The community orchard is being officially proposed to the City as a community garden. The City website has a great overview of what community gardens are, found here. To the right of that webpage you’ll find detailed descriptions of the application process and some FAQ’s. That should help clarify the official process, the City’s expectations, and the role that a community group plays.
Every community garden begins with a specific site. The Community Garden Coordinator (a City position) may help a community group find a site or choose one from many, but more often than not the group begins their planning from one site in particular. In the case of the Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard, local community group called Growing for Green began their vision with Ben Nobleman Park, thus the impetus for this proposal.
Questions have arisen as to why this great proposal cannot be moved to another park in the city, specifically the nearby Cedarvale Ravine. If a group of community members has a similar vision for Cedarvale Ravine, they can apply through the same process with the City. Solomon Boye would be the person to contact: sboye [at] toronto. [dot] ca. There may be ravine by-laws that could put restrictions on including fruit trees within a ravine, but given the existence of the Cedarvale Children’s Garden (an existing community garden within Cedarvale Ravine) this likely would not be an issue.
In short, each community garden proposal is considered for its own merit and this proposal is specifically for Ben Nobleman Park.