Health and Accessibility


Waterloo Region – Starting a Community Garden (see section “F” Designing Barrier Free Gardens)

Inclusion Toolkit – A Guide to Including and Engaging People with Disabilities in Service and Conservation

Gardening from a Wheelchair from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Soil Assessment

Often the land available for increasing the urban land base for community gardening are lands that are vacant, abandoned, or previously used for purposes other than food production. As urban gardening expands in Toronto there will be a growing interest to garden on these lands. Previous and current activities on or next to these sites might have resulted in contamination of the soil.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) in collaboration with Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PF&R) and in consultation with the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) developed an urban gardening soil assessment guide to assist City staff in the assessment of potential sites for community and allotment gardens. The guide is a decision-support tool used to identify areas that may be contaminated but could be suitable for food production and to identify appropriate exposure reduction actions based on the condition of the site.

Soil Assessment Guide

Air Quality 

Air pollution is associated with thousands of premature deaths and hospitalizations. In response to this, Environment Canada and Health Canada have led the development of a health-based air quality index, known as the Air Quality Health Index.

The Air Quality Health Index is a scale that reports the health risk associated with local air pollution levels. It reports the health-risk on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 representing the lowest risk to health. The index tells you when it is safe to exercise outdoors and provides specific health messages for people most affected by air pollution.

Toronto Public Health has designed a Toolkit to acquaint organizations like yours with this new tool so that you may use it to plan your activities and also educate and promote it to your clients.

Air Quality Toolkit