Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Adriana Premat


Based on research conducted in the summer of 2009 at the HOPE garden in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood, I examine how community gardening builds participatory democracy in an urban neighbourhood undergoing gentrification. The HOPE gardeners overwhelmingly were drawn to the garden as a way to connect with other people in their neighbourhood. In a complex and heterogeneous neighbourhood these gardeners were brought together in community because of, not in spite of, their differences. The garden seems also to have been a catalyst for other community gatherings in the park. I argue that the garden helps to retain the heterogeneity and complexity of Parkdale which may work to counteract some the effects of gentrification. In light of this research, I present some different ways of thinking about both democracy and community.



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