Archive for the ‘Staff Notes’ Category

Greenest City Calendar 2009 (now with sample pictures!)

Back by popular demand: the fabulous Greenest City Calendar!

Due to the tremendous popularity of our first calendar last winter, we will be publishing a new one for 2009.

Featuring gorgeous pictures of HOPE garden, people young and older, field trips and potlucks from this year, and beautiful images of plants too. The design is uncluttered and colourful.





This is the gift that gives several times:

All funds will go towards making HOPE garden programs more inclusive next year.


In Greenest City fashion, the calendar is of highest eco-standards: printed on enviro-stock paper with vegetable-based ink and a “waterless” printing process.

We will have the calendars ready by mid November, but please pre-order now! The calendars are $ 15 each.

Enjoy the beauty of the gardens and community, every page, every day! This calendar will be the perfect gift to your friends and family for this year’s holiday season.

Thank you!

P.S. If you haven’t seen last year’s calendar, view it here!

This year’s promises to be even more beautiful.


Job Opening – Project Manager, Full-time (one-year contract)

Position: Project Manager, From the Ground UP
(full-time, 1-year contract, with possibility of extension)
Organization: Greenest City,
Application deadline: September 15, 2008, Start date: September 24, 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada

Greenest City’s project, From the Ground UP, is an initiative centred around urban food production and education with marginalized communities in Parkdale, and employs youth as garden animators and environmental leaders. This position will lead the ongoing refinement of and securing of funds for the project, and oversee all aspects of project implementation for 2009. Reports to Greenest City’s Director of Projects.
For more information on the project, see the website and HOPE Garden blog (

• Project implementation
• Secure funds for From the Ground UP project
• Recruit, hire and supervise staff
• Involve and empower volunteers
• Facilitate community capacity-building with the steering committee of the HOPE Community Garden (element of From the Ground UP project)
• Ensure community outreach is undertaken to attract community members to the above programming
• Develop and maintain relationships with core program partners
• Establish and monitor program budgets
• Fulfill donor and funder reporting requirements
• Refinement and evaluation of existing projects (ongoing)
• Development and implementation of new programming
• Help develop organizational policies and systems
• Update website and other communications materials
• Participate in the strategic planning for the organization as required
• Participate in Board of Director’s Meetings as required

You are/have:
• At least 3 years of previous project management experience, with the ability to drive projects from conception through to completion
• Experience in the design of local food and environment projects
• At least 2 examples of well-written grant proposals that you took the lead on, with other fundraising experience considered a strong asset
• Highly motivated, resourceful and passionate – demonstrated commitment to issues of environmental, social and economic justice
• Demonstrated ability to work within a diverse community (people of different ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds)
• A positive and kind way with community volunteers and partners
• Self-starter that can work with minimal supervision when needed
• Excellent facilitation and community development skills
• Previous experience managing staff
• Superior written communication skills
• Ability to speak a language relevant to the South Parkdale neighbourhood
considered a strong asset

Salary: approximately $40,000
Hours: 35 hours/wk
Start date: September 24/08

Please submit your cover letter and résumé by September 15th at 5:00 p.m. to:

We will not accept late résumés.

Greenest City is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applicants from equity seeking groups. We regret that only those applicants being considered will be contacted.

Strawberry Picking – A Note of Gratitude

Coming to work at Greenest City everyday is a privilege, a realization which sometimes tends to get shuffled around the numerous organizing and planning that we do in the office. It’s a fact for any organization that initiates community-wide programs: you have budgets to deal with, logistics to keep up with, databases to record, so on and on…

But there are those times, of course, when we step back and just soak in the lightness of the work we do.

It’s hard to describe it, but it is there, somewhere — it makes you crack a wide smile and feel fortunate about where you are. It is the when, what and how all coming together in an open and radiating set of palms side by side.

It’s hard to say, so we’ll let a letter from a member of our community garden convey the fullness of our appreciation:

Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for organizing and taking my family to the strawberry farm. Everyone really enjoyed it.

First of all, after a rainy and a tenderly night, the weather was nice (cloudy and sunny). Another beautiful thing was going out of the city where green hills, blue and wide sky, beautiful fields and farmhouses were our view out of the bus windows…everyone could easily go to the field and pick the strawberries (even Sarah who is two and a half years old). We all enjoyed tasting and picking the fresh and sweet strawberries. Little Sarah enjoyed riding on the tractor.

