Jane Hayes
Garden Jane

Jane is a gardener, community developer, educator and coach with 25 years of experience, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area / Southern Ontario.

Her expertise includes social and urban permaculture, both of which influence her approach to helping people of all ages learn to grow and enjoy healthy food, as well as to co-design, implement and grow regenerative livelihoods and businesses.

Jane’s permaculture livelihood strategies led her to found Garden Jane and co-found Hoffmann Hayes. 

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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. 

Jane’s design experience includes establishing programs and projects that have eco-physical and / or personal-social-cultural components. Some examples include: a Regenerative Bioregional Community of Practice & Landscape Survey, a Permaculture in Ontario map, The Erin Mills Farmers Market, LUSH factory gardens, the City of Toronto Children’s Garden Program and High Park Children’s Garden. She also worked with FoodShare, the City of Toronto’s Community Garden program and Evergreen, helping set the stage for the growth of community gardening, school gardens and urban agriculture in Toronto and across Canada. She co-authored the City of Toronto’s Community Garden Action Plan, a foundation for the City’s community garden strategy. For a more complete list of projects, see her website or Linked In profile. ​

Jane left home at 16. She went on to a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies (University of Toronto), a Masters in Environmental Studies (York University), and was certified in Permaculture Design in 2001 and Teaching Permaculture in 2002. She enjoys an active family life with her daughter Chloe, stepson River, her partner Jeremy and his kids, Eli and Sophie. For more on Jane’s journey into permaculture, check out this podcast.

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