A Green City
Toronto is a bustling urban metropolis, but also a city dedicated to its natural beauty. Take in the view from one of our skyscrapers and you’ll see that Toronto is a surprisingly green city. Clusters of canopies formed by our over 3 million old and fresh trees act as portals to the many green spaces where we play, meet and appreciate nature.
But, don’t take our word for it. Here are just a few of the many stories that have been written about green Toronto:
- “Mapped with a green world of hidden ravines, Toronto is glutted with an exhaustive range of ethnic restaurants, arts festivals, and shopping drags.” Read more in The National Geographic.
- 'Toronto's Messy Urbanism', a glorious mix of bikes, trees, culture and transit. Spacing Toronto, October 17, 2007.
- Toronto listed by Business Week as one of the top ten global cities responding to climate change.
- Ontario Green and Growing in Meetings East.
- Toronto the Green, M&IT Magazine, July/August 2007.
The fact that Toronto ranks among the most livable cities in the world comes as a result of a broad-reaching green plan that relies on partnerships across the city focused on innovation. Consider these citywide green initiatives:
Toronto, the City and the Community
Toronto is home to many amazing initiatives that help Torontonians and our visitors reduce their negative impacts on the environment. The City of Toronto is active in encouraging residents and businesses to get involved. Live Green Toronto is a ‘one stop resource’ for info on living greener at home, work and in the community. The city’s initiatives are also explained here.
City of Toronto Green Marketing Plan
This strategic plan brings clarity to communications messaging, tactics, opportunities and priority actions that will build stronger global awareness of the Region's green economic potential.
City of Toronto Green Marketing Plan
With the first phase of Toronto's Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan unanimously approved by Council in July 2007, Toronto is beginning to implement the most ambitious environmental plan in North America. Toronto's bold new Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan will see the City of Toronto and its residents, businesses and communities take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The plan, which was crafted with substantial public and stakeholder input, is designed to not only achieve the Kyoto greenhouse gas reduction target but substantially exceed it.
Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative Exhibition Place Wind Turbine
Toronto is home to the only urban wind turbine in North America. Erected in 2002, the mill is located at the West end of Exhibition Place on Lakeshore Blvd. and is a 100% renewable local source of energy operated by WindShare.
More on the Wind Turbine
Deep Lake Water Cooling
Toronto has adopted a unique approach to cooling a variety of buildings in the downtown core. Enwave Energy has developed the Deep Lake Water Cooling system that uses the cool energy in cold water from Lake Ontario to air-condition high-rise buildings in downtown Toronto. Among these buildings are the Air Canada Centre, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Steam Whistle Brewery.
More on Deep Lake Water Cooling
The City of Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Services earned the Gold Award at the Recycling Council of Ontario's 2007 Ontario Waste Minimization Awards for the City's Getting to 70% Waste Diversion Plan. This comprehensive strategy has established measurable and achievable targets, broad community involvement, and developed bylaws to support the plan.
Energy Retrofit Program
The city has completed a mass retrofit of older facilities across the region with more energy efficient materials and functions. The project includes all civic centres, arenas and community centres.
More on the Energy Retrofit Program
Cycle of Organics
The Green Bin Program spans across the Greater Toronto Region. Approximately 510,000 single-family households can now put organics (fruit and vegetables scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, etc.) out for separate collection along with garbage and recycling.
Gardens in the Sky
Green roof projects involve the creation of green spaces on top of human-made structures. Metro Toronto Convention Centre has a 300,000-square-foot green roof, while the City Hall green roof occupies approximately 7,000 square feet. These properties are among dozens with green roof initiatives, complimented by an array of citywide initiatives to create green rooftop space to cool the city.
More on Gardens in the Sky
The city’s municipal service is exploring ways to move the city’s already green fleet toward vehicles and equipment that leave even fewer negative impacts on the environment. Emissions produced by the City's fleet are expected to be reduced by 23 per cent.
More on Greener Service
Future of Transit
Taking greener operations even further, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is focused on environmental performance with it’s research into biodeisel fuel, a mixture of vegetable oil and diesel, as well as hybrid bus technology, which would use up to 22 per cent less fuel and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 90 per cent. Have a look at their environmental initiatives and plans for future developments and expansion of service here.
The Toronto Region is developing and implementing bold new action plans and programs to address the critical environmental issues of our time. And we’re winning awards for them. Here are links to a few of them:
Click here for a list of green members.