City of Toronto announces PollinateTO Grant recipients to create 110 new gardens

2023 April 18

Today, the City of Toronto announced the recipients of its PollinateTO Grants. Through the grants, the City provides funding of up to $5,000 per project for community-led initiatives that create or expand pollinator habitat on public and private lands in Toronto.

Forty-four community-led projects, including 11 projects located in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods, have been selected to receive funding. In total, 110 new gardens will create an estimated 5,700 square metres of pollinator habitat through this round of grants.

Approved projects include schoolyard teaching gardens, community faith gardens, Indigenous education gardens, rain gardens, boulevard gardens and multiple front-yard gardens on residential streets that create pathways for pollinators.

The projects will also engage and educate communities through a variety of measures including signage, workshops, tours, videos, seed exchanges, community planting days, Indigenous knowledge sharing, senior and youth programming, newcomer education, interpretive art and citizen science.

The PollinateTO Grants are a component of Toronto’s Pollinator Protection Strategy, adopted by Toronto City Council in 2018 to support more than 360 species of bees and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators found in Toronto. Some species are in decline due to habitat loss, climate change and other stressors. Once lost, native species cannot be replaced.

Pollinators provide important services that allow plants to produce seeds, fruits and new plants. They are also an important source of food for birds and contribute to the biodiversity in our city. The easiest and most effective way to help native pollinators is to plant native plants. Native plants provide much-needed habitat, as well as pollen and nectar for food, and places to nest and overwinter.

Since 2019, the PollinateTO Grants have funded 151 projects, including 40 located in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and Emerging Neighbourhoods, and 66 on school grounds. More than 400 gardens have been created with an estimated total combined area of nearly 24,000 square metres of pollinator habitat.

More information about the PollinateTO grant recipients and projects is available on the City’s PollinateTO Grants webpage.