We Design, plant, and care for

BEAUTIFUL
EARTH-FRIENDLY
GARDENS

RAINscapeTO is a social enterprise based in Toronto that offers eco-landscaping services with a focus on the installation of rain gardens and other beautiful Earth-friendly landscapes.
Book a free 45 min consultation to learn about the best options for your property and get a no-obligation quote.

home Services

We are a social enterprise offering:

 

  • Landscape Consultations
  • Rainscape design & installation
  • Rain harvesting (rain barrels)
  • Do-it-yourself Eco-garden kits
  • Organic Garden Maintenance
  • Garden Clean-ups & makeovers

community & business services

We work with Neighbourhood Groups, BIAs and Faith Groups to provide customized services to help the membership base. Connect with us for:

  • Streetscape and public space transformation with raingardens, pollinator plantings and more
  • Maintenance and makeover of parkettes and planter boxes
  • Community gardens and planting events
  • Raingarden and Eco Garden Workshops
  • Community Events and Walking Tours

RAINSCAPING – WHAT IT IS ABOUT & WHY

Rainscaping is a NEW earth friendly way of gardening with wonderful benefits for you, your community and nature. Rainscapes are specially designed to capture, retain, and manage rain on your property and also enhance your life on many other levels.

Rainscaping includes strategies such as rain water harvesting, composting and care for the soil, organic garden management, permeable paving, rain gardens, bioswales, woodland restoration and pocket forests, and stream bank restoration if you have a creek in your garden.  

A rain garden is a small bowl shaped area in the garden that catches water from roof and driveway and allows it to soak into the ground instead of flowing over the road into the sewers and the lake.  This reduces flooding and keeps pollutants out of the lake.

Beautiful Gardens

We focus on beautiful native plants that attract butterflies, pollinators and birds.  Your garden will have four season interest and will contribute to biodiversity.

Focused on You

We listen carefully to learn your preferences needs and garden dreams, then work with nature to provide a great solution for your lifestyle and the needs of your family.

Inspired by Your Local Historic Ecosystem

We bring our deep knowledge of local historic ecosystems to develop a solution specifically adapted to your soil system.

Protect Your Property & Reduce Neighbourhood Flooding

Rainscaping helps solve basement flooding issues, erosion, and local flooding issues.

Less Maintenance & Need to Water the Garden

Less noise and air pollution from gas mowers and leaf blowers.

Indigenous Knowledge & Perspective

We are a diverse team that predominately employs Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Increase Property Value & Curb Appeal

A beautiful garden that is on trend can add to the resale value of your house and enhance the neighbourhood.

Recharge Groundwater

Encouraging infiltration of rainwater allows for the rejuvenation of our groundwater sources; an important supply of fresh and clean drinking water.

Protect Rivers & Lakes

With a rain garden water soaks into the ground instead of flowing over dirty roads to pick up oil gas salt and heavy metals that end up in the lake and rivers.  Organic garden care prevents pollution from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Jose Torcal, Manager

Jose holds a Master in Civil Engineering and has over 8 years of experience working in urban sustainability and public space across 6 different countries. Jose is focused on supporting the global movement towards sustainable communities and has a strong commitment to collaborate across sectors and organizations to address climate change and improve our cities, starting from the community.

Prior to joining RAINscapeTO, Jose was a Program Manager in the Sustainable Neighbourhoods team at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

René Fan, Project Manager

René is a landscape architect with a background in geography, environmental studies, and historic preservation. Originally from Calgary, she studied in Montreal and worked in New York before Toronto. She has experience with the assessment and repair of historic buildings, and the design and construction of landscapes and civic spaces.

She is very excited to be doing environmental work with RAINscapeTO and Building Up in partnership with the City of Toronto for the GreenForceTO pilot project. René is involved with the community garden at Eglinton Park managed by the TGC, as well as Lost Rivers, a program of the TGC exploring the waterways of Toronto, above ground and buried, and reviving connections to land, water, and settlement patterns.

Mary Jenkins, Project Coordinator

Mary is Nêhiyaw-iskwêw (Plains Cree woman) from Treaty 6 territory who uses she/they pronouns. Mary has an environmental sciences background in ecosystem management focusing on Indigenous perspective, practices, and lived experiences. Mary is passionate about bringing forth Indigenous social and environmental rights within predominantly colonial settler communities. They are deeply dedicated to assisting with harmonizing the relationship between ourselves and our environment, especially in an urbanized setting such as Tkaronto (Toronto/GTA).

Mary has worked in various capacities in workshop and project development in educational and recreational settings. They have assisted multiple project teams with developing environmental restoration plans with aspects of soil erosion mitigation, native flora species reintroduction, and SAR reintroduction among other environmental needs.

