Redefining how we grow our food
TOPSOIL was founded to create an innovative approach to food production – one that values environmental sustainability and the local economy.
We believe in collaboration. Our strength has been bringing together people from varied professions – architecture, engineering, farming, local government, property development, and the restaurant industry – who are as passionate as we are about creating something new.
Urban farms bypass the long and complex industrial food supply chain. The opportunity for consumers to eat vegetables harvested the exact same day and that have never seen the inside of a truck, is ours for the taking.
Urban agriculture is a revolutionary way to provide food that is healthier for us, cares for the environment, and just simply tastes better.
For us, that’s what the eat local movement is all about.
TOPSOIL is a triple bottom line company, embracing ‘people, planet and profit’.
We believe business aspirations and healthy community choices are not mutually exclusive.
Local food pioneers
Chris is a young social entrepreneur taking a systematic approach to help increase local food production in the heart of the Victoria. His vision for TOPSOIL is to improve every aspect of our current industrialized food system from production, packaging, transportation, distribution and waste.
Chris has a natural ability to inspire passion and enthusiasm when it comes to the benefits of local food production. His knack for bringing together people from a diverse range of disciplines and specialties has been a pillar upon which TOPSOIL is built.
A pioneer of urban agriculture in Victoria, Chris is breaking new ground to help build a vibrant local food economy Victorians can be proud of.
Ashley is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Her passion for making cities more sustainable led her to further her education in ecology and plant science at Royal Roads University, where she became an organic master gardener.
Ashley believes that growing food within cities is a simple way of alleviating problems associated with food insecurity, waste and health, while providing a number of functional, aesthetic and nutritional benefits to everyone involved
Jess is currently studying environmental studies, political science and education at the University of Victoria. She’s excited about to be involved with local food production and loves getting the opportunity to give back to her community.
She started with us a few years ago as a volunteer and we’re extremely happy to her on our team. Jess is a 'people person' so you’ll most likely see her at our regular on-site market.
Brett is from Alberta where he worked in a variety of landscaping/gardening jobs and had the opportunity to fine tune his horticultural skills while living on a sustainable permaculture farm.
He is extremely passionate about growing food and helping increase local food security here in Victoria.
Brett can be seen biking around downtown on our electric bike with a trailer full of fresh produce delivering to one of our fantastic restaurant partners.
"The astonishing distances and massive distribution system our food goes through before it reaches us is astounding. TOPSOIL is about creating a tangible and realistic alternative to the industrialized food system."Chris Hildreth, TOPSOIL founder
Vancouver Island EcoStar Award Winner
Food Security category
Engineered for success
TOPSOIL has done extensive research into all aspects of modern urban agriculture.
Working closely with certified engineers, architects and City of Victoria officials, we’ve forged a path that lets us create professionally installed and operated urban agricultural spaces.
Potential new garden locations are assessed using our robust Site Evaluation process, covering all aspects of zoning, building code requirements, engineering and architectural considerations, as well as the logistical, legal and insurance details that will ensure a successful garden project.
Locations inspected by certified engineers
Work within local Zoning & Building Codes
Worksafe BC compliant
Less concrete, more greenery
Beyond their efficiency and flexiblity, rooftop gardens and urban agricultural spaces provide other important benefits, like helping to purify the air and control stormwater runoff.
Urban gardens contribute to the livability and vibrancy of the inner city. They bring greenery to otherwise bland areas, which is particularly rewarding for condo and high rise office dwellers who look down on the space.
TOPSOIL GrowSpaces allow property owners to contribute to a sustainable local food economy by facilitating the production of fresh, local, healthy food in Victoria.