Dear Green Neighbours
As we continue to dig out from the latest massive snowfall, you can be inspired by stories of winter cycling, get fired up about Toronto's budget, and dream of seeds and trees in the not-too-distant spring. Read on and stay warm!
Green 11 is a non-partisan, grassroots, volunteer-driven community group working on environmental and climate change related issues in Ward 11, University-Rosedale. Green 11 is a founding member group of the Green Neighbours Network of Toronto.
If there is a green initiative that you are interested in starting and recruiting volunteers for, please get in touch with us and we will see how we can support you. If you are wondering if people in Ward 11 are working on a particular green project, get in touch with us and we might be able to point you in the right direction.
Green 11 Monthly Meeting
Friday, January 28, 4-6 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting. Our guest speaker will be Rebecca Szeto from Bikechain. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda. Green 11 meetings will take place on the fourth Friday of each month.
University-Rosedale Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion Program
Ecobuddies is a new program for folks in Ward 11 University-Rosedale that aims to inspire and advance meaningful mentorship relationships between those who are interested in sustainability and those who are involved in and knowledgeable about sustainability. Interested in becoming a mentee or mentor? Contact email@example.com for more information.
Calls to Action
Make a written submission about BudgetTO 2022
Toronto is accepting written submissions any time before the budget vote at City Council on February 17 (the sooner the better). Be sure to copy your councillor and the mayor. Check out tips and more BudgetTO resources at Social Planning Toronto and ClimateFast. The Budget and Executive Committees held meetings in late January; you can see the minutes and agendas; click on the video archive for each meeting date to hear audio deputations that were made by people and organizations; and
scroll down to the “Communications” section for each meeting to see what other groups included in their written submissions to date.
Call for affordable transit for a fair pandemic recovery
The TTC is creating a "5-Year Fare Plan" and Toronto City Council is voting soon on the 2022 Budget. This is a critical opportunity for the TTC to win back riders, help Toronto’s public transit system recover, and ensure that all Toronto residents have equal access to mobility. Read TTC Riders’ open letter calling on Toronto City Council to invest in needed affordability measures. You can take action by signing up to speak to the TTC Board on February 10th or signing the petition.
Join the effort to turn the Island Airport lands into a park
Toronto’s waterfront has one remaining noxious vestige of its industrial past: a busy commercial airport on the Toronto Islands, delivering noise, pollution and threats to our natural environment, the City's health and quality of life. Residents of downtown Toronto’s multi-unit buildings have no access to private green space and rely on parks for recreation, but there is very little parkland available in the downtown core. Yet, tens of thousands of new high-rise residents are or will be added. Support returning the 215-acre Toronto Island Airport (Billy Bishop Airport) lands to desperately needed parkland. More info and a sample letter from Parks not Planes.
Stop the Big Sprawl
Land-use decisions are crucial for a livable climate. Urban sprawl has been called 'Ontario’s tar sands’ for its impact on emissions. Compact cities and inter-city transit are ways to reduce emissions rather than increase them. You can send a message to your MPP using this Environmental Defence letter against the Big Sprawl. Read more in NOW magazine: How Toronto can help fight sprawl in the 905
Stop Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass
The Ontario government is planning two mega-highways in the GTA, the 413 and the Bradford Bypass, despite opposition from regional and local municipal councils, environmental organizations, and many citizens. These highways will pave over farms, forests, wetlands and a portion of the Greenbelt, and cost taxpayers billions. It will also add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To learn more about these issues read this explainer from the Narwhal.
You can write a letter demanding that the provincial government stop Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass. You can use the Environmental Defence letter template.
You can also sign this petition to call upon the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to designate the Bradford Bypass project for a full federal impact assessment. The petition is open until February 6.
Support Conversion to Heat Pumps
Send a message to Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith to establish a no-down-payment, zero-interest loan program to help electrically heated homes convert to air source heat pumps for home energy savings up to $2,000 per household.
Stop the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from abandoning GM seed regulation
The CFIA wants to let many new gene-edited GM seeds enter our food system without assessing their environmental risks, and without requiring information for farmers. Both the CFIA and Health Canada are proposing to let companies assess the safety risks of some of their own gene-edited foods and seeds, with no government oversight and no transparency.
The CFIA wants to let private companies decide if their own gene-edited products are safe for the environment, and let them put these new GM seeds on the market without revealing that they are gene-edited. You can tell the Minister of Agriculture to ensure mandatory, independent safety assessments and mandatory reporting to the government for all genetically engineered seeds and crops with this letter from the National Farmers Union.
Protect the National Experimental Farm
Sign this petition to halt the destruction of the 41 acres of the Central Experimental Farm and 12 acres of the NCC parkland at Queen Juliana Park. Help reach the goal of 7,500 signatures!
Show your support for the federal government to prioritize strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Action (CEPA)
Green Online Events and Webinars
Progress Toronto 2022 Winter Training Series
Toronto City Council will be voting on the 2022 City Budget on February 17 - and this pandemic has shown how we need a budget that works for everyone. Learn the skills you need to advocate for a better Toronto.