I myself enjoyed picking and tasting the strawberries on the field; it reminded me of my childhood where my father was planting some rows of strawberry in his fruit garden.

The other important thing that I cannot help mentioning is Carolyn’s treatment to the group. She was very kind and helpful; and she showed it by smiling, dealing, talking and taking pictures of everyone in the group.

More than picking strawberries, we learned a lot from the trip and enjoyed it. Thanks a lot, once more, Greenest City.

The email was sent after a strawberry farm trip we did on Saturday, June 28. The writer is a mother of three and an immigrant from Afghanistan. Her family has a plot in the HOPE Community garden.

We’d like to thank our wonderful members for allowing us this opportunity to create memories like these.

Lots more to come this summer.

HOPE Garden Accepting Donations

All the wonderful programs and activities we do around the HOPE garden & the youth & Parkdale wouldn’t have been possible without the support and funding we receive from around the community.

As you know, although the work in itself is rewarding enough, it takes quite a sum of money to implement some of the projects that we like to see happen in Parkdale.

We humbly accept any donation and in-kind support that we can get from people like you.

To send us a cheque, please write it for “Greenest City” and mail it to:

Greenest City
c/o Masaryk-Cowan CRC
220 Cowan Avenue
Toronto, ON
M6K 2N6

Thanks again!

We’re Hiring!

JOB OPPORTUNITY – Be a Youth Green Squad member!

6 full-time positions, 8-week contract

Greenest City is coordinating a project called From the Ground UP. The initiative is centred around a new community food garden in Parkdale, and employs youth as garden workers and environmental leaders.

*Note: this is an HRSDC funded position. Applicants must be 15 – 30 years of age, currently attending school and returning to school in the fall.


  • Participate in the creation and upkeep of a community food garden in Parkdale, with responsibilities that would include hands-on training in turning soil, planting, watering, weeding, mulching, harvesting, etc
  • Attend training sessions on ecological gardening skills
  • Assist other community gardeners in the community garden
  • Assist residents of supportive housing in Parkdale to create vegetable gardens in their backyards
  • Assist in the organizing of public workshops on ecological gardening skills, and where possible/desired take a leadership role in the delivery of such workshops
  • Attend training sessions on urban cycling safety, bike repair, and riding with a cargo trailer
  • Harvest food from the garden and attend group meals where fresh produce is used, participate in cooking the food at these group meals
  • Harvest and deliver food by bike trailer to community kitchens in Parkdale serving those in need
  • Assist in the preparation of food at community kitchens in Parkdale


  • Interest in environmental issues
  • Interest in gardening
  • Interest in taking on a leadership role in the community
  • Ability and willingness to ride a bike
  • Ability to speak a language used in the South Parkdale community would be considered a strong asset

Salary: $8.75 per hour, full-time for 8 weeks
Start date: late June, 2008.

Please write one-page letter saying why you’re interested in the position, your qualifications, what languages you speak, and your contact information, by Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. to:

Hiring Committee, Greenest City c/o Masaryk Cowan CRC, 220 Cowan Ave, TO, M6K 2N6 or email to: gelek[at]
We will not accept late applications.

*Greenest City is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applicants from equity seeking groups. We regret that only those applicants being considered will be contacted.

The Youth Green Squad of 2007

A Garden in Parkdale: Files from the First Year.

Flower Sun

Summer was a gas. A handout so thoroughly unassuming and yet drenched with the kind of fulfillment that you only get out of a really great, aching workout. Outdoors, camping…I worked at a community garden, attended workshops… Actually, let’s just forgo this didactic listing of events and instead, aim for one of those meandering, metaphorical streams of recollections and reflections. The ones that somehow converge into a watering hole brimming with grunts, darting eyes and false alarms. Is it just a far-off mirage or is it actually thriving with beasts of all stripes? Are those bobbing logs or idle crocodiles? Hold your nose tight and high, dear reader, for those rare pellets of wisdom might just be under a muddy morass of self-indulgent reverie.
Continue reading

Greenest City Calendar Release!

HOPE Garden Sign

In celebration of an excellent year and as a thank you to our volunteers, partners & funders, Greenest City created and released our first very own calendar for the year 2008. Check out some of the samples below.

Calendar Front CoverJune Calendar ImageJune GridJuly Calendar ImageAugust Calendar ImageCalendar Back Cover

To get a copy, please call us at 647-438-0038 or email us: shannon[at] for more information.

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