Encouraging our community to garden has been a focus of The Hort from the very beginning—over 175 years ago. Sometimes it took the form of horticultural exhibitions, offering prizes for the best gardens on selected streets, or initiating garden activities at public or private buildings. The Hort has supported gardens at Dewson Public School on and off for over one hundred years. The Hort supports approximately 10 community-based garden projects every year ranging from boulevards and corner parkettes to the re-creation of the heritage gardens at Colborne Lodge Museum in High Park.
The Hort is very proud of the wonderful changes these gardens have brought to their respective areas and the community spirit that has been generated around spaces large and small. They truly bring out the soul in our city and soothe the spirit of anyone who passes by.
How to Apply for Hort Support for a Community Garden Project
The following is the Society’s mandate as per our Constitution and the OMAFRA objectives:
- To encourage the planting of flowers, shrubs and trees
- To promote outdoor beautification, and balcony and plot gardening
- To improve public awareness of and access to plants and their culture
- To distribute seeds, plants, bulbs, flower, shrubs and trees
- To promote the circulation of horticultural information
- To stimulate interest in the study of horticulture
- To promote the benefits of therapeutic horticulture
- To promote the protection of the environment.
Who is Eligible for Funding?
Groups, organizations or individuals in Toronto that want to create a new community garden or expand, improve or maintain an existing garden. At least one member of the group should be a member of the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto.
What the Funding Will Cover:
- Horticultural materials: seeds, plants, bulbs, flowers, shrubs, trees.
- Soil amendments: compost, manure, fertilizers.
- Other items may be considered based upon need and the nature of the project or garden.
What the Funding Will Not Cover:
- Hardscaping: bricks, patio stones, wood.
- Ornaments: trellis, statues, fountains, etc.
- Professional services: landscapers, etc.
- Staff salaries
- Office material
Funding will be based on the individual project or garden size, needs and stage of development, and our ability to fund, so please tell us everything you can on your application. Payments will be made on receipt of your paid receipts and a completed Expense Claim.
- April 1 Applications for funding submitted (See Forms below.) N.B. If project funding remains, the deadline will be extended.
- Mid April Board will meet, discuss, make decisions. Gardens will be notified after this meeting.
- September 15 Last date to submit receipts and Expense Claim for reimbursement. (See Reporting Requirements #4.)
- September Weekend, tour of gardens - date to be decided (See Reporting requirements #2.)
- Nov 30 Last date to submit written report & photos for Newsletter and Website, and submit Volunteer hours (See Reporting Requirements #1, and #5.)
Where to Send:
- Please email questions, application, report & photos, volunteer hours and expense claim with scanned receipts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Important: Please also mail the completed expense claim and paper receipts to: Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto, 1938 Bloor St West, P.O. Box 30023, Toronto, ON M6P 4J2 (Or give to a Hort board member).
Reporting Requirements and Obligations to the Hort:
- Please provide an annual written report on the garden, with photos, for inclusion in the Hort newsletter and on the website. Before and after stories and anecdotes citing community participation are both engaging and inspiring to those considering similar projects. Please submit these by the deadline (Nov. 30).
- Agree to open the garden on a weekend day in September, and if possible with volunteer minders to answer questions, for an annual tour of the gardens by Hort members.
- Inform the Hort of any special events in the garden that are open to Hort Society members or the public, with 2 to 3 weeks advance notice (or more) so we can advertise the event on our website and in our newsletter, to notify Hort members and the public.
- Receipts will be reimbursed throughout the summer up to the amount approved. Submit an Expense Claim with receipts for each submission. All Expense Claims with receipts must be received by September 15 at the latest. If the project has funds remaining and wants to buy bulbs in October, please submit another Expense Claim and receipts by October 31.
- Volunteers from the group are encouraged to participate, if possible, at Horticultural events where the Hort promotes itself, its projects and gardens.
- The Horticultural Society member, or members, involved in the project or garden will keep track of their total annual volunteer hours and submit this to the Hort by November 30. (The Hort needs to report this information for Hort members only, submitted annually to the OHA and OMAFRA.)
If your garden or project includes any of the following, please add this to your application if it is not already there.
- Volunteers or participants from a variety of demographic groups (age, gender, ethnicity etc).
- Involvement of Hort members in the garden.
- Acknowledging Hort support with a garden sign or mention in your literature.
- Activities that foster horticultural awareness and involvement in the community (on-site events, articles in local papers, attendance at local events and fairs, contact with elected officials etc).
- Involve groups that benefit from therapeutic horticulture, such as seniors, those with mental illness, or intellectual or physical disabilities.
- Educational opportunities for learning about horticulture, conservation and the environment.
- Donation of garden produce to charitable groups.
- Environmental considerations – eco-friendly, composing, pollinator, native, urban greening, food producing, enhancing biodiversity, habitat restoration.
- Donations of materials or funding from other sources.