The Edible City: Where is Food on the Election Agenda?

Location: Metro Hall, Room 308/309, 55 John Street

How should we think about food? According to new Metcalf Foundation reports edited by Philippa Campsie, we need to think and act very differently about how we grow, process, distribute and consume our food. Improved access to healthy and abundant locally-produced food is a worthy goal shared by the City of Toronto’s Board of Health, which just adopted “Cultivating Food Connections: Toward a Healthy and Sustainable Food System for Toronto” – 29 initiatives that promise to create a culture of “food systems thinking” within the municipal bureaucracy, linked to the many players who comprise the urban food supply chain. Dr.McKeown championed this process.
So with all this positive thinking, why should food be seen as an issue in the lead-up to Ontario’s municipal elections in October? One part of the answer can be found in a report to be issued by the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI). Kevin Stolarick will address the plight of low-income Toronto residents living in areas devoid of quality food stores known as “food deserts.” The MPI report echoes findings raised earlier in this election series by Professor David Hulchanski (Toronto Divided? Polarizing Trends that Could Split the City Apart). 
Through its trend-setting Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC), Toronto’s efforts to promote food security have won respect internationally.  Over a 20 year period, using the unique convening powers of food, the TFPC has brought together a diverse range of stakeholders from across Toronto, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Canada and beyond.  The TFPC has supported initiatives to bolster food security in places such asScadding Court. Alina Chatterjee will explain their strategy of developing community gardens and other innovations.

The TFPC’s recently retired coordinator, Wayne Roberts, has also been vocal about the opportunity to realign the vested interests engaged within the food system. He will discuss moving from the “old” food system to the “new” – blending the best of both in a series of innovative new partnerships. Join us at Metro Hall on the 15th to add your thoughts on how and why food fits in the election agenda.

Special Highlight!  The publishers of "The Edible City: Toronto's Food from Farm to Fork" will be on hand to showcase this book of essays which explores the role of food in shaping the character of a metropolis. 


  • Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto
  • Philippa Campsie, Principal, Hammersmith Communications and editor of recent reports on food systems issued by the Metcalf Foundation
  • Kevin Stolarick, PhD., Director of Research, Martin Prosperity Institute
  • Alina Chatterjee, Director of Re-Development &Special Projects, Scadding Court
  • Wayne Roberts, former coordinator of the Toronto Food Policy Council

    This session is part of the Election Issues breakfast series, co-presented with the Cities Centre, University of Toronto.