Boulevard Magazine - April 2015 Issue

Page 30

FEATURE STORY

URBAN GROWTH FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY IN DOWNTOWN VICTORIA  TEXT BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY DON DENTON

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IMAGINE WALKING IN THE 700 block of downtown Victoria’s Yates Street — where the sidewalks are a little wider than most — and plucking edibles from public planters bursting with leafy green produce. Turn onto Blanshard Street, pass buildings alive with rooftop gardens and a “bike kitchen” (containing tools to repair bicycles), and then sit down at Be Love, where tomatoes used in the ZLT sandwich are grown right outside in an urban planter. 30

These are some of the visions held by members of Victoria’s Food Eco District (FED), who hope that within five years, a six-block area of the city’s downtown will be a unique district focusing on food and sustainability. “We have big goals for FED,” says project coordinator Heidi Grantner. “Eventually, we envision it as distinct a neighbourhood as Chinatown — full of green space, delicious food and a sense of community.” FED, a non-profit entity and the first of its kind in


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