#3 City Hall 101 Monday, January 31 - 7 PM
#4 How to Phone Bank for Our City: Budget Edition Wednesday, February 2 - 6 PM
#5 City Council Online Watch Party & Discussion - Budget Edition Thursday, February 17 - 9:30 AM ET
Youth For Climate Justice
Thursday, February 3, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Co-Hosted By: School of Cities, University of Toronto and Fridays For Future Toronto
Join the kickoff event in the Climate + Justice + Cities Speaker series. Youth are leading the discussion on climate justice in our cities and on the world stage. How do young leaders maintain hope while facing the defining challenge of our time? Listen and learn from internationally recognized youth advocates in the fight for climate justice.
Fighting for the Future: Youth Organizing for Climate Justice
Thursdays, February 10, 17 and 24, 2022 | 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
ENV1001 Seminar: Communicating Climate Change
Wednesday, February 16 | 12 pm - 2 pm
This talk from U of T’s School of the Environment will address what works and what doesn’t in communicating about climate change with various audiences, and will discuss issues of language, framing, and storytelling, and the influence of ideology, values, and disinformation on social discourse.
Toronto Public Library Free Online Events
On Civil Society: Climate
Our Fragile Planet
- Daniel Pauly: The Ocean's Whistleblower - Feb 7
- Consumerism & Consumption - Feb 11
- Spot Wildlife in the Urban Jungle - Tips from a Wildlife Videographer - Feb 8
- The Water is Troubled - Blackness in the Environmental Movement - Feb 23
Provincial Kitchen Table Climate Conversation Training
Wednesdays, February 16 and March 2, 7-8:30 p.m.
Raising awareness of climate impacts and the actions and solutions that can move us closer to a healthy future are among the big things we can do! Together, we can hold those elected to office on June 2nd accountable for the just, green province we want to see. If you would like to help raise awareness, ClimateFast is holding two sessions to help people feel more comfortable talking about climate justice.
Talking Climate in Ontario - February 16, 7-8:30 pm
Whether you’d like to feel more confident talking to someone you bump into at the supermarket or are ready to hold a more structured conversation, this training is designed to help you feel more confident, informed, and empowered.
Ready to Talk Climate in Ontario? March 2, 7-8:30 pm
Hosting the conversation: “Who and Where?” & Facilitating the conversation: “What and How?” with facilitated working breakouts.
TRCA @ Home with Nature
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) At Home With Nature e-Learning videos are designed to help families, as well as teachers and their classes, deepen their knowledge of nature, ecology, the environment and their place in it. Coming up this month:
- Life of a Tree - February 9
- Winter Road Salt - February 23
Green News & Resources
Greenpeace COP26 video: Net Zero smoke and mirrors, a story of betrayal: making the case against carbon market offsetting
CBC - The Nature of Things: 5 things you can do right now to help save the planet
NOW: David Suzuki: Corporations have convinced us that our carbon footprint is the problem
Ideas.TED.com: Get a better understanding of the science of climate change in just 6 charts
BBC: Why climate lawsuits are surging
Council of Canadian Academies: Building a Resilient Canada: The Expert Panel on Disaster Resilience in a Changing Climate
IISD: Making Good Green Jobs the Law: How Canada can build on international best practice to advance just transition for all
International Energy Agency: Canada 2022 Energy Policy Review
Zero Waste Events, News and Resources
Webinar: Washing machine filters drastically reduce microfibre/plastic emissions into our water. Few are using them. You can change that.
Thursday February 24 | 7:00 p.m.
Organized by Georgian Bay Forever. Learn about their research with the U of T Trash Team that helped inform Ontario Private Members Bill 279 to mandate microfibre filters on clothes washing machines.
The Conversation: Chemical pollution exceeds safe planetary limit: researcher Q+A on consequences for life on Earth
The Guardian: Chemical pollution has passed safe limit for humanity: Study calls for cap on production and release, as pollution threatens global ecosystems upon which life depends
The New Statesman: Chemical pollution threatens life on Earth. What are the solutions? Economics and policies should reflect this reality.
Stockholm Resilience Centre: Safe planetary boundary for pollutants exceeded, say researchers: Better risk management and monitoring and reduction in harmful production and release of pollutants needed urgently to return within the planetary boundary.
EcoWatch: 15-Minute Tumble Dry Can Release Hundreds of Thousands of Microfibers Into the Air - new study.
Institute for Local Self Reliance: Single Stream/Dual Stream: Contending Approaches to Recycling
Eco parenting tips from Toronto’s own Doulas On Bikes:
More zero waste related news and events across Toronto
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
Review of UrbanHensTO Pilot Program
The City of Toronto has launched a survey to review the UrbanHensTO: Backyard Hens Pilot (in which a maximum of 4 hens are allowed in 4 wards of the City, starting in 2018 and ending March 31, 2022) and deciding whether or not to recommend expanding the program city-wide (hopefully!) or ending it altogether and returning to no-hens-allowed-in-the-city when the Pilot Program ends in March. The results of this survey will help inform City staff recommendations in their report so please consider doing the survey and supporting the legalization of backyard hens throughout Toronto!
