Transition Guelph

Category: Urban Food

The Treemobile recently got some coverage in Guelph Today (Guelph’s new community newspaper). The original article can be found here:


Not-for-profit Treemobile a growing concern in Guelph

Program delivers fruit trees, shrubs and veggie plants to your home 10
by: Tony Saxon


There’s a lot more low-hanging fruit in Guelph these days thanks to a not-for-profit endeavour aimed at addressing local sustainability, quality food and global climate issues.

The Transition Treemobile has delivered over 300 fruit trees and 2,000 shrubs and vegetable plants locally since it got its start in Guelph five years ago.

Since then it has spread to Toronto and is in the process of starting up in Cambridge.

Last year saw 1,440 trees, shrubs, vines and plants distributed through the program.

You select items from an online catalogue and in early May volunteers deliver them. They will even plant them for you if desired.

Choices range from apple and pear trees to raspberry bushes, asparagus and strawberry plants.

The program is the brainchild of Virginie Gysel, who started the program through Transition Guelph five years ago when she was a student at the U of G. After moving to Toronto two years ago she started it up there.

“I was at a meeting of Transition Guelph and we were talking about food security. I said the only way to have it is to plant it,” Gysel says of how the Treemobile got its start.

She says it’s about local, delicious food that can be shared with others.

“People just really like the apples. Pears are easier, but people just love the apples,” says Gysel of the most popular tree.

She thinks people like the idea of having apples that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.

“Our favourite is if people dig the hole before we get there then we plant the tree,” Gysel says. “But we have a lot of seniors who don’t own a shovel.”
Transition Guelph is a grass roots volunteer organization that promotes local projects aimed at addressing local and global energy and climate change issues.

Several Transition Guelph projects revolve around local food collaboration, learning and skill building using local backyards and gardens.

“Our goal is to create a richer, more vibrant community through the re-localization of the services and resources that we need in order to survive and thrive in a world of long-term energy cost increases, climate change, and growing instability in the world economy,” Transition Guelph’s web site says.

Gysel says Guelph was a great place to start the Treemobile because of its size, large gardens and attitude towards the environment.

“We kept it small as a pilot project the first year but every year since we’ve pretty much doubled the number,” Gysel says. “People just really seem to connect with what we’re doing.”

At the end of the distribution process, she says the Treemobile project has a grant system where surplus trees, shrubs, vines and plants are distributed to charities, churches and schools.

Delivery in Guelph is scheduled for mid-May. For more information on the program and pricing, go to

John Dennis and Susan Carey of the Urban Sugaring Project traveled to Kitchener to be part of the CBC Kitchener morning radio show with Craig Norris. Originally published here.

New project will see Guelph residents tap backyard maple trees in exchange for syrup

Transition Guelph is holding a pancake breakfast so homeowners can learn more


Susan Carey and John Dennis are with Transition Guelph, a group that is hoping an urban sugaring project will see Guelph residents tap maple trees on their property in return for some maple syrup. (Amanda Grant/CBC News)

A new initiative in Guelph is hoping to get local residents to tap their maple trees in return for some syrup.

Transition Guelph is a group interested in teaching people about using local resources, the project’s coordinator John Dennis told host Craig Norris on The Morning Edition Thursday.

“One of the unused resources we saw were all these wonderful maple trees,” he said.

For $10, the group will provide a kit to homeowners with a tap, metal bucket, a plastic food-grade bucket and instructions that will be used to transport the sap back to the group.

Dennis said those taking part will get an email or phone call when the weather is just right in Guelph to tap trees, and then everyone will collect their sap over the same period of about a week, then return the sap to high school student volunteers, who will boil it down into the sugary syrup.

“We’re almost at an ideal time now,” Dennis said.

The group is hoping to get 40 or 50 people involved, and some of those are expected to have more than one tree to tap.

How much maple syrup participants will get will depend on how much sap is collected.

Those interested in taking part can attend a pancake breakfast on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. James the Apostle Church to learn more.

Urban Sugar LogoOn Saturday February 27 from 9 a.m. until noon, Transition Guelph will be hosting a Community Pancake Breakfast at St. James the Apostle Church, located at 86 Glasgow Street North (corner of Paisley Road and Glasgow Street North). This marks the kick off of the Urban Sugaring Project.  Tree owners can rent a kit (a bucket, tree tap, and instructions) for $10 and return the collected sap to a central location. The sap will be collected and boiled down by volunteers to syrup and redistributed back to the participants.  Come and meet the committee members, hear more about the project, and enjoy some pancakes with locally made maple syrup!

Join us on Wednesday January 13 for a Potluck with the Urban Food Working Group. We will be making presentations on the many projects that we have on the go. Learn about the Backyard Sharing Program, Urban Sugar Project, Appleseed Collective, Guelph Community Orchard Project and much more. We will also be signing up volunteers for upcoming projects and events.

The Potluck is free but we would like everyone to bring something for the meal. Join us for a fun night of food and discussion!! Please RSVP at

WHEN: Wednesday, 13 January 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
WHERE: 86 Glasgow St N – 86 Glasgow Street North. St. James the Apostle. Guelph, ON N1H 4W2 CA

Urban Sugaring Project

tapHave you ever wanted to make your own maple syrup but were unsure where to start or how to do it? The Urban Sugaring Project is a new effort that will allow tree owners in the City of Guelph to work together to create maple syrup.

Tree owners will rent a kit (a bucket, tree tap, and instructions) for $10 and return the collected sap to a central location. The sap will be collected and boiled down by volunteers to syrup and redistributed back to the participants.

To learn more about the project please contact us at or check out our twitter page @urbansugaring.

Urban Sugaring Project 2019 Update

Urban Sugaring Project Update – The Urban Sugaring Project is on hiatus for 2019. We will be returning in 2020.

Please join us for Syrup in the City at John McCrae Public School (189 Water Street) on Saturday March 30, 2019. The festival runs from 10 am until 1 pm and will include a pancake breakfast, hands-on demonstrations of tree tapping, musical performances, and shows by the Mountsberg Raptors Centre Birds of Prey.

2018 Urban Sugaring Project Sponsors

Thanks to last year’s sponsors for their support:

The City of Guelph – Wellbeing Grant Program

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival – Community Grant Program

The Churches of Saint Matthias & St. James the Apostle 

Zehrs Eramosa (Store # 538)

Wellington County – Green Legacy Program

Minga Skill Building Hub

Together We’re Bitter Co-operative Brewery

Park Minister United Church (275 Erb Street East, Waterloo, Ontario)

This workshop will discuss different ways to prepare your garden for the winter so that you are ready to go come spring.
A free event.
Wear weather appropriate clothing as we will be outside in a garden:)
Brought to you by Transition Guelph’s Urban Food Working Group.

Learn what vegetable seeds are easiest to save and how to save them.

A free event!

Brought to you by Transition Guelph’s Urban Food Working Group.

We will plant some garlic together and go through the steps that lead to a great garlic crop. Garlic pests and pest prevention will be discussed.

Wear weather appropriate clothing.

A free event!

Brought to you by Transition Guelph’s Urban Food Working Group.


ALL volunteers are invited to join us on Saturday, September 26 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. (for all or some of the time) for a work ‘party’ at the Harcourt Communal Garden and the Guelph Community Orchard.

We will be welcoming students from the University of Guelph’s Project Serve Program as well. There are many tasks to be performed in both locations – e.g. thinning out the ever-bearing strawberry plants in the orchard. If you volunteer, you’ll be on hand to take some of the leftover plants for your own garden! Straw will be placed under the remaining plants to help keep fruit off the ground next year. Some transplanting will happen in the vegetable and herb gardens, staking of asparagus and of course, plenty of weeding. Likely there will be some blackberries and plums to be picked and enjoyed!

Bring a spade, gloves, hat, water – whatever you need for comfort. Refreshments – coffee, tea, snacks will be available. For more information contact Jill Gill at

Join us on Saturday afternoon for a discussion with Guelph’s federal election candidates to discuss their plans for a healthier Canadian food system. Discussion will be moderated by Dr. Evan Fraser, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security.

Following this discussion, we will share food that has been prepared to carry some of the messages we discuss.

Why Eat Think Vote?
-To make food an important election issue.
-To personally meet your candidates and show that you and people in your community care about food
-To unite your voice with individuals and organizations across the country advocating for a national food policy.

“Eat Think Vote! Guelph” is one of many events nation-wide, led by Food Secure Canada, aiming to unite Canadians around good food and put food & agriculture on the elections agenda.

« Previous PageNext Page »