Research Reports


Ontario Food Hub Case Studies

Food hubs are actual or virtual spaces through which food is collected and distributed to processors, retailers, restaurants, or other organizations. They can also provide space for other food-related activities including food preparation, handling and/or processing, education and skill-building, and increasing food access. Access the full suite of reports

Community Food Hub Evaluation Guide

Supported by the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Research Partnership, Erin Nelson and Karen Landman have developed a practical guide aimed at helping community food hubs conduct evaluation work. The information and suggestions provided in the guide are based largely on conversations with representatives of community food hubs that have proven track-records of success – both in terms of their overall operations, and in implementing effective evaluation strategies. The insights offered by these experts in the field are complemented by information from the literature available on evaluation.

Download the guide [pdf 813 kb]

Food Access, Housing Security and Community Connections: A Case Study of Peterborough, Ontario

There exists a well-established link between housing security and food access: individuals facing unstable housing tenures or having limited financial resources are also more likely to report facing food insecurity (Che & Chen, 2001; Kirkpatrick & Tarasuk, 2011). This report takes this connection as a starting point, exploring how policies and programs might address these two issues simultaneously. What could be learned from the mutually constitutive and interconnected nature of these two challenges? How could policies and programs be directed more carefully with these connections in mind?

Download the full report [pdf 949 KB]

Local Food Systems in North America: A Review of Literature (June 2013)

This report is a survey of the prominent North American literature from academic, governmental, and non-governmental sources published within the last thirteen years on the subject of local food systems. The goal of this report is investigate current discussion on North American localized food systems and to identify the terms of engagement of participants seeking to access the perceived benefits of this form of food marketing. Download the full report

Local Food Systems – International Perspectives: A Review (June 2013)

As the development of the local food movement in Ontario is not happening in isolation, the trends and the lessons of local/regional food initiatives around the world are worthy of consideration. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief overview of research and initiatives in other parts of the world, which may be useful for identifying patterns of successful models for local food hubs. Focusing on European Union countries, with an additional, less comprehensive turn to Australia and New Zealand, this overview is a cursory scan of scholarly and “gray” (government and community) literature on food hubs and regional food systems. Download the full report


Designing Educational Food Landscapes: Guidelines for schools

Elizabeth Nowatschin outlines a set of guidelines that were developed to aid landscape architects and school garden stakeholders in designing multipurpose, inclusive, community-engaged school food gardens that meet the needs of the primary users as well as the greater community. This document is the result of a University of Guelph Master of Landscape Architecture research project by Elizabeth Nowatschin, with the assistance of Drs. Karen Landman and Erin Nelson.

Download here [pdf 6 Mb]…


Opportunities for Innovation

A Student Nutrition Program Pilot Project in Windsor-Essex
Erin Nelson – a report for the VON Canada, Erie St. Clair District


Settlement, Food Lands, and Sustainable Habitation: The Historical Development of Agricultural Policy and Urban Planning in Southern Ontario [pdf 938 Kb]
Joel Fridman – Thesis for Masters of Arts in Geography, Collaborative Program in Environmental Studies, Department of Geography / Planning, University of Toronto



Blay-Palmer, A., I. Knezevic, P. Andrée, P. Ballamingie, K. Landman, P. Mount, C. Nelson, E. Nelson, L. Stahlbrand, M. Stroink, K. Skinner. 2013. Future food system research priorities: A sustainable food systems perspective from Ontario, Canada. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development 3(4): 227-234.


Charles Levkoe
Transformative Food Politics and Regional Networks research project

Models and Best Practices for Building Sustainable Food Systems
in Ontario and Beyond



Sustainable Communities of FoodCommunity Food Toolkit



Transitioning from conventional to sustainable agriculture in Canada