Urban agriculture has flourished in Montréal and cities around the world in recent years. This growing trend, which is part of global efforts to green urban areas, also aims to rekindle the nourishing function of cities.
Many initiatives have emerged in the boroughs of Saint-Laurent and Pierrefonds-Roxboro thanks to citizens, schools, businesses and various other stakeholders wishing to contribute to the main objectives of urban agriculture, namely:
- Reducing food transportation and its impact on the environment
- Providing access to a healthy and nutritious diet
- Helping citizens reappropriate agriculture and food
- Encouraging food self-sufficiency
- Raising awareness with regard to agriculture issues
- Creating bonds between different social, ethnic and generational groups
- Maintaining biodiversity and creating urban cool islands
Through these objectives, VertCité’s mission is to support your projects from conception to completion by maximizing citizen involvement. To do so, we share our know-how and tools to help you carry out your initiatives independently. A follow-up based on your needs allows you to learn at your own pace and customize your projects.
In addition to offering its services to citizens, businesses and other institutions, VertCité accompanies each year about fifteen schools of the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board in the realization of their school garden in Saint-Laurent. The objective is to provide them with the support and tools necessary to develop their autonomy year after year, from the production of seedlings in the classroom, through summer maintenance, to harvesting.
The organization is also mandated to manage the 9 community gardens in the borough of Saint-Laurent, a community of 250 gardening members.
In 2022, VertCité created its first pollinator garden in Parc Beaudet, and a second the following year in Parc Hartenstein. In the future, we hope to continue establishing these special gardens in the borough of Saint-Laurent.
Since June 2023, the organization has been managing the planting and upkeep of the three vegetable gardens at Maison Robert-Bélanger in Saint-Laurent. Dating back over 200 years, this ancestral home offers a glimpse into the agricultural past of Saint-Laurent. Since its opening on September 30, 2023, VertCité has also been organizing various events and tours.
As part of the Programme de soutien à l’amélioration de l’accès aux fruits et légumes à Montréal 2018-2021, the Cultures Urbaines project aims to eliminate food deserts and food waste in Saint-Laurent.
To this end, VertCité and its partners are implementing a project to distribute surplus production from urban agriculture. Fresh food will be collected on the territory and transported by bicycle to sales points located in food deserts.
Combining healthy eating, active transportation and urban agriculture, this project complements several other VertCité initiatives in Saint-Laurent. Cultures Urbaines thus hopes to improve the food system in Saint-Laurent, which already encourages initiatives in local food production, community kitchens, food processing and food banks. VertCité intends to create a local distribution network and market to showcase our products. This project will be developed in partnership with:
- Borough of Saint-Laurent
- Centre Communautaire Bon Courage de Place Benoît
- CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
- Comité des Organismes Sociaux de Saint-Laurent
- Coopérative des Serres du Dos Blanc
- Saint-Laurent YMCA
GREENING & URBAN BIODIVERSITY
Greening increases our cities’ resilience to climate change while being a great way for citizens to actively get involved. As a member of Alliance Forêt Urbaine, VertCité supports projects that contribute to achieving the goal of planting 300,000 trees to increase Montréal’s canopy.
The greening of cities improves the health of residents and increases urban cool islands while protecting and developing the biodiversity necessary for ecosystems. Moreover, greening contributes to the pride and vitality of our communities by bringing people together.
VertCité can help you with your greening projects!
Knowing about our environment helps us appreciate it more and encourages us to take better care of it. By completing projects aimed at environmental education (whether it be in schools, communities, or businesses) we educate the population of Saint-Laurent about environmental obstacles and guide them towards ecological actions.
With a view to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, VertCité strives to implement projects aimed at reducing solo automobile use and promoting active transportation.
Active transportation refers to all forms of transport powered by human force, notably walking and cycling. In addition to reducing one’s ecological footprint, adopting active transportation provides many health benefits. We are pleased to support any project that promotes active transportation.