The city of Toronto has its share of food deserts, mostly in the inner suburbs designed in the 50s around the idea that people could drive to the big supermarket. Now those areas have the highest levels of poverty and the poorest access to fresh food. That's where this mobile food market comes in; it now brings fresh produce at good prices to the people most in need. Everybody pitched in; the Toronto Transit Commission donated a wheel-trans bus designed to carry people in wheelchairs, so it is accessible to everyone.
LGA architectural partners, formerly known as Levitt Goodman architects (and well known to TreeHugger- see related links below) donated their services for the conversion, telling Dave LeBlanc of the Globe and Mail:
“This is what we love and motivates us about architecture,” offers Mr. Goodman, who also worked on the converted shipping containers that now make up Market 707 at Scadding Court Community Centre. “It’s not what the particular design is, but more about the critical issue: Can we use our skill to make our city and community a better place to live in.” .... “Good food is beautiful when displayed well, so when we decided we wanted this to be a feature we worked out the mechanism so one person could fold out the shelves, restock as necessary and display the food so it was attractive.”
© Laura Berman
© Laura Berman
The kind of planning that puts towers in a park and a supermarket a couple of miles away makes it difficult for anyone to get by without a car. It's a shame that these food deserts exist and this this bus is needed, that we have to bus food around like this. But it's nicely done. Dave Leblanc notes:
When parked and fully merchandized, you hardly see the bus. Instead, it’s a visual feast of cascading bins of leafy lettuce, onions and berries, and more exotic fare such as okra or yuca (cassava) to reflect the wide range of ethnicities the bus serves.
More in the Globe and Mail, found on Architecture Lab.