Dear Green Neighbours
Welcome Spring! Find your way to celebrate Mother Earth - join the Fridays for Future Global Climate Strike this Friday, fight for GTA wetlands, or plant a pollinator garden.
Green 11 is a volunteer driven community group. 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
Saturday, March 20, 7-9 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Saturday, March 20, 7-9 p.m. Contact Paul Overy at email@example.com to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Participate in the committee process to oppose MZO elements of Bill 257
Bill 257, The Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, has moved through debate in the Legislature and has been scheduled for committee hearings before the Committee of General Government on Thursday, March 25th - 9-10 a.m., as well as Friday, March 26th - 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-6 p.m..
Despite the title of Bill 257, it includes significant provisions related to the Planning Act. Right now, Schedule 3, if passed, will allow Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) to override key provisions of the Planning Act. Under Schedule 3, MZOs will no longer have to be consistent with Ontario’s fundamental planning principles, giving developers the power to destroy lands without public consultation or comment.
Please sign up to participate in the committee process if you would like to share your concerns or perspectives in person or in writing.
To appear before committee, click here, or call the Committee Clerk, Isaiah Thorning, at 416-325-3526. The deadline to request to appear is Wednesday, March 24th, 12 p.m..
To make a written submission, send to the Committee Clerk, Isaiah Thorning:
99 Wellesley Street West
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3
The deadline for written submissions is Friday, March 26th, 7 p.m..
Fight to protect the Duffins Creek wetlands from development
On Friday, March 12, Amazon announced it would no longer consider the Duffins Creek location as the site for its future mega-warehouse, citing environmental concerns. Then the Ford government announced it would be willing to amend or revoke the MZO granting permission to develop the wetland if Pickering officials were to ask for it. Then Pickering’s mayor called for any further disruption to the site to be paused. But the MZO is still in place, and the TRCA has given the project a conditional permit – made “under duress” in time to meet the government-mandated March 12 deadline . The landowner, a Triple Group subsidiary, has signed a court undertaking not to damage the wetland – for now. This is only legally binding until the courts decide whether the Ford government’s MZO to destroy a provincially significant wetland is actually legal.
In other words – the fight is not over yet to protect the Duffins Creek wetland. Nor the other environmentally sensitive sites currently threatened by the Ford government's MZOs. It is more important than ever to keep the pressure up.
Add your voice to pressure the Ford government to back down from MZOs and protect the Pickering wetland. Sign the Greenpeace petition here.
Visit Environmental Action Now Ajax-Pickering to help keep pressure on Pickering Council & Durham Regional Council to rescind the MZO.
Take Action on Grassy Narrows - petition and event
Ontario and Canada must take decisive action to resolve the on-going legacy of mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows, and all other outstanding issues in that area. This includes apologizing, cleaning the river, providing state-of-the-art care for mercury survivors, adequate compensation for all who have been impacted, and establishing a Grassy Narrows- run environmental health monitoring station. You can sign the petition here
Grassroots efforts supported Grassy Narrows in securing the federal agreement last Spring to build a Mercury Care Home using the community's design! Grassy Narrows has turned a decades-long injustice into a national issue that can’t be ignored. But Grassy Narrows still needs to gain just compensation for all of its people for the ongoing mercury crisis, to restore their health, way of life, and self-determination, and protect their land and water from industrial logging and mining.
On Saturday March 27 at 2 p.m., join Grassy Narrows leaders along with Leanne Simpson and Tanya Talaga to speak out on Zoom. The Virtual Campaign Launch will be followed by a Phone Zap.
Say No to Nuclear Subsidies
The federal government is investing $20 million in Oakville-based Terrestrial Energy for the development of a small modular reactor (SMR). Not only does Canada not have a plan to safely dispose of its high, intermediate, and low-level toxic radioactive waste stockpiles, subsidizing nuclear energy hinders our progress by detracting from better and more affordable, climate forward technologies like solar and wind. Now is not the time to invest in an untested technology that will accumulate more toxic waste, burdening future generations.
If you would like to tell Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to invest in wind and solar energy, not new nuclear reactors, join the Clean Air Alliance campaign here
Support Khaleel Seivwright’s Toronto Tiny Shelters project
People across Toronto have protested and written to support Khaleel Seivwright’s Toronto Tiny Shelters project and to demand that the City of Toronto drop the notice of legal action they issued against Khaleel. This action follows the city’s continued clearing of encampments, community fridges, and active refusal to respect and support homeless members of our community.
