Steel City urban farming scene keeps growing
By Emily O’rourke
Jul 5, 2018
While Hamilton is home to more than 700,000 people, nearly 80 per cent of the city is made up of rural and agricultural land. That’s why, in recent years, the city has changed its mind regarding urban farms.
In 2013, a report titled Urban Agriculture Policy, Planning, and Practice was submitted to the Neighbourhood Development Strategy Office by the Urban Agricultural Working Group, representing various departments and neighbourhood action planning teams.
The report was intended to assist policy and decision makers at the city of Hamilton as they investigate how urban agriculture might be better enabled by the City’s programs and regulatory framework, citing various benefits to urban farming and structural recommendations for the city to review.
The city’s Planning and Economic Development Department began removing barriers to urban agriculture in the following year. That year saw new city bylaws that would allow more urban farms and community gardens to grow in our city, including in residential, commercial and institutional areas.
These rules would allow on-site sales of produce grown on urban farms on properties of atleast 0.4 hectare where growing is the primary use. On properties less than 0.4 hectare, produce can be grown