Yorklands Food Hub

David Messer Guelph Smart City Office • 16 November 2020
Creation of the Yorklands Food Hub, an urban agriculture and food business incubator expanding food access and education to Guelph’s East End

Project Idea

The Yorklands Food Hub (YFH) will be an urban agriculture and food business incubator expanding food access and education to Guelph’s East End, a well known food desert, and Ward 1, a priority neighbourhood. The YFH will identify “Emerging Foodsters”, people who are experiencing barriers to entering the circular food economy, and provide them with hands-on learning and financial support to help their projects expand. With a greenhouse and raised beds, “Emerging Foodsters” as well as the broader community will learn to grow food through workshops and teach-ins. A weekly low-waste farmers market beside the greenhouse will give the community access to local CSA’s and provide the Emerging Foodsters with education on business development and marketing. A YFH Coordinator will lead this project and facilitate the educational materials and outreach. A portion of the grant money will be used to compensate Emerging Foodsters as we help them overcome barriers and expand their community support.


The proposed project site is located in Guelph, on the former Correctional Centre lands, commonly known as Yorklands Green Hub (YGH). In particular we are seeking to use half an acre of Parcel 2 on these provincially owned lands where the YGH has been active for the past six years


Community Impacts:

Social Benefits:
-Increased community vibrancy in East End Guelph
-Connection between heritage, food production and natural spaces
-Reduced food insecurity and increased urban resilience knowledge
-Increased awareness of Urban Agriculture
-Overcoming barriers to participating in the circular economy
-Increased exposure to migrant food culture and business

Economic Benefits:
-New market space for CSA’s and food vendors
-Emerging Foodsters launch and expand new businesses
-Local businesses supported by increased activity in area
-Harvest and process at least 500 pounds of food

Environmental Benefits:
-Increased access to natural and historic features at Yorklands site
-Connecting food economy to conservation and recreation
-Increased knowledge of sustainable agriculture
-Local community educated on how to grow food at home
-Promotion of zero waste
-Recycle at least 500 pounds of food waste
-Reduction of personal carbon miles by accessing local food