Read the letter in support of Khaleel Seivwright and the Toronto Tiny Shelters initiative from FoodShare's board chair Crystal Sinclair and executive director Paul Taylor to the mayor.
You can still support the action by contacting Mayor Tory and your city councillor, and donating directly to Khaleel Seivwright to cover his legal fees here.
Green Online Events and Webinars
Pathways to Zero Webinar Series
Thursdays, March 18 & 25, 1 p.m.
Climate Action Network’s Pathways to Zero series wraps up this month. Each week, as part of a themed conversation, hear from the experts, leaders, movers and shakers who work every day to put us on the path towards decarbonization. Week by week, learn together about the initiatives and journeys communities are already embarking upon to ensure we reach zero emissions, while prioritizing wellbeing and dignity for all. Remaining events are:
More info, full schedule, and videos from past events here
The Rights Of Nature & Landback: Indigenous-led Movements For The Protection Of Mother Earth
Thursday, March 18, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. | Online Event, register here.
In the last few years, two Indigenous-led movements have been boldly leading a way forward for tribal communities and climate justice by reclaiming sovereignty rooted in ancestral knowledge. Both of these movements radically shift the colonial system embedded in the DNA of the United States (and Canada), and how we relate to the land, water and spirit of Turtle Island.
Join Movement Rights for this webinar conversation where they will share the power of the Rights of Nature and LandBack movements from those leading the way, and explore the potential for collaboration or connection between them. Speakers include:
- Casey Camp Horinek
- Joye Braun
- Corrina Gould
- Tom Little Bear
- Krystal Two Bulls
Pipelines, politics, and power: the future of fossil fuels in a world on fire
Thursday, March 18, 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Tzeporah Berman, internationally renowned environmental advocate and chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, delivers this year's Innis Alumni Lecture. Drawing from her experience as an advisor to the Alberta Government on climate policy in the oilsands, as well as on the frontlines of the climate justice movement, blockading pipelines and negotiating divestment from oil drilling with some of the worlds largest banks, Tzeporah will reflect on Canada’s climate policy and the strange disconnect between fossil fuel expansion and The Paris Accord. Register here.
No Music On A Dead Planet
Thursday, March 18, 3-5 p.m.
Music Declares Emergency is a group of artists, music industry professionals and organisations that stand together to declare a climate and ecological emergency and call for an immediate governmental response to protect all life on Earth. They believe in the power of music to promote the cultural change needed to create a better future.
This virtual meeting and discussion will be an opportunity for Music Declares Supporters and people who are interested in finding out more to hear from founder Fay Milton. Fay will be joined by Laurence Lafond-Beaulne from SOFT FABRIC / Half of Milk&Bone / Co-founder of ACT movement. Brighid Fry (Moscow Apartment & Climate Live Canada), Catherine Abreu (Climate Action Network), Caroline Brooks (Good Lovelies & Music Declares Emergency Canada) to discuss what Climate-Music organizing in Canada could look like. The event will be facilitated by musician and activist Liv Cazzola (The Lifers, Tragedy Ann) .
This will be an opportunity to find out more and explore ways the music industry in Canada can transform at this time of crisis to rebuild with sustainability at the centre.Register here
TRCA Offers Free Online Winter Activities
Fridays For Future Global Climate Strike
Friday, March 19
In the midst of the various public health, sociopolitical, and economic crises that the world continues to face entering the new year, climate activists are gearing up for the next Global Climate Strike on March 19th to demand immediate, concrete, and ambitious action from world leaders in response to the on-going climate crisis.
Part of what they want to highlight in the coming strike is the urgency of immediate action in the face of the weather- and climate-related disasters that devastated various countries last year, from the wildfires that afflicted parts of Australia, North America, and Latin America, to the droughts in Africa, to the storms that devastated Central America and Southeast Asia.
The call for #NoMoreEmptyPromises is uniting people beyond borders under the same goal of immediate climate action. See the Fridays for Future website for more details
Young Urban Forest Leaders Info Session
Tuesday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
LEAF will be hosting a virtual information session to explain what to expect as a participant of the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program, how to apply, and more! For Toronto youth aged 18-29, the YUFL Program is a free training and mentorship program designed to provide valuable experience in the field of arboriculture, urban forestry and community engagement.
