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Rooftop Garden Photo Journal 2021

In 2018, CHIRS proposed to build an accessible rooftop garden where clients will grow and harvest vegetables, herbs, and microgreens to sell at farmer’s markets. Our goal is to engage our socially isolated clients through participation in a community garden and social enterprise. CHIRS’ Head Office was built with the capacity to support a rooftop garden but we needed the funds to make the roof safe for use and to build accessible garden beds. To support this initiative we applied for and received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Danny Caplan led the initiative, working with the architects, contractors and City Inspector to make this dream a reality. It was a big project, made more challenging by the fact that the roof needed to be repaired before we could start and then the Pandemic hit.

Before Pictures:

Construction finally began in Spring 2020 AND was largely completed by late Fall that year.

Roof top construction was completed in 2020. Next step: create the garden!

During the winter of 2020, we started making plans to raise funds to support the spring time planting in 2021. A work group was convened to support these initiatives. This group includes Rachelle G, Lorraine M, Emily M, Judy M, Dense B, Tricia D, Alvin V, and David H.

CHIRS Fundraisers

In addition to these fundraising events, we received plant and monetary donations from staff, clients, and families like Audrey M, Carolyn L, Rani S, Keith E, Debbie K, Helena W and others.

Seedling Project 2021

As we waited for the garden to be ready, we needed to start the seeds. Kits were put together on March 10th and shipped out to or picked up by clients the following week. Plants were returned to the rooftop garden as weather improved.

Clients happily kept us apprised of the progress

The final inspection of the roof by the City of Toronto was completed on April 29, 2021 —and the Garden is ready to open!

A small group of volunteers gathered on May 27th to plant the seedlings and seeds.

May 28 –Utility shed was built on the rooftop garden to store tools

Week of May 31 – We welcomed clients. We are slowly building a schedule of small groups that can safely work within the pandemic guidelines.

We are looking forward to see how things progress over the Summer!

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