In 2013, a citizen contacted our office because she had been expelled from the Jardin communautaire Laurier, in Arrondissement de Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, on the basis she would not have respected the Borough’s Règles de jardinage et de civisme. The plaintiff had been a gardener in this community garden for about ten (10) years.

The rules contained in the Règles de jardinage et de civisme not only apply to gardeners, but also to managers of community gardens. These rules clearly define the procedure to be followed when a gardener fails to meet its obligations:

  • Before expelling a gardener, managers must first give the gardener a verbal notice which must then be followed by formal written notices whose content is defined in the rules. In this instance, the written notices sent to the plaintiff did not comply with it;


  • The rules provide that managers must inform the gardener that he may appeal a decision of expulsion: in the present case, managers had not done so;


  • Before taking action against a gardener, managers must ensure fair process and give him the opportunity to provide explanations. In the present case, the plaintiff did not get such a chance.


In light of the above, our office concluded that this expulsion had not been done in conformity with the applicable rules and, as a result, it was not valid. We, therefore, suggested that the Borough cancels the notices and reinstates the plaintiff in this community garden. The Borough did not react positively to our conclusions.

Moreover, in the course of our investigation, the Borough confirmed the citizen could recover all her plants and supports, as long as it was done within a period mutually agreed. However, before this period had elapsed, the Borough informed us that the citizen’s garden had been cleaned by garden’s committee members who had disposed of all her personal effects, contrary to the undertaking we had obtained from the Borough. We asked the Borough, therefore, to compensate the plaintiff for her losses. As of December 31, 2013, we were awaiting for an official answer from the Borough.

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