Despite the large amount of food we produce, and the relative affordability of our food compared with other countries, many Canadians struggle with affordability and accessibility—an issue called “food insecurity”. Based on the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Income Survey, 5.8 million Canadians, including 1.4 million children, lived in food insecure households in 202148. Much of this is caused by issues like food inflation, but there are other reasons Canadians experience food insecurity. In remote and northern communities in particular, fresh food is scarce, and the high cost of transporting food into those regions makes many products, particularly healthy food choices, very expensive.
Did you know...
In Nunavut, the cost of groceries can be three times the Canadian average, with some items costing up to 10 times more.
Growing food in Canada’s North
Many efforts are underway to help people in northern Canada grow or produce more of their food locally. Some examples include:
The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Farm (TH Farm) just outside of Dawson City, Yukon is one of the only First Nations working farms in the region and is trying to fill some of the need for local food. AgriTech North in Dryden is the first wholesale-scale grower of fresh produce of its kind in northwestern Ontario with a goal of providing year-round access to fresh produce for Far North Indigenous communities. Gjoa Haven, Nunavut is home to Canada’s northernmost vertical farming project, growing fresh produce in a controlled environment shipping container.
Green Iglu is a not-forprofit that launched its first growing dome greenhouses in Naujaat, Nunavut in 2015, with other locations added in northern Quebec, British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador.