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Courtesy of Office Ou


This unique 40-acre educational facility is Canada’s First Sustainability and Reconciliation Centre. It is a lab for research and the implementation of innovative projects and practices that lead to low carbon communities and a sustainable lifestyle. 

 No.9 Gardens is where people can come and learn how to live more sustainably in a holistic manner, including health, wellness and sustainable design. We offer a number of hands-on learning through: 

  • Growing and cooking with local organic food and natural products; 
  • Workshops around farming, gardening, and connecting with nature; 
  • Various volunteer opportunities 
  • Eco-glamping 

The land is situated on traditional territories of the following groups: Haudenosaunee (Ho-den-o-show-nee), Anishinaabe (Ah-nish-in-ah-bay), Mississauga, Algonquin, and Wendake-Nionwentsïo. We are grateful to be able to offer these lands for public awareness and education. 

After a successful first year of growing over 850 lbs of organic produce for our distribution partner Community Harvest Kingston, they are now gearing up to double our impact in 2021. [No.9 Gardens] are expanding our donated produce to more food banks and community organizations. [1]

No 9 is a Toronto-based arts organization with a mission to educate youths about environmental concerns through art and design.  Following several years of delivering educational workshops with school boards and arts institutions, No 9 is now taking the leap to develop its own educational camp, that will not only teach, but also test and develop the latest practices in sustainable building and agriculture. In collaboration with Sandra Iskandar Architect (responsible for building design and general layout), Office Ou is developing a masterplan for the No. 9 Gardens, defining a comprehensive set of sustainable building and landscape strategies.  

The project includes an existing barn plus a greenhouse, classrooms, culinary kitchen, dormitory, and a wood/metal fabrication studio, all organized around a central wildflower garden / gathering space. The surrounding landscape is a designed to fit the existing site conditions. [2]

Launched in the fall of 2018, in partnership with Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre and St. Lawrence College Department of Skilled Trades and Tourism, No.9 Gardens is a hands-on teaching facility created to empower youth to lead a revolution in building resilient communities, utilizing the Nine Pillars of Sustainable Design developed by No.9: 

 Civic Engagement & Leadership 

Food Security 

Open Green Space 

Waste Management 

Water Management 

Green Building Design 


Alternative Energy 

Public Art & Design 

At No.9, we believe that building sustainable communities is only achievable with reconciliation and rejuvenation. Since our launch of No.9 Gardens in 2018, we have been actively developing partnerships with the indigenous communities in the region. It is our intention to be able to provide a safe space for dialogue and learning opportunities between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, so that we may learn from each other and work towards common goals and aspirations. To date, No.9 has hosted a traditional canoe making workshop, showcased an Indigenous artist installation, has partnered with the Downie/Wenjack Fund to provide a Legacy Space onsite, and is in the process of establishing a Memorium of Understanding with the Queen’s University Office of Indigenous Initiatives around providing land-based curriculum to students. 

 No.9 Gardens is committed to providing education around sustainable local food systems and how we can feed our cities. Training young people how to grow local organic produce is a great way to offset carbon caused by food waste and food transportation. [1]


[1]       “No.9 Gardens Update.” no.9 The Culture of Sustainability, June 22, 2021. https://www.no9.ca/no-9-gardens/.

[2]         Novakovic, Uros. “No. 9 Gardens.” Office Ou. Office Ou, December 17, 2019. http://www.office-ou.com/projects/no-9-gardens.


Additional information:

“About.” Office Ou. Accessed July 19, 2021. http://www.office-ou.com/about.


MacAlpine, Ian. “Sustainable Gardens to Open near Elgin.” thewhig. The Kingston Whig Standard, October 26, 2018. https://www.thewhig.com/news/local-news/sustainable-gardens-to-open-near-elgin.


“MISSION.” no.9 The Culture of Sustainability, October 8, 2020. https://www.no9.ca/mission-2/.


“PLANS.” no.9 The Culture of Sustainability, October 2, 2020. https://www.no9.ca/no-9-gardens-old/plans/.


Project Title: No.9 Gardens
Artists:  Office Ou
Year: 2018

Place: Rideau Lakes, Ontario

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