Skip to main content

'Exciting and unique': Kingsway Mall growing rooftop garden for good cause

Kingsway Mall, once known as Kingsway Garden Mall, has gone back to its roots.

It's using the roof as a way to help people in need.

"It's not a public space, there’s still a lot of potential here to do something helpful and useful," said mall marketing manager Bo Tarasenko.

"Up here you can almost see the food bank from where we are, and they're someone that we work with a lot."

The garden features 30 pots filled with produce, herbs, and a few flowers to attract bees for pollination.

"They are maintained weekly by a professional gardener through Micro Habitat, our partners that are helping us make this happen."

The plants are watered automatically through a drip line.

"We don’t have to have people coming up here scorching hot, dragging watering cans to every single pot all the time. Whenever they need it, the soil will get some water just from the drip line that’s hooked up to a little hose up here."

"We've never gotten food from a rooftop garden before. This is kind of exciting and unique," said Tamisan Bencz-Knight of Edmonton's Food Bank.

"To be able to have a fresh tomato versus a can, it’s beautiful. It's something we want to be able to provide to people."

Bencz-Knight says about 30,000 Edmontonians rely on the food bank every month.

"When we compare the first four months of this year compared to the first four months of 2022 we’re still up 28 per cent more," she said.

The food bank often has to purchase or rely on companies and local growers for fresh produce.

Bencz-Knight hopes more home gardeners will consider sharing extra with neighbours or the food bank.

"It’s just a nice, wonderful way of making sure that food doesn’t go to landfills, that we’re able to use the food to help feed people and that’s what we’re all about."

"There’s a ton of rooftops that could have gardens growing as well and it’s not that difficult," said Tarasenko. "Obviously if we can do it, I'm sure anybody can, so we hope that we’ll inspire some of these roofs to get some produce of their own."

Mall officials hope to harvest 300 pounds from the garden, putting fresh produce on the table for 300 families. Top Stories

Tragedy in real time: The Armenian exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh

For the past five days, vehicles laden with refugees have poured into Armenia, fleeing from the crumbling enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in neighbouring Azerbaijan. In a special report for, journalist Neil Hauer recounts what it's like on the ground in Armenia.

Stay Connected