Toronto has a very dynamic group of gardeners that help to share their love of all things
horticultural with others. The Toronto Seed Library is one of those hidden gems in our city that
serves as a resource for new and experienced gardeners alike.
What is the Toronto Seed Library you ask? It is as its name suggests…a library. The only
difference is that instead of books and periodicals, it is a library for seeds. Patrons can “borrow”
and “return” seeds just like you would a library book.
With branches all over Toronto and a mobile library, you are likely to find one reasonably close
to where you live, with borrowing privileges open to all. There are only a few basic rules to
follow such as taking only what you need (and intend to use) and to give back to the library by
returning seeds at the end of the season to make sure the library has seeds available for next
year’s growing season.
Each spring, the Toronto Seed Library also hosts a series of “Seedy Saturdays” in which the
library moves to neighbourhoods across Toronto with seed exchanges, talks, demonstrations,
and other activities to promote their work and raise funds to expand.
For those just starting out in gardening, this is a great way to find some seeds to plant and to
learn how to get growing. For those that already have their hands dirty in gardening, Seedy
Saturdays are also a great place to meet your fellow gardeners to share tips, get your hands on
less common seeds, and to learn more advanced techniques such as seed collecting and
For those that live outside of the City of Toronto, there are similar groups sprouting up all over
Canada and internationally. You can check out the Seeds of Diversity website to find events in other cities and
towns or if one isn’t nearby, consider starting one in your community.