From Farm to Table on Your Balcony

A proposal for an apartment complex in Toronto may be the world's first vertical urban farm.

Rendering of The Plant by Kohn Shnier architects via ArchDaily, courtesy Curated Properties

Rendering of The Plant by Kohn Shnier architects via ArchDaily, courtesy Curated Properties

“Growing local” and “sustainable building” are both hot topics among the socially and environmentally conscious.

Now a developer in Toronto is embarking on a venture that will combine the two ideas into a single structure.

ArchDaily reports on The Plant, a “makerspace” with a difference: its spaces encourage residents to grow their own food.Designed by Toronto-based Kohn Shnier architects, the building is laced through with features focused on food and urban farming: planter beds for growing herbs in every apartment, a community greenhouse, latticed terraces and balconies that can accommodate plantings as well as furniture and a barbecue, and shallow floorplates that let lots of light into the units. The building also has an industrial kitchen for preparing food and hosting events.

“Urban living used to mean choosing between being a cool neighborhood full of amenities or having enough land to cultivate a robust garden,” Adam Ochshorn, a partner at project developer Curated Properties, told ArchDaily. “When you consider two-thirds of all humans will soon be city-dwellers, having to choose between an urban residence or the ability to comfortably grow your herbs and vegetables no longer makes sense.”

So the residents of The Plant won’t have to choose. The 10-story structure, which combines street-level retail with second-floor offices, an amenity floor with a large outdoor terrace and single- and bi-level apartments, is currently rising on the site of a former bakery on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Curated partner Gary Eisen calls it “a community that fits with the foodie culture that has come to define Queen West.”

Toronto’s Urban Farming Residence Will Bridge the Gap Between Housing and Agriculture [ArchDaily]