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Busy Torontonian? This is how you can eat local this summer.

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Are you a local food business? Click here to start connecting with local consumers.

Living and working in Toronto can be awesome. But it can also be hectic. We want to eat fresh, local food, but often end up just grabbing a quick latte and doughnut from whatever convenient cafe is nearby, while we run to catch the TTC.

Eating locally isn’t only healthier, tastier, and better for the environment, but it’s a way of supporting local farmers and producers in your community. This post will give you everything you need to know on how to easily eat local in Toronto this summer (without breaking the bank.)

Part 1: Shop localmap

1. Shop at Farmers’ Markets. One of the best ways to eat local is by supporting local farmers/vendors and buying from farmers’ markets. The city is home to many farmers’ markets—click here for a full list of markets in Toronto.

2. Attend a Local Food Event. There are several food events happening in the city this summer, but Lovin’ Local Food Fest focuses on locally grown food prepared by Toronto’s best chefs, restaurants, food trucks, breweries, and wineries. The event will also feature local talent and entertainment.

When: July 9, 2016 from 11 A.M. to 10 P.M.

Where: Dundas Square

If you want to venture out of the city and head north, you can find tons of local food events across Ontario here.

3. Eat at Farm-To-Table Restaurants. Another way to eat local is by visiting some of Toronto’s restaurants that are known for supporting Ontario farmers.

  • Harvest Kitchen is a neighbourhood restaurant serving everyday food from local sources—and they have their own farm, Skinny Barn Farm.
  • Café Belong is a restaurant dedicated to local, organic, and sustainable food and food practices owned by Chef Brad Long.
  • Beast celebrates local food and has a weekly changing dinner menu and popular weekend brunch.
  • Me and Mine is a modern space with locally sourced Canadian fare and unique cocktails.
  • Ruby Watchco serves locally produced comfort food and the four-course prix-fixe menu changes every day.
  • Wvrst is another local but casual restaurant/beer hall with artisan sausages and craft beer.

4. Get Locally Grown Groceries Delivered. If dining out isn’t your thing but you still want to eat local, there are plenty of companies that deliver fresh, local, and organic groceries, such as MamaEarth Organics and Fresh City Farms. You choose a bag or basket of groceries (with options to customize) and they deliver the items right to your door.

Part 2: Grow your own produce

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1. Urban Gardening. Many people wish they could grow food at home but feel limited by their confined space in the city. You don’t need acres of land to grow your own produce—you just need some sun exposure and a bit of creativity! If you want to work towards becoming more self-sustainable, growing your own urban garden is a great way to do so. You can make the best use of your small yard through vertical gardening, container gardening, and using raised beds. See this link for more tips for growing food in small spaces.

2. Micro Gardening. If you’re working with even less space and don’t have a yard to plant in, micro gardening is perfect for balconies. Again, container gardening is your best bet for taking advantage of your small space. The Micro Gardener blog is a fantastic resource for people looking to begin micro gardening.

3. Community Gardening. Toronto has several community gardens that you can get involved in. A community garden is a place where people collaborate to grow and maintain various types of plants. Riverdale Meadow Community Garden, H.O.P.E. Community Garden, and Scadding Court Community Garden are all shared gardens that have an emphasis on food.

Are you a local food business? Click here to start connecting with local consumers.

Laura has a B.A. in Honours Communications Studies from McMaster University and is currently enrolled in Humber’s Public Relations Postgraduate program. She is passionate about writing and local business, so this blog is the perfect combination of the two.