Edible City is where I muse about urban gardening and share tips from my new book City Farmer

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Busted: Working for Chicken Bylaw Change

A year and a half ago, I was busted for my backyard chickens. Two Toronto bylaw officers knocked on my door and gave me a Notice to Comply--thirty days to move my chickens out of the city or face a fine and forced removal.

As it turns out, I was moving house that day--the moving van was in my driveway. If the bylaw officers had shown up the next day, my chickens and I would have been gone. I moved and didn't hear from the bylaw folks again. (I'm sure they had much better things to do than track me and my gals down, and I appreciate that.)

Backyard chickens have been in the Toronto news again recently. A report on allowing backyard chickens in Toronto will be presented to the Licensing and Standards Committee on February 24, 2012. It is a crucial time in the effort to allow the safe, humane keeping of hens in Toronto.

The councillors who sit on the Licensing and Standards Committee need to hear from people who support urban hens. There are many myths and conceptions out there, and those who support urban hens need to speak up. I hope you'll consider writing to the councillors on the Licensing and Standards Committee (see names and emails below) and tell them that you support safe and humane backyard egg production in the city! (And if you don't support it, please feel free to post any questions or concerns here, so we can have an exchange of ideas on the subject.)


  1. Hello,
    My name is Eamonn and I'm a local filmmaker in Toronto. A team of filmmakers and I are participating in The International Documentary Challenge March 1st - 5th (which is sponsored by Hot Docs film festival). The documentary challenge is a timed film-making competition where filmmakers from around the world have 5 days to make a short non-fiction film (4-7 minutes.)

    We are very curious about the urban chicken issue and thought a short documentary might help shed some light on this important food security issue. Would you be interested in participating in doc of this nature? If so, I would love to tell you more about the competition and how this subject might be approached.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

    cell: 416.419.7555

  2. I live in the U.K and will have to see if I can find your book in the library. I've only just started gardening again, and am always looking for inspiration.

  3. Hi there!

    Just starting out with chickens and need a coop but can't seem to find anything local to purchase? Any referrals?

    thanks for your time!