Re-Imagining the Future: A Collective Dialogue
Tuesday, March 23, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
What is needed to create a world where everyone's needs are adequately met? What is needed to create a world free of all forms of systemic oppression? What would it take for us to effectively address the ecological challenges of our society?
Considering that the structures which currently govern our society were also imagined, there is good reason to believe that it is indeed possible to imagine and create an alternative paradigm that would be better suited for all of humanity and our environment. And in fact, various groups across the world are courageously experimenting with alternative models. The Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs hopes that through on-going conversations, we can collectively unpack the contradictions of our society, including what might be needed to shift to a new paradigm. Register here If you have any further questions or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fashion Takes Action Webinars: Human Rights & Labour
Wednesday, March 24
The garment industry production has doubled in the last 15 years. The global fashion industry now employs more than 75 million workers worldwide, 97% of them working ‘overseas’ in countries where gaps in governance standards, weak oversight and enforcement, and fierce competition. These problems are undeniably rooted in a capitalist system that prioritizes profit above human rights and dignity, have created an environment that makes workers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Fortunately, there are many individuals and organizations around the world that are advocating for change. This month, FTA will be using the WEAR platform to address the systemic problems tied to the garment industry – legal loopholes, failures in compliance, and emerging policies designed to help regulate factory conditions – all in an effort to create more oversight and protect the people who make our clothes. Register here for this month’s webinar series
Environment & Health Seminar: Global Context and Climate Change: Implications For Global Health in The 21st Century
Wednesday, March 24, 4:10 - 6:00 p.m.
James Orbinski, Professor & Director, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University, will explore and define the major challenges of the global commons, as these intersect with climate change to impact global health in the 21st Century. He will also explore the necessity of a critical problem solving approach to improving effectiveness, equity, and excellence in global health. Dr. Orbinski will also give examples of transdisciplinary innovations and research that seek to improve 1) planetary health; 2) approaches to global health and humanitarianism, and 3) major issues of the future like rising antimicrobial resistance and pandemic preparedness and response. Register here
Climate Ventures Conversations: Mary Pickering from Low Carbon Cities Canada
Thursday, March 25, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET
In this month's Climate Ventures Conversations, CSI's Stefan Hostettor will be chatting with Mary Pickering, VP of Strategy & Partnerships with The Atmospheric Fund and Senior Advisor to Low Carbon Cities Canada, an ambitious partnership to help cities reach their full emissions-reduction potential while unlocking co-benefits for local communities. Register here
Kitchen Table Climate Conversations Training Series
Mondays, March 29 and April 12
ClimateFast is hosting the last two in a series of four training webcasts on their Kitchen Table Climate Conversation model. If you are considering hosting or facilitating a conversation with your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, faith or other group, attend this series to learn more! Join others to tackle the challenge of talking about the climate crisis and grow the movement! It is recommended that you attend the full series. Registration for each training session is done separately. Find more information at the Climate Conversations website.
Register for March 29 - Nuts and Bolts (and inspirational stories!)
This third webcast focuses on how to take the conversation online, sharing tips for making the conversation interactive. You’ll hear some stories about how holding conversations has gone for people and what we’ve learned! There will be a Q & A at the end of the webcast if you have any unanswered questions.
Register for April 12 – Collective Courage
The fourth and final webcast in the series explores how to tailor a conversation and focuses a little more deeply on the last part of the KTCC agenda, ways of working together, actions and solutions and supporting one another.
Green News and Resources
Indigenous Youth Demand End to Trans Mountain Insurance
Two recent Vancouver protests call on companies to ‘stop insuring genocide. Last week, approximately 20 youth from the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and other First Nations occupied the Vancouver offices of Chubb Insurance Co. of Canada to protest their backing of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Chubb Insurance is one of 11 insurers of the project - and protestors hope that applying pressure on the insurers will result in the project being dropped. This pressure has worked on previous insurers such as Germany’s Zurich Insurance Group, Munich Re Group and Talanx Group, which all declined to renew their backing of the pipeline due to protests. Read more here
This is closely followed by the arrest of Indigenous land defender Stacey Gallagher and Indigenous elder Jim Leyden for spending time along the Trans Mountain pipeline route, at times performing peaceful ceremonies and generally mobilizing against the pipeline.Read more here
Divesting from Banks - Bankswitch Campaign
BankSwitch is a grassroots campaign started by Climate Pledge Collective that has been adopted by many other local groups. The campaign’s mission is to have the general public pressure the banks, specifically the largest 5 banks in Canada (RBC, TD, SCOTIA, BMO, CIBC) to divest their financing portfolios from fossil fuel projects. The BankSwitch campaign wants the executives of these institutions to create a transparent, communicative, reciprocal and sustainable relationship with its clientele. Banks need to prioritize the interests of the majority who use their services rather than a wealthy corporate minority.
