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Grow Your Own

Public Gardens

While there are many public gardens, these are mostly for viewing and not for growing your own food.  These may include "healing gardens" such as the garden planted by volunteers at the Heath Place Cancer Support Centre in Oshawa, butterfly gardens or scent-oriented gardens for seniors or the visually-impaired. 

Community Gardens

There are several community gardens in the Durham Region, where you can "own" or "rent" a small plot of land and grow your own food.

To find out more, visit the Durham DIG website for a garden near you.

There are a few notable community gardens in Durham:

The Table Community Food Centre: The Community Garden program is open to all community members with a focus on increasing access to local food while providing a friendly space to meet new people and learn new skills, all in a beautiful environment. To find out more, or to join our gardens, please contact April Mallett, Community Garden Coordinator, by phone 613-267-6428 X 7 or email

Welcome Centre Immigrant Services in Ajax has a community garden. Visit the Welcome Centre website for more information.

Bowmanville Community Organic Garden (BCOG).  Founded several years ago through the hard work of members of the Canadian Organic Gardeners.

Valley Plentiful Community Garden is supported by the City of Pickering and the Durham Chapter of the Canadian Organic Gardeners.

The Whitby-Ajax Communal Garden in north Whitby provides plots to interested volunteers.

In addition, some senior centres, schools and churches also have community gardens.

Growing Your Own

Your community will also participate in the Communities in Bloom activities.  This is a great way to meet other gardeners in your community.  There are also a number of garden clubs in the Durham Region.  These belong to District 17 of the Ontario Horticultural Association and you can find a list of the local groups there.  These are very social groups which offer advice on many aspects of gardening in Ontario. 

There are also very specialized gardening groups:

  • Durham Orchid Society
  • Canadian Mushroom Growers' Association
  • Canadian Peony Society - which holds a festival annually together with the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.

For anyone interested in organic gardening, be sure to visit the Canadian Organic Growers and find the chapter for your community. 


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