Currently, Montréal has 8,500 garden plots in 96 community gardens. These cover nearly 30 hectares of cultivated area. These gardens are managed by the boroughs. Management methods and tools differ from one borough to another. These tools have their limitations and do not provide a city-wide overview of all community gardens. For example, it is difficult to know exactly how many people are on waiting lists and how long they have to wait for a garden. To address this problem, the City of Montréal will work with its boroughs to develop a common management tool for all community gardens. This software will enable data collection, reduce management and maintenance costs, and improve service to residents.
The development of the Urban Agriculture Strategy is based on a common vision: to strengthen Montréal’s role as a leader in urban agriculture, to make this practice more accessible and to ensure its harmonious and sustainable development. A number of actions will be taken to realize the City’s vision for urban agriculture.
Three targets have been identified to measure the success of the Strategy to be implemented by 2026. The city plans to increase the cultivated area within its boundaries to 160 hectares, achieve 55 urban agriculture businesses, and carry out 50 new urban agriculture projects in Montréal schools.
In 2021, Montréal will count nearly 120 ha of cultivated area. The estimate of cultivated space includes community and collective gardens, private gardens and back yards, educational and institutional gardens, and City land already cultivated in the future Grand parc de l’Ouest. The target is 160 hectares by 2026. For the second target, there were 40 urban agriculture businesses in Montréal in 2020 and the target is 55 within five years. Finally, the third target is to develop 50 new projects in schools, in addition to existing school-based initiatives. Annual reporting is planned to measure the effectiveness of the actions included in the Strategy.
The City of Montréal recognizes the importance and the social, environmental and economic benefits of urban agriculture on its territory. It has made commitments within the framework of its programs to support this initiative. Moreover, several actions related to urban agriculture are included in the City’s planning documents such as the 2020-2030 Climate Plan, the Montreal Strategy for a Resilient City 2018-2023 and the 2021 Economic Recovery Plan. Some boroughs, such as Rivière-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, have already adopted urban agriculture policies and plans to support the practice on their territory. Moreover, the implementation of these policies has led to the emergence of certain projects such as the urban agriculture innovation centre in Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles.