The organic movement is growing in power and presence in Toronto. NOW's special supplement puts the spotlight on the people committed to increasing the availability of organics and the places where shoppers can get their healthy fix. Rating: NNNNN
Located in the vertically challenged basement of an east-side mission, St. John's Bakery (155 Broadview, at Queen East, 416-850-7413) does more than bake some of the most impressive organic loaves in town. It also operates a six-month apprentice program that allows the socially marginalized - the homeless, refugees, recovering addicts, single parents struggling with poverty - to learn the techniques of artisanal bread-making.
You can find their primo products - the whole wheat sourdough and walnut-studded raisin bread are particularly impressive - at the Big Carrot (348 Danforth, at Jackman, 416-466-2129), Summerhill Market (446 Summerhill, at MacLennan, 416-921-2714), Fiesta Farms (200 Christie, at Essex, 416-537-1235), Noah's (322 Bloor West, at Spadina, 416-968-7930, and others) and Essence of Life (50 Kensington, at St. Andrew, 416-920-3377), among others. Its own retail outlet right next to the church is opening in November.
Since moving from the Annex, Brian Kirk 's Alchemy Bakery (287 Augusta, at Oxford, 416-531-2471) has not only doubled in size but also significantly increased its lineup of organic loaves. You can find items like his vegan hemp panini and jalapeño-laced cornbread at his new Kensington digs, the Big Carrot and Karma Co-op (739 Palmerston, at Barton, 416-534-1470).