© Marc Sardi / WWF-Canada lavender growing in an urban garden

BIOPOLIS PROJECTS

Explore Biopolis projects and discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are supporting biodiversity in cities across Canada.

Biodiversity Projects in Canadian Cities

The projects listed on Biopolis are diverse and a source of inspiration for all. They were selected according to their objectives to enhance and preserve urban biodiversity in cities across Canada. Explore our featured projects to discover how citizens, researchers, institutions, businesses and community organizations are working to support urban biodiversity.

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    Meet up Garden

    Meet up Garden

    The empty grounds of Bois-Francs School Board and the Victoriaville Cégep gained new life as a community garden and orchard. This three-phase project was made possible thanks to a partnership between the City of Victoriaville, the school board and the Cégep. Several other partnerships contributed to the success of the project, including volunteers of the carpenter club Du bois francs, who set up the planters in phase one and the sidewalk in phase three. This gathering and learning space is run by two students hired by the City each summer.

    This garden is above all a gathering and sharing place — a green space in the city. Citizens and visitors can come and take advantage of this garden, which promotes learning about trees, plants and biodiversity. In a few years, visitors will also be able to participate in the maintenance and harvesting of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

     

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    Community Garden BP Tétreaulville

    Community Garden BP Tétreaulville

    The garden has 60 plots, as well as a space for wild herbs, trees, shrubs and flowers for pollinators. Members are informed about biodiversity through workshops and take part in the Montreal Space for life My Garden program.

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    The green roof of the Regroupement de Lachine

    The green roof of the Regroupement de Lachine

    Opened in 2013 and enhanced in 2018, the 500 m2 structure is one of the biggest publicly accessible green roofs in Montreal. It’s the most striking part of the Regroupement de Lachine’s ecological building.

    The roof has different sections with distinct functions, and is a showcase for greening opportunities on a commercial rooftop.

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    Un Jardin pour tous

    Un Jardin pour tous

    The project Un jardin pour tous was initiated on November 26th 2014, within the framework of a citizen workshop in which more than 30 Rosemont residents took part. At the end of this workshop, participating citizens established the project’s guidelines, such as layout and programming of the space in question. Collectively, citizens were able to imagine an edible landscape on the grounds of the Rosemont Library.

    The project took the shape of a low maintenance food production garden, with angles on permaculture and nature observation, that respects natural cycles and that aspires self sufficiency.

    From the very beginning, citizens partaking in the project wished to learn about gardening as a group and inspired each other with their respective talents, desires and dreams. Participating citizens get together regularly on site to garden, and those who wish to join in are welcome to do so throughout the season. With no barriers or fences, anyone can stop by and harvest fresh produce, as long as it is done in way that respects the principles of sharing and collective living. On site gatherings include picnics, workshops, or events involving local community organizations, and contribute to enliven the garden.

    In 2016, new parcels were opened and wilder spaces with wildflower prairies were established in order to create habitat for bees and other pollinators.

    The collective of the Un jardin pour tous project comprises of citizens who are also members of the Green Committee of the Démarche Décider Rosemont ensemble. The project is supported by various organizations and institutions such as Éco-quartier Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie (SODER), the CDC de Rosemont and the borough of Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie.

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    Paysage Solidaire

    Paysage Solidaire

    Initiated in 2009, the urban agriculture project Paysage Solidaire consists in transforming mineralized, contaminated or underused urban spaces into educational and productive food gardens in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Since 2014, project team members have been specifically working on setting up a local and alternative food strategy throughout the borough. The objectives of the project are to improve food safety for the citizens of the borough, to develop a local and organic food production and to market fresh harvests in a short circuit through two produce stands. The project also aims to supply local grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and food safety community organizations with fresh local produce.

    Paysage Solidaire comprises of:

    • Three food production sites within the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in partnership with the SAQ, the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, and the Saint-François-d’Assise Parish.
    • Three educational gardens in partnership with the Centre jeunesse du Mont-Saint-Antoine, the Saint-François-d’Assise Parish, and the Olympic Stadium Esplanade.

    The educational component of the project consists of workshops and training sessions on different topics relative to urban agriculture offered to schools, community organizations, and citizens of the borough.

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    Les Jardins des Patriotes

    Les Jardins des Patriotes

    Les Jardins des Patriotes is a greening, embellishing and food production project at Louis-Joseph-Papineau School with three major scopes to it’s goal – social, educational and environmental. The project comprises of four zones: a fruit tree orchard, a green rest area for school personnel, an artistic garden featuring works made with reused objects and a food production garden adjacent to an educational garden for children. The surface area of the garden is 300 m2 and about 30 fruit trees are found in the orchard.

    In the framework of the educational component of the project, students in a special work preparation program are trained in urban agriculture and landscaping in order for them to be able to reintegrate the job market in their respective fields. The educational approach is similar to the one used in environmental education where learning is achieved through interdisciplinary projects that include all subject matters. In-class workshops are taught in collaboration with Ça pousse!, a program of the NDG Food Depot.

    One of the environmental objectives of this project is to aim for a system based on circular economy. Hence, organic matter from the gardens is composted, seedlings are started in class, harvested produced is transformed in the kitchens on-site, other produce is sold at the market, and an effort is made to reuse objects as much as possible. By greening the schoolyard, the project contributes to the fight against urban heat islands and to carbon dioxide sequestration in the neighborhood. A wildflower patch has also been planted in order to create habitat for pollinators. The environmental component of the project is supported by the éco-quartier Saint-Michel/François-Perrault et le Pari Saint-Michel.

