The idea to grow food at UHN came from Talkin’ Local Food at UHN, a crowdsourcing project in the summer of 2014 that gathered opinions of patients, visitors, and hospital staff. The design challenge invited the public to identify ways to either raise the profile of food in healthcare or generating revenue for the hospital.
In 2015, a feasibility study was conducted to understand how a social enterprise could benefit patients, hospitals, and the community at large. The study identified an opportunity to create a vertical urban farm within a triple bottom line framework (people, profits, and planet). The farm aims to generate multiple benefits, including patient therapy, community engagement, food literacy education, health research, revenue generation, and promoting local food.
The project entered its second phase of business planning in May 2017.
OpenLab project lead: Adeline Cohen
Funders: the McConnell Family Foundation’s Innoweave Program and the Toronto Rehab Foundation.
Mount, P., Varangu, L., Wylie-Toal, B., Knezevic, I., Cohen, A., Quenneville, L., and Rendek, K. (2016). “Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the future for health care”. Guelph, Ontario: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Available at http://projectsoil.ca/project-reports/