City is working with partner organizations to determine a distribution plan for late spring 2020.

Please check back here for updates on the program.

Growing Food and Gardening in Mixed-Use, Multi-Unit Residential Developments
To encourage urban gardening and food production in mixed-used, multi-unit residential developments, a guide has been developed to offer resources and examples to support the successful and durable incorporation of urban gardening and food production in new and existing developments. The guide also aims to increase awareness about existing good practices and opportunities to innovate. Learn more here. 

Boulevard Gardening
Boulevard Gardening Guidelines are designed to help beginners and experts garden on City boulevards more confidently and responsibly. Learn how you can transform the boulevard beside your property into a beautiful and healthy garden. Learn more here.

Community Gardens and Orchards
The Community Gardens Policy encourages local non-profit organizations to establish community allotment gardens, commons gardens and orchards. Find a community garden near you or learn about starting your own. Learn more here.

Urban Food Tree Stewardship Pilot Program
Residents, through a community organization, can apply to plant and maintain up to five fruit and nut trees in a local green space. The City will work with the organization to find suitable locations. Trees must be planted from October to November. Read more about the program [PDF - 388 KB] and apply to become a Food Tree Steward here [PDF - 38 KB].

Rooftop Greenhouses
Rooftop greenhouses can enable year-round local food production in dense urban environments. If you want to build a greenhouse on a rooftop, the Building a Rooftop Greenhouse Fact Sheet [PDF - 611 KB] will help you get started.

Keeping Bees and Hens
The Animal Control Bylaw  permits an unspecified number of bee hives and up to 15 female chickens or other poultry. Bee hives, coops and pens of all sizes must be set back from the property line. Check the Zoning Regulation Bylaw to see required setbacks for your zone, at victoria.ca/zoning. For information on good hen-keeping practices, see the Basic Chicken CareCare manual made available by the City of Vancouver.

Growing Food to Sell
You can grow and sell edible and non-edible products including unprocessed fruits and vegetables, flowers, herbs, fibre, seeds, nuts, seedlings, mushrooms, plant cuttings, eggs and honey. Apply for a business licence to sell products off-site (e.g. in retail stores or restaurants) as well as on-site (e.g. at food stands). Learn more and get started here.

 


Resources for Urban Gardening

  • Pollinators are a key component of a sustainable, resilient and biodiverse urban environment. Learn more about pollinators and how you can help pollinators here.