Il Giardino: The Gardens of Little Italy (2007)


Red ripe tomatoes, fresh green basil and sweet bell peppers can all be found growing in the historic Toronto neighborhood of Little Italy. A rich assortment of produce provides for generations of families, as these gardens quietly humanize the populous urban landscape. The diversity of food grown in the gardens of little Italy mirror the diverse communities of people who have immigrated from other countries and have settled into the area. To many, these gardens grow the roots that help sustain ones culture, land and community.

Karen Shenfeld is a filmmaker, researcher, and widely published freelance writer and poet based in Toronto. She has worked as a head researcher on a number of television documentaries produced by YAP FILMS, including

Friendly Fire. Il Giardino, The Gardens of Little Italy is her first independent film.

One Comment Add yours

  1. F. Los says:

    I watched this thinking it would make a statement about the need/possibility for gardening and food production in our urban spaces.
    That was certainly an indirect topic, but this film does not tread far fom its obvious regional focus to make any comments on ‘urban gardening’ in general. Il Giardino is more homage to the people of the Little Italy neighbourhood in Toronto, and the beautiful gardens they have cultivated over the years.
    In this sense, it’s almost like a home movie. It’s full of genuine people and their humble outdoor abodes, but if you’re looking for a perspective on urban growing, you might want to look elsewhere.


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