To see the full doc with more information click here. Click here for a document that provides a variety of templates and information on how to contact your local bank representative about this campaign.
Kensington Market Environmental Justice Mural Unveiled
An environmental justice mural by Toronto Based Visual Artist Danilo Deluxo was revealed online in February as part of the Canadian Climate Art Campaign #ClimateArtWhileApart facilitated by Toronto-based School for Climate and Canadian Climate Challenge Executive Director Andre Forsythe.
In the recording of the live reveal on youtube, Seth Klein (public policy researcher, professor, and author of "A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency" joins artist Danilo Deluxo, and project partners Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), PlasticFree Toronto, & BE Initiative to make the link between racial justice solutions and climate solutions through the display of a new Environmental Justice mural.
"An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. At this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist." - Nina Simone quote in the mural
Circular Innovation City Challenge
Toronto has joined New York City, Amsterdam, Glasgow, and Copenhagen as a partner in the Circular Innovation City Challenge. The challenge is a global call to action for innovators with digital and data-driven solutions that can help cities reduce their carbon footprint and become more circular. Do you have a solution that can help businesses and people make the most of our resources? Submit your digital solution by April 23 at circularinnovation.city. The challenge prize is a potential pilot project with a participating city and/or a business/community group that the city may be able to foster a connection with.
Monthly Community Climate Action Collaboration Hours
Join the City of Toronto for a virtual drop-in session to talk about community climate action! The next Collaboration Hours session will be Wednesday, March 24, 4pm-6pm. Community members in Toronto are encouraged to drop-in to chat informally with a team member about their ideas. They can help to explore available project supports, community connections and capacity building opportunities, as well as provide some general project guidance as needed. People may also have the opportunity to meet other like-minded community members in these sessions.
All the Collaboration Hours are drop-in (any time between 4pm-6pm) and can be joined by video conference or by telephone. To receive a link to join the March session click here. For more information, contact Megan.MacLean@toronto.ca.
David Schindler, the Scientific Giant Who Defended Fresh Water
One of the world’s greatest ecologists was Canadian fresh water scientist David Schindler, who died last week. Read Andrew Nikiforuk’s tribute to an amazing life.
Naomi Klein: How to Change Everything
Canadian writer, social activist and filmmaker, Naomi Klein, has released her newest book - How to Change Everything: The Young Human's Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other. Sure to inspire climate-concerned youth, this is an empowering and engaging young readers guide to understanding and battling climate change.
The Ontario developer behind the bid to build a warehouse on a protected wetland
Behind the contentious Pickering, Ont., project at the centre of a battle over development in Ontario is a billionaire family keen on building a "mini Las Vegas." Read more here
Is this the end of forests as we've known them?
Trees lost to drought and wildfires are not returning. Climate change is taking a toll on the world’s forests - and radically changing the environment before our eyes. Read more here
Zero Waste News and Events
Your Upcycling Garden Guide
Random Acts of Green highlights the weird odds-and-ends you might have sitting about (you might even have them in your recycling bin!) that you may not have yet considered as great garden accessories!
More Zero Waste Events
For more zero waste related news and events taking place across Toronto check out Zero Waste Hub Toronto on Facebook and Twitter!
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
Anti-Racism in Farmers' Markets
If you're a farmers' market manager, board of directors, volunteer or stakeholder check out this great resource. Download the Anti-Racism in Farmers' Markets Toolkit
Highlighting Migrant Farmworkers in Ontario
FoodShare’s panel discussion with migrant rights activists on the vital role migrant farm workers play in Ontario's food system can be viewed here
Planting for Pollinators workshop
March 29 from 12-1pm
FoodShare presents a Planting for Pollinators workshop with special guest Lorraine Johnson, author of 9 books about gardening including ‘City Farmer’. Register here
Inspiring Toronto Backyard Farm
There is a growing trend of city gardeners focusing on crops meant for human consumption rather than ornamentals. Check out this video of a truly impressive enterprise in North York. You can reach out to Jesse to get help converting your backyard to a productive garden or join Jesse’s Community Supported Agriculture program
Toronto Urban Growers
Grow Food Toronto
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Calls for Volunteers and Donations
The Avenue Food Bank Needs Donations of Fresh Produce and Help with Deliveries
The Avenue food bank in the Annex needs donations of fresh produce. They would happily welcome any surplus harvest from Annex gardens this summer to distribute it to those who patronize the food bank based in the Church of the Messiah at Dupont and Avenue Road. Demand has almost doubled this past year with the organization providing enough food to sustain 350 to 375 individuals a week.
