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Our Garden Space

Breakaway’s backyard garden has always been an important space for community and connection. Since we moved to our Parkdale home in 2011, our staff and clients have poured countless hours of love and hard work into our outdoor space. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, we had to come up with creative ways of keeping our community safe while continuing to connect with our clients. Our outside space became one of the few places where we could safely connect with one another face to face.  

The challenges posed by COVID-19 highlighted the various ways that we could use our garden to build relationships with each other and the earth. At first, we used the garden to provide outdoor counselling spaces for our clients who could not meet with us virtually. This grew into a larger project, with clients and staff working together to grow fruits, veggies, and herbs to supplement our grocery program and help combat food insecurity. The garden also became the site for Breakaway’s memorial space, a project spearheaded by our Grief, Loss, and Wellness program. Three years in, our garden has grown to become a community space where everyone can contribute, share their knowledge and skills, and connect with one another over growing seedlings and fruit harvests.  

Breakaway’s garden is an opportunity to learn and grow together as we work to create a space that serves the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of our community. The garden provides a space for people to connect with parts of themselves that they may have forgotten or not had a chance to connect with. It also acts as a non-clinical therapeutic space that allows for healing beyond the counselling room. Most importantly, this backyard space empowers people to develop a closer relationship with all the life blooming in our garden: from growing plants and pollinating insects, to our client’s pets sniffing around in the dirt, to the people working together to make our space beautiful and welcoming.  

Garden Goings-On

GLoW In the Garden

Breakaway’s Grief, Loss, and Wellness team has taken the lead on creating a beautiful memorial space in our garden. Our memorial archway was built to commemorate those that our community has lost. This archway is made from baby oak trees and other natural materials that had to be removed from our garden beds. This is an interactive space, and people are encouraged to continually build onto it by adding their own mementoes and meaningful objects. The garden is also a space for numerous grief and wellness groups, which provide a chance for connection amidst the ongoing loss and trauma of the drug poisoning crisis.  

Thank You for Helping our Garden Grow!

Thanks to the hard work of our staff and clients, and the support of our community partners, we’ve watched the garden grow into a robust green space! This year, we started our seedlings at the Wychwood Barns Greenhouse. Our staff and clients have put lots of love into nurturing these seeds into fully grown plants that provide us with fresh produce in the summer months. We’ve relied on the generosity of our community, as well as our partnership with Home Depot, for supplying gardening tools and furniture to help upkeep our space. We’ve also depended on the vast gardening knowledge of our staff and clients, who have eagerly shared their skills and expertise with us. We are incredibly grateful for everyone who has contributed to our garden, whether it’s in the form of knowledge sharing, greenhouse space, donations, or a helping hand.  

This garden is one example of the vital programming that Breakaway provides. We are dedicated to providing support that includes all aspects of our clients’ lives and situations, and to creating spaces for community and reflection. If you’d like to support projects like the garden, we encourage you to connect with us! We accept all kinds of donations, both monetary and donations in kind. To make a monthly or one-time donation to our programming, please fill out the form on this page. For any other donations, please email [email protected]. All donations over $10 will receive a receipt for tax purposes and a copy of our annual report at the end of the year. 

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