Robin Jacko, Team Lead

Robin Jacko is a proud Anishinaabe woman of the Three Fires Confederacy from Wikwemikong  Unceded First Nation. Her Spirit Name is Strong Thunderbird, and she is of the Mukwa dodem. Robin has loved being in the outdoors since she was a child. She first got acquainted with the earth and the plant beings when she first explored her grandfather’s vegetable garden as a young child. Her interest really piqued when she threw a sunflower seed in front of her home one spring day and witnessed it grow throughout the summer. She was impressed with the power, beauty, and resiliency the sunflower presented. The next season, she grew her first vegetable garden with great success and found her passion for gardening.  

 The following season Robin quit her office job to pursue her passion for plants. Since, she has worked in community gardens, designed and curated a Medicine Wheel Garden in Eglinton Park, facilitated on-the-land programming for Indigenous families through co-founded grassroots group Maamwizdaa, and is now in her third year of working with RAINscapeTO as Lead Hand working with native plants. She is currently working on the Growing Our Roots Project in partnership with Toronto Green Community to Indigenize Eglinton Park Community Garden through Indigenous-arts-based programming and placemaking.

Paula Messina, Human Resources Advisor

During her 30 years of working and volunteering in various roles with non-profit agencies,  Paula has always endeavoured to highlight the intersections between various issues, sectors,  and communities to help create meaningful connections and a common understanding that nurtures positive outcomes.  

Paula was introduced to the environmental movement during her 10 years at Greenpeace.  Since 2008, Paula has brought a Diversity & Inclusion lens to her grassroots, environmental work with the Toronto Green Community (TGC), adapting programs and approaches to better engage newcomers and racialized people. Paula expanded this lens to build a foundation of partnerships and employment opportunities for the Indigenous community, lending to the Indigenisation of TGC’s programs including Rivers Rising, Eglinton Park Community Garden programming, and the development of the social enterprise, RAINscapeTO.  

Amongst her varying volunteer roles, Paula served on the Board of Directors of a Settlement Services Agency for 11 years and is currently involved in Circles for Reconciliation. Her passion for the environment, human rights, social justice, and Indigenous Rights keeps her engaged in the community.

Helen Mills, Program Advisor

Helen has been involved with TGC since its inception, most specifically as a former board member, co-
developer of the Green Garden Visit, founding partner of Green Gardeners Community Collaborative sometimes referred to as GGCC.

With GGCC, a key player in the establishment of Eglinton Park Heritage Community Garden, and founder of Lost
Rivers, a project that connects people with the lost watersheds and water infrastructure of the city through walking tours, storytelling, eco-interventions, and online maps and information.

Helen is an independent landscape design consultant and garden educator who has been researching and building residential rain gardens since 2008. Helen has been and will continue to consult on the ongoing development of RAINscapeTO which was launched as a pilot program by TGC in 2016.

ABOUT US – OUR TEAM

Our staff consist of young adults from Indigenous communities who share their knowledge and perspective on sustainable living while working with our experienced landscaping leadership. Working along side engineers and experienced landscapers, these young adults develop industry experience, apply their unique techniques to your property, and build a brighter future for all. RAINscapeTO is a program of Toronto Green Community (TGC), a non-profit engaging neighbourhoods, promoting diversity, and building sustainable communities across Toronto since 1995.

Edible & Pollinator Plants

Garden Consultations

Community Workshops

Squared Meters of Gardens

Our Latest Work

Our small but capable team at work, or a sneak peak at some of the projects that are already being enjoyed by the property owners.
Testimonials
Hear from our customers (home owners and organizations), partners, as well as some of the Indigenous staff who are a part of our project about the impact we’ve had.
“We love that RAINscapeTO is a social enterprise, and that the RAINscapers are so friendly, knowledgeable and very hardworking. Thanks so much for helping create our beautiful rain garden that is capturing water that was running right into our basement before.”
Adrienne and Myra

The Annex

“Having RAINscapeTO create and work on our very large (and previously empty) garden was a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to deal with and were absolutely accommodating, skilled and enthusiastic; they treated our garden as if it were their own. They worked extremely well together.”
Ellen

Port Credit

“Working at Toronto Green Community has been an amazing experience so far. I have come to care about the environment and all the creatures that live in it… When I first joined Toronto Green Community, as a Rivers Rising ambassador, I learned about the condition of our water and how it affects us and our planet.”
Reno King

RAINscaper

“We truly have a wonderful group of dedicated and passionate people in RAINscapeTO who take the time to design not just a garden, but a masterpiece. This social enterprise gives Torontonians an opportunity to adapt to the changing climate with a sustainable and useful solution.”
Daniel Hsia

Chair, Toronto Green Community

Let US Start Planting
Get in touch!

If you have any questions about our services or for community involvement opportunities send us an email to [email protected] .

 To book a free consultation please fill the form by clicking on the button below  

Made Possible THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF

Land Acknowledgement

We wish to acknowledge Toronto as a sacred gathering place for many people of Turtle Island. We recognize the long history of First Nations people in Ontario and show respect to the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinabek, and the Mississaugas of the Credit.The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. This territory is also covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.Today, Toronto is a home and meeting place for Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to be here.– Chi Miigwetch