Rose Avenue Public School

November school gardening in Toronto

Rose Avenue Public School is located in the St. James Town community of high-rise apartment buildings. The school serves a student population of over 700 students from kindergarten through Grade 6. More than 85% of the students have English as their second language, representing about 50 language groups. Most of the families of this school recently arrived from other countries – many from Sri Lanka, and an increasing number from Eastern European, Asian and African countries. The school is one of the TDSB EcoSchools, and as such has been developing an environmentally sustainable set of practices, into which gardening and composting fit quite well.

Garden development began in earnest in Spring 2007, with a design for a children’s garden in the part-sun location at the northwest corner of the property. Food production was expanded in 2010 with the building of three earthblock beds by students and youth in the sunnier east side of the school. Composting is another initiative at Rose Ave.