Jane Hayes
Garden Jane

Toronto, Canada

Top 3 Areas of Expertise

  • Social and urban permaculture
  • Business development and impact
  • Public site and program designs
jane hayes headshot 1

Advice for Students

“Dive in and have fun! There’s so much to learn and enjoy. Each of us is completely unique and there’s a path for everyone here. I strongly encourage students to consider permaculture principles and ethics in relation to where they are personally and to design their course journey, along with their final design, with their own needs in heart and mind. I encourage people to work at both a practical and modest (immediate, personal) level, while holding space to call in (and design for) larger dreams, visionary ideas, and great livelihoods for all.”

Teacher Bio

I live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and have direct “field” experience in Toronto, Mississauga and several surrounding cities, which includes working with a diverse communities, not-for-profits, municipalities, businesses, urban and rural farmers and gardeners. The cities around the GTA are growing quickly and I focus on improving the type of development that is happening, and bringing permaculture sensibilities to all aspects of the work. I’ve grown lots of food crops in cold climates, mostly in public spaces, and am able to discuss rooftop, urban or rural farm production systems, soils, pollinators and plants.

I am experienced in working with teams with professional design, education or community development backgrounds (engineers, architects, developers, planners, educators, community development workers) and I have also done some work with farmers across Southern Ontario, some of it networking and education oriented, and some of it business and invisible systems design focused. I am proficient at planning and budgeting work, and knowing where permaculture resourcefulness and design can improve the impact of standard work and project implementation patterns. While my own business doesn’t focus on personal home scale projects much any more, I like to work with students who are learning to apply permaculture to their own spaces and personal lives with an eye to impacting larger systems or growing livelihoods. If you want to develop a livelihood I can help you accelerate those plans.

After years of municipal and not-for-profit work, I founded Garden Jane and Hoffmann Hayes. Garden Jane’s mission is to inspire people to engage and invest in growing regenerative communities. At the heart of the firm’s work is designing and implementing innovative urban agriculture and community garden projects and programs. The firm does most of its design and educational work at a modest price point and with a sliding scale. Garden Jane is a founding partner of Hoffmann Hayes, a consulting firm that works with developers and design teams to add rooftop gardens and urban agriculture elements to their master planned communities, projects, and buildings. The firm provides pre-build design consultation and, after the project has been built, coaching for the community for 2 to 3 years. This bridge between design and end use is a unique feature and offers valuable insight on how everyone involved can improve design, build, and tenant engagement processes. Projects range from rooftop gardens and community gardens to farmers markets and community kitchens. I love helping people think through how they’re going to implement permaculture in their lives, in public spaces and in community. I’m a good fit for people looking to make a living with this work and/or who are deeply invested in taking on the systems that have oppressed some and rewarded others.

My design experience includes establishing programs and projects that have eco-physical and / or personal-social-cultural components.

  • 30+ urban agriculture projects in master planned communities and new buildings (working with developers and community housing);
  • Master plan for University of Toronto Scarborough, a 300 acre site with campus farm;
  • a Permaculture in Ontario map;
  • Erin Mills Farmers Market and local food hub; – factory gardens;
  • foodscapes in front of commercial buildings on main streets in Toronto;
  • urban agriculture strategies, community garden and children’s garden programs for the Ontario Parks Association, the City of Toronto, the City of Mississauga, and the City of Charlottetown;
  • dozens of school, daycare and small farm projects.
  • I have two Environmental Studies degrees (BA, MES) and am on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America (2020-2023).
  • Permaculture Women’s Guild course mentor since 2019.

Hourly tutoring rate: $100. Offers partial scholarships and work-trades.

Typical response time: within a few days

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