Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair Attracts over 700 to CICS

Cultivating Community, Gardening and Food Security Together

TORONTO, ON – April 8, 2024 — Over 700 seed savers, gardeners, local farmers and community members came together last Saturday at the head office of the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS) for the Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair (SSSGF), one of Toronto’s largest Seedy Saturday events celebrating environmental sustainability and gardening.


Scarborough Seedy Saturday has been running for more than a decade, but this was the first time it has been hosted by an organization with a food program that encompasses a food bank, community garden, greenhouse and indoor vertical farm. The collaboration underscores the vital connection between gardening and food security.


“As the cost of living continues to rise, many in our community are facing challenges accessing affordable and nutritious food,” CICS Executive Director Alfred Lam said. “At CICS, we recognize the power of gardening not just as a hobby, but as one of the solutions to food insecurity. By hosting the Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair, we encourage everyone to connect and learn to grow their own food.”


This year’s event featured over 50 displays and demonstrations by seed vendors, honey vendors, flower societies, park associations, garden associations, eco-organizations and nature groups. Participants had the opportunity to not only exchange rare seeds and gardening tips but also purchase a variety of vegetable, flower and native plant seeds. Those who were cyclists also enjoyed free bike tune-up services provided by the CICS-operated Markham Cycles project.


New to this year's event was the “Growing Rice in the Backyard” display by Alpha Phi Omega, offering participants the chance to explore the cultivation of tiny grains in their home environments. Additionally, attendees could sign up for the Scarborough Seeds For All Forever Challenge, an initiative aimed at growing plants for seed and sharing them within the community. This collaborative effort supports local food initiatives and promotes the creation of green spaces in neighbourhoods across Scarborough.


“We are delighted to be working with CICS,” Toronto Urban Growers and SSSGF Coordinator Katie Fullerton stated. “The CICS food program aligns well with the SSSGF’s aim of supporting food security in our communities. CICS’ support has been invaluable in making this a successful outreach event.” 


All proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the SSSGF and the CICS food program. 


CICS Executive Director Alfred Lam was interviewed by media.


Media visited CICS’ Community Garden and Greenhouse to learn about the agency’s Community Food Program.


A representative from Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Agincourt Jean Yip's office presented a congratulatory scroll.


Member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough—Agincourt Aris Babikian interacted with exhibitors.


Toronto City Councillor for Ward 23 Scarborough North Jamaal Myers; CICS Director of Community Services Brian Joyce; and CICS Executive Director Alfred Lam.


The Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair drew a large crowd to CICS.


About Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS)

Founded in 1968, CICS is a not-for-profit organization and a registered charity that provides core settlement and integration services, including language training and employment, at nine locations across Toronto and York Region, serving more than 20,000 clients every year from early years children to seniors. CICS has also established community food programs that aim at increasing food security through its own community garden, community kitchen and food bank.

CICS is committed to building welcoming and inclusive communities by being a strong advocate for social justice and anti-racism.


Learn more at CICS’ website or follow us on FacebookXInstagram and LinkedIn.




For more information, please contact:

Nicole Leung



Media Coverage:


Un événement de jardinage pour échanger des graines (CBC/Radio-Canada, 6 avril 2024)


倡導利用後院種植蔬果 可提供食物兼愉悅身心 華諮處種子星期六 數百人參加(明報,202447


士嘉堡種子星期六暨綠色博覽會OMNI Cantonese202448日)