Residents can submit input through the online survey . The deadline for feedback is February 11. See insights and tips from Toronto Urban Growers of some things you may wish to include mention of when completing the survey. A discussion thread with comments about it is on the Grow Food Toronto group on Facebook. Read more here: Pilot project allowing people in Toronto to keep pet chickens could soon end forever
Save the Date! A little birdie told us that Seedy Saturday Toronto is coming March 2022! People can check out the Toronto Urban Growers website to stay in the loop too!
Transition Treemobile (edible trees and shrubs available at not for profit prices) is opening soon for 2022: consider subscribing to stay in the know.
The Guardian: Plastic pollution has become pervasive in agricultural soils, posing a threat to food security, people’s health, and the environment - “Soils are one of the main receptors of agricultural plastics and are known to contain larger quantities of microplastics than oceans.”
Toronto Food Resources
Active Transportation / Public Transit
Coldest Day of the Year Ride
New date: Saturday, February 12 - more info to come!
CycleTO University-Rosedale February meeting
Tuesday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m.
CycleTO University-Rosedale is a volunteer group focusing on cycling issues in Ward 11 that works to make cycling more accessible, safe and equitable. There's lots of work that needs to be done on this and they could use your help! The Ward 11 Group meets the first Tuesday of each month - the next meeting is February 1 at 6:30 p.m. via Google Meet or get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Winter Riding Webinar
Winter Route Planning - Friday, February 4, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm
Learn how to ride safely this winter with Cycle Toronto and Bike Share Toronto
Cycle Toronto: Winter Riding Tips
Winter Riding Inspiration
Toronto Star: Until Vision Zero becomes a priority, it’s hard not to think ‘Am I next?’ by Cycle Toronto’s Kevin Rupasingh
Donations / Volunteering
ClimateFast Volunteer Info Session
Monday, January 31st, 7 pm
Learn about ClimateFast, a well-established environmental group in Toronto that is actively making a difference by working towards solutions for climate change and environmental challenges.
Meet Lyn Adamson, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of ClimateFast, and a life-long environmentalist, along with other ClimateFast volunteers who are spearheading key ClimateFast actions. Find out how ClimateFast evolved over the years, from 2012 to 2021, and what the calls for action are in 2022! A Q&A session with audience participation will follow.
This is an opportunity for everyone to find out more about volunteer opportunities in ClimateFast. They have several committees and would love to have you join them. Join them January 31st at 7pm to find out more. Send a note to: email@example.com to receive the event link.
Free Geek Toronto Volunteer Information Session
Interested in being a Digital Community Strategist or Lead Technology Reuse Volunteer?
Tuesday, February 15, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Butt Blitz Coordinator
The Butt Blitz is back for April 2022! A Greener Future is currently recruiting 30 Coordinators across Canada to host Butt Blitz's in their local cities and towns, with the hopes of collecting 1 million butts over the course of one month.
Grants and Opportunities
Save Neighbourhood Trees with Tree Trust
The Tree Trust is a non-profit program that works with communities to protect and care for legacy trees. There are presently 6 chapters, including the Toronto Islands. The Trust supports member chapters in their efforts to identify legacy trees in their neighbourhood and raise charitable donations to care for them. The Trust finds, vets and trains arborists who have demonstrated the skills and understanding to care for these special veteran trees. For each tree that is cared for two saplings are planted in a location nearby.
Depave Paradise Project
Do you have suggestions for a Depave site? Depave is a program of Green Communities Canada and involves removing pavement (typically asphalt) and planting in place. Toronto Green Community and RainscapeTO organize the equipment, tools and plants, and neighbours and community members do the work. Often, the sites are schools or churches that come with a group of volunteers. If you know of any organizations who would support such a program, contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toronto Mainstreet Innovation Fund
10:00 a.m. Thursday February 3, 2022, required information session. $25,000 to $50,000.
Canada Farm to School Canada Grants deadline extended.
Friday February 18, 2022 application deadline for up to $10,000.
Help build vital connections between people and parks
February 28, 2022 application deadline for $2,000 from TD Park People Grants.
Making a difference in the lives of children and youth
Canada Post Community Foundation grants open March 7, 2022, for $5,000 to $50,000.
Ontario Trillium Foundation: Resilient Communities Fund
Applications open March 9, 2022 for $5,000 to $150,000.
Telus Friendly Future Foundation Community Grant
March 30, 2022 application deadline for $20,000.
Desjardins Credit Union GoodSpark Fund:
$250 million by 2024. Consider contacting a branch for more information. [Sharing via the Ontario NonProfit Network (ONN) Resource Centre.]
Active Transportation Fund
will be accepting applications soon for up to $50,000.
Are there green news or resources you'd like to see included in the Green 11 newsletters? Send your items and ideas to email@example.com.