Greenhouse Canada


Vertical Farming Workshop for Northern Ontario

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May 13, 2021

Vertical Farming Workshop – Thursday, May 13, 2021

About This Event:

There is a growing interest in vertical farming in Canada. While vertical farming technologies are still relatively new, many companies in Ontario and across Canada are using the technology as part of private ventures to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for their local market. Vertical farming can also play a role in food security initiatives by increasing access to healthy, fresh foods.

As part of the planning process, municipalities play a key role in determining how and where production activities occur. By attending this webinar, municipal staff, elected officials, businesses, and community organizers will gain an understanding of key aspects of vertical farming, including:

  • New technologies
  • Advantages and limitations
  • Lessons learned from people working in this sector

Let’s Start at the Beginning: What is Vertical Farming? 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

Description: This opening session will provide a general introduction to vertical farming. It will explore what technology is most widely used, where sector growth is occurring, and what sort of advancements are on the horizon. It will also cover common points of interest to people new to vertical agriculture, such as what can be grown in vertical farms, production potential, and key inputs.


  • Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, OMAFRA

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

Let’s Grow Up! Vertical Farming Panel: 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EST

Description: If you’re looking to be inspired about what the future of vertical farming holds, you’re in the right place. Kicking us off is Zip Grow – one of the fastest-growing vertical farming companies in Canada. Zip Grow will give a presentation on their vertical farming operation, the research and development their leading, as well as the tower technology they’re selling across the globe. Sarah Pardy, Project Manager with Wesley, will share their experience starting a vertical farm in Hamilton, Ontario, as a strategy to improve community food security.

Mike Bellamy and Kevin Narraway will add to the session by sharing their vision for a public-private partnership that involves establishing a hub of education, research and training in vertical agriculture.


  • Zip Grow
  • Sarah Pardy, Project Manager, Wesley
  • Mike Bellamy, President and Co-Founder of Frontier Labs Inc. and Kevin Narraway, Manager of Marketing and Tourism for the Municipality of Port Hope

Lettuce Hear From Some Other Innovators in the Field: 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. EST

Description: Vertical Farming is already a reality in Northern Ontario, and even further north. Learn about the work spearheaded by the Artic Research Foundation in Nunavut to develop a vertical farm designed to run on renewable energy. Nick Halverson will share his experience working for Growcer, which is a for-profit social enterprise that builds custom vertical farm structures. Nick will talk about some of the projects Growcer has helped facilitate, which includes vertical farms that are part of schools, social enterprises, and First Nations communities.

You’ll not want to miss the presentation from Boréalis Fresh Farms, which is a vertical hydroponic modular farm that grows produce year-round. Their mission is to increase food security in a sustainable way, help reduce overall food miles, and reduce dependency on out-of-region produce by increasing local production of fresh produce.


  • Artic Research Foundation, Nunavut
  • Nick Halverson, Growcer
  • Boréalis Fresh Farms, Timmins

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