Urban Gardens

Toronto and Mississauga, Ontario

GWLRA has partnered with MicroHabitat to establish gardens on 13 of our office rooftops in Toronto and Mississauga. Founded in 2016, MicroHabitat is a Montreal-based organization that specializes in creating, implementing, operating and teaching urban agriculture.

Microhabitats bring change by transforming the cities’ unused or under-utilized spaces into urban farms. These initiatives contribute to the greening of spaces, create local, ecological and resilient food systems, help support local communities, and encourage biodiversity in urban areas.

The gardens at our GWLRA-managed properties feature a variety of vegetable plants that are currently thriving on our rooftops. Food is continually harvested throughout the growing season and donated to local food banks. In 2021, our gardens produced over 5,550 lbs (or 2.5 metric tonnes) of produce for local communities, and almost 500 meals were donated to the Breakfast Club of Canada through our partnership with MicroHabitat.

Partnering with MicroHabitat has proven to be seamless for us. The gardens look great and, more importantly, they produce tons of fresh, local food so we can give back to those in need. Tenants have responded to these programs in ways we did not expect. We are immensely proud of our partnership with MicroHabitat and look forward to expanding our locations and enjoying many sustainable years ahead.”

Building on this foundation, an additional five of our managed office properties in Calgary, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver have established rooftop gardens of their own.

The rooftop gardens are near beehives that also live atop some of our buildings, providing a complementary relationship between our pollinators and our produce. Last year, our gardens offered over 8,000 plants to local insect populations for shelter and pollination and, thanks to our ongoing partnership with Alvéole, 52 beehives supporting 2.5 million honeybees across the country call a GWLRA rooftop home.