    Finally, the social aspect of the project involves summer job creation for local youth in the gardens and at the Saint-Michel Solidarity Market. Volunteer opportunities are also offered in the gardens during the summer in order to allow members of the community to fight social exclusion and isolation. Partners of the project are also involved in a food production garden project in order to improve access to healthy produce through the Saint-Michel Solidarity Market.

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    Gardening my School – AU/LAB

    Gardening my School – AU/LAB

    School gardens are becoming more and more popular everywhere around the world. From Europe to North America, gardening has proven to be a useful learning and recreational tool for children of all ages. However, starting a school garden project may seem labour intensive and complicated for teachers and other school workers.

    In response for the need of accessible information and materials, Gardening my School presents itself as a tool for sharing knowledge and expertise about educational gardens. It is intended for anyone who wishes to elaborate an educational garden project or to participate in one.

    Whether you are a teacher, parent or citizen, Gardening my School offers resources entirely dedicated to educational gardens that will guide you through your project from start to finish and that will help you to maintain it in the future. Information sheets, activities and games elaborated by education and urban agriculture experts are available at everyone’s convenience on the platform.

    The platform caters the needs of Montreal-based projects, but also of those based in other regions in the province. Discover a multitude of unique school gardening projects that will inspire you and bring confidence to your own project achievements!

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    Agriculture urbaine Montréal – AU/LAB

    Agriculture urbaine Montréal – AU/LAB

    Agriculture urbaine Montréal is an information hub for all urban agriculture initiatives in the Montreal region. It contributes to the development of the city’s agricultural activities by showcasing and promoting them. Agriculture urbaine Montréal lists and maps the city’s initiatives such as community, collective and balcony gardens, as well as urban farms and apiaries. It also showcases the profiles of project leaders.

    Developed and managed by the Urban Agriculture Lab (AU/LAB) since 2011, this platform serves as a gardening resource while fostering the engagement of urban gardeners and promoting garden biodiversity.

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    VERTical Project – AU/LAB

    VERTical Project – AU/LAB

    VERTical is an innovative urban agriculture project that covers an area of 600 m2. It is characterized by vertical self-supporting structures that allow to experiment with different types of natural and synthetic growing media, to contribute to the fight against urban heat islands, to densify food production and to transform urban roofs into biodiversity oases.

    The project is part of the Urban Agriculture Laboratory of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. The laboratory’s partner organizations, the Palais des congrès, la Ligne Verte and AU/LAB, have created this experimentation space in order to add a second vocation to the roof of the Palais des congrès, but also to develop and apply rooftop food production techniques.

    VERTical has been financed by various stakeholders including the Réseau d’Investissement Social du Québec, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, the Borough of Ville-Marie, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins and PME MTL Centre-Ville.

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    A Beer for the 375th – Montréal Houblonnière

    A Beer for the 375th – Montréal Houblonnière

    What better way to celebrate our great city than a locally brewed beer? The Beer for the 375th is a large-scale collaboration between citizens and Montreal brewers. For the next few months, participating breweries will meet in order to elaborate a common recipe and will encourage their followers to plants hops in their respective neighbourhoods.

    Meanwhile, citizens and local beer enthusiasts across the city are growing hops on walls, roofs, balconies, in back yards, and in alley ways. In the fall of 2017, Montréal Houblonnière will harvest the locally grown hops, and local brewers will produce the Beer for the 375th anniversary of the city, each in their own installations, using hops harvested from their respective neighbourhoods. The end result will be a harvest beer, offered in a wide range of aromas, and will allow citizens to taste the distinctive flavours for each of the Montreal neighbourhoods.

    Montréal Houblonnière is an organisation founded in the framework of the event Je vois Mtl. Its mission is to localise and promote the cultivation of hops within the territory of the City of Montreal, and hence, to contribute to the fight against urban heat islands by the greening of vertical structures.

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    Le Mange-Trottoir

    Le Mange-Trottoir

    Mange-Trottoir attracts, gathers, informs, educates and inspires the local and international community. It meets the needs of a city that is redeveloping on a human scale to address urban greening, citizen engagement, ecological agriculture, and the reduction of urban heat islands.

    Initially launched by a neighborhood resident, the project is the end result of a collective reflection involving several members of the community. In spring 2014 they got the idea to grow sidewalk container gardens at the corner of de Castelnau and Drolet streets in Villeray, Montreal, and since then the project has really taken shape. The group rolled up their sleeves and have built what is one of the most lush and collaborative green urban agricultural projects in Montreal. Several containers are neatly arranged on the sidewalks on both sides of the street, containing a variety of edible and native plants, to the delight of residents who come to take their pick. In addition, social and educational group activities are regularly offered around the edible sidewalk gardens.

    Financed primarily by residents through plant sales and with the help of the Villeray éco-quartier, UQAM and the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre—this project creates great opportunities for local residents to connect with each other and discuss agriculture.

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    Ephemeral Projects

    Ephemeral Projects

    Ephemeral Projects is an initiative of Université de Montréal that aims to temporarily occupy and valorize part of the construction site of its future science campus, the Outremont Site. Through collaboration with ten local environmental organizations, the construction site has become the scene of a series of micro projects whose common goal is to bring public awareness to the appropriation and valorization of urban spaces. Among others, a collective garden, a pollinator garden, an apiary, a tree nursery, and a space dedicated to small-scale intensive food production, as well as a few ecological experimental projects can be found on site.

    The site has become a platform for people of all ages to learn about how sustainable development transforms cities. Moreover, it will play host to a multitude of user-friendly and educational activities such as movie nights and outdoor concerts, workshops on urban agriculture, tours and solidarity markets. A harvest festival was also held in the falls of 2015 and 2016.

    In 2016, this project won first prize at the Gala de reconnaissance en environnement et développement durable (Gala for the recognition of the environment and sustainable development) of Montreal in the category for companies and institutions.

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