February 6, 2014 — If it was possible for a city to have a green thumb, then Montréal would have a verdant index, middle, ring and pinky finger, too! Montréal is home to a blossoming urban agriculture movement fuelled by a collective mobilization towards inventive practices and re-appropriation of urban space. With over 8,500 plots in 97 gardens, 75 community gardens and a multitude of private initiatives, it’s no surprise that Montréal’s urban agriculture (UA) program is heralded as one of the largest and most important in the world.
More and more Montréal businesses – restaurants, hotels, boutiques, etc. – are integrating UA into their workplace. For example, rooftops gardens are springing up all over the city: a vegetable garden and beehives crown the Fairmount Queen Elizabeth Hotel, the Palais des congress (convention centre) boasts a green roof with container gardens, the Hilton Bonaventure shines with 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens and mature trees and Santropol roulant manages no less than 3 garden sites across the city.
Green Montréal Facts
Montréal is home to no less than 29.63 hectares of land dedicated to UA projects and 160 beehives. The burgeoning UA movement has led to a permanent UA committee by the City of Montréal, in addition to a dedicated radio program, Montréal par la racine, and an online repertory detailing city-wide gardens and neighbourhood garden tours. The hashtag #aumtl was created to spark discussion about Montréal UA in the twittersphere.
Check out the city’s UA hotspots with the guided Circuit Jardins (Garden Tour) offered by Sentier Urbain, a non-profit environmental awareness group. Likewise, Fruixi sets up mobile mini-markets of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables on various sites in the summer, offering a fabulous way to get a taste of Montréal’s urban agriculture scene.