This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Community gardens

Community gardens

Community gardens contribute to community development, civic participation, neighborhood revitalization, environmental awareness and a healthier lifestyle.

A community garden is a shared space where people in a neighbourhood work together to improve the space and grow food. The garden may include individual or family plots and often supports neighbourhood food banks. Some have a fee structure where residents rent a garden space and manage their own plot.

  • There are over 120 community gardens in Ottawa.
  • 25+ are on land owned by the City of Ottawa.
  • The City manages the Kilborn Allotment Garden.
  • All other community gardens are managed by volunteer garden coordinators, who are members of their particular garden.
  • Garden coordinators make decisions regarding the operations of their garden.
  • Find a community garden.

The Community Gardening Network

The Community Gardening Network is a program of Just Food Ottawa. The Network supports the sustainable development of community gardens within the city of Ottawa. They:

  • Help two or more new community gardens get started each year.
  • Hold workshops, share information and resources, and train the garden coordinators.
  • Help with funding.
  • Work with landowners to access land for community gardens.
  • Work in partnership with the City to support new garden start-ups on City-owned land.

If disputes arise in a community garden, the Network will act as mediator if the garden members cannot resolve the dispute themselves.

For questions about community gardening, or to find out about joining a community garden, contact the Community Gardening Network.

Community Garden Liaison for the City of Ottawa

The Community Gardening Network (CGN) turns to the City’s Community Garden Liaison for help with requests about City property. The Community Garden Liaison:

  • Receives advice from the CGN about which groups are ready to start a new garden on City-owned land.
  • Works with staff across the City to prepare for the new garden.
  • Works with CGN to ensure the new garden is built to City standards.
  • Is the liaison between CGN and various City departments for accessing City services related to community gardens.

The City and the Community Garden Liaison do not get involved in disputes concerning the management of individual gardens. This is part of the role of the CGN.

For information about the community gardens located throughout the city of Ottawa, contact the Community Gardening Network at Just Food at 613 824 7771 or by email at communitygardening@justfood.ca.

2021 gardening season at Kilborn Allotment Gardens

The 2021 gardening season at Kilborn Allotment Gardens, located at 1975 Kilborn Avenue, will run from May 8 to October 22 with gardening hours between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm.

  • Access to the gardens will only be allowed on foot until May 17 (weather permitting). We ask you to not use wheelbarrows as they could damage the ground and cause future issues.
  • Access to the sheds will begin on May 8.
  • Water is expected to be turned on May 14.

The delivery of waste and compost bins may be delayed for a few weeks due to the ground’s softness.

Rules and guidelines

Please review the General Rules and Conditions and OPH guidelines. There are a few new rules in place to comply with the safety protocols of the COVID-19 situation.

Garden schedule

A sign-in and sign-out system will be in place to track gardeners each day. This system will help Ottawa Public Health with contact tracing if someone develops COVID-19. The system will need to record:

  • Full name, phone number and email of person who visited the garden
  • Date and time of when the visit began and ended

Gardeners must comply with the following schedule in order to adhere to the guidelines set out by Ottawa Public Health.

  • Gardeners with even-numbered plots will be allowed in the garden on even-numbered calendar days. Gardeners with odd-numbered plots will be allowed in the garden on odd-numbered calendar days.
  • Garden plots that are shared amongst multiple friends, neighbours or households, will follow the same as above. Sharing members should not be in the garden at the same time as the garden renter.
  • Gardeners who have multiple plots must still follow the above rules regarding which plots can be worked on, based on the calendar days.
  • Time spent in the gardens at any individual visit (within the calendar days allowed for your plot) is limited to four hours.

Waste and compost bins

  • The delivery of the waste and compost bins will be delayed for a few weeks due to the ground’s softness.
  • Please be mindful to properly separate organic waste and regular waste.
    • Bins at the location are for either organic waste only, or for regular waste only, and are not to be combined. Waste management will not be picking up the bins if they are not pre-sorted first, which will make it harder to maintain gardens.

Water

  • Water is to be used for gardening and handwashing purposes only.
  • Water is shared amongst all gardeners, so please be mindful to allow other gardeners the use of the water valves.
  • For those who have multiple plots, please be mindful not to use all surrounding water structures at once. This greatly reduces the water pressure for all other gardeners.
  • You may not leave the water unattended on your plot via sprinklers.
  • If you notice a broken or leaking valve, please email Dempsey@ottawa.ca with the location (plot # area) so that we can try to fix it.
  • All gardeners must use caution when using shared equipment, such as water taps, and must wear gloves for its use.
    • If using disposable gloves, it is your responsibility to dispose of them appropriately; failure to do so is considered littering and you can be fined by By-law.

Maintenance of plots

  • Especially with the current situation, there are many people looking for gardening plots. Therefore, any plots that have not been tended or worked on by June will receive a warning.
    • If the plot is not tended to by the end of June, the plot will be removed and reallocated to someone on our waitlist.
    • Please note, if you are in a situation where you may be sick or unable to garden, please email Dempsey@ottawa.ca with your plot number and we can work together to find a solution.
  • Community gardens are for food production. Ornamental gardens are outside the scope of Community gardens. There is no issue if gardeners plant pollinators within their existing community garden in approved plots, although they should not be adding additional features without the City's approval.

Safety and personal hygiene equipment

  • Consider wearing a non-medical face mask when physical distancing is difficult, to protect others from the spread of droplets generated by breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, etc.
  • Use your own garden gloves and bring them home to wash each day.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly immediately after taking off your gloves.
  • Frequently-touched surfaces may be contaminated. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in the garden.
  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19. These cleaning and disinfection recommendations aim to reduce the risks associated with surface transmission. Clean surfaces first, then disinfect them. But remember that you cannot rely on a surface to be clean when you touch it – always wash your hands before touching any part of your face even if you think a surface you have touched is clean.

Handwashing

  • Practice good personal hygiene practices including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your arm. Do not touch your face (mouth, nose, or eyes) unless you have washed your hands immediately before.
  • Washed hands are the best protection against accidentally transferring the virus to your mouth, nose or eyes where infection can start.
  • Wash hands upon entry to the garden and when leaving the site. If hands are visibly soiled, handwashing with soap and water is preferred. Hand sanitizer can be effective if dirt is removed from hands first.
  • It is the responsibility of the gardener to bring soap with them.

Washing and selling of produce

  • Selling vegetables from your garden is not allowed and against our rules. If you are found selling, you will no longer be allowed to rent from us in the future.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running tap water is recommended as per normal when preparing food. Always wash your hands with soap and water before washing fruits and vegetables, and between handling different kinds of foods. Visit Ottawa Public Health’s Keeping food safe (clean, cook, chill, separate) for more information.

Outdoor washrooms

  • Outdoor washrooms will be installed this year.
  • Please note that they will only be pumped and disinfected once per day. You should use every caution if you use the washrooms.
  • Disinfect the area prior to use and use protective equipment such as gloves.
  • Handwashing after use is mandatory.