The organization prepares hampers for collection at the door on Tuesdays between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. It has also initiated a delivery program both to try and ease line ups at the door and to reach housebound clients – some of whom live three bus transfers away.
The volunteer Bike Brigade helps with deliveries, but The Avenue is desperate for more drivers. If you have access to a vehicle, can spare an hour or two per week, and would like to volunteer your time to help with deliveries, email "elliottshulman" at gmail.com to learn the details of how you can help.
Volunteer at your local Butt Blitz
A Greener Future is looking for volunteers from 25 locations across Canada to join our 2021 Butt Blitz. Volunteers will be tasked with the goal of picking up 5,000 cigarette butts from their local communities and green spaces during the month of April.
Find more information and register here
- When: April 1st - 30th, 2021
- Where: Find locations here
- Purpose: To take action on cigarette litter in our local communities
- Goal: 5,000 cigarette butts each = 1 million butts picked up across Canada
- Fun Fact: All cigarette butts will be sent to TerraCycle for recycling
Active Transportation News and Resources
Dutch Reach prevents motorists from injuring cyclists
As the weather gets warmer, more people get on their bikes. Motorists can help keep them safe by doing the ‘Dutch Reach’ when exiting their vehicles. Read about the Dutch Reach project in Canada here and watch a CAA video here .
Destination Yonge: Bike Lanes, Patios in 2021
Last October, City Council requested City staff to look at how Yonge Street, from Bloor Street through Midtown, could be remade as a “complete street.” Now, the Globe & Mail has reported the recommendations will be for temporary installations from Bloor to Davisville Avenue, similar to what we’ve seen on Danforth Avenue — ActiveTO protected bike lanes, CaféTO patios, parking, planters, and more! The Midtown project could be installed by this summer!
It is crucial that this segment pass Council this spring or we risk Midtown remaining disconnected from the rest of the cycling network for years to come.
Mayor Tory and the Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Councillor McKelvie, need to hear from supporters like you that transforming Yonge into a complete street will help local businesses recover, make the street safer for everyone, and make Yonge a better destination for the community. Email the Mayor & Council
Toronto ♥️s Bikes Make-a-Thon
April 3-17, 2021
Do you or someone you know have big (or little) ideas for how to make biking work better for you? The first ever Toronto ♥️s Bikes Make-a-Thon presented by Cycle Toronto is an event to put your ideas to the test. This year’s theme is: Working Bikes. Here are a few examples of questions that could be answered and fit the theme of working bikes:
On top of spotlighting your ideas and advancing cycling in Toronto, four prizes will be awarded to the top teams, including a $300 prize pack for the winning team!
- How can we get our bikes to do more for everyone, for work and for play?
- Have you created a new way to carry groceries on a bike, or attach a child trailer to a Bikeshare bike?
- Do you have data on bike camping, or a way to carry a picnic basket to the beach?
- How can we make cycling more accessible and useful for all?
This virtual event will take place over two weeks and it’s open to anyone, so please share far and wide! Then get your team together to create prototypes, ideas, and data stories. Registration is now open; register on the Make-a-Thon webpage, or join on Discord to chat directly with event organizers. Registration is free! Suggested $10 donation, if you can afford it.
How to Change Design Speeds, Save Lives, and Improve Our Cities
Speed is not the enemy, but it can be deadly and detrimental to our cities when applied improperly; it's time we fixed that. Read more here
CycleTO University-Rosedale April meeting
Tuesday, April 6th at 6:30pm
CycleTO University-Rosedale is a volunteer group focusing on cycling issues in Ward 11. We work to make cycling more accessible, safe and equitable. We are inspired to share the joy we find in cycling and are motivated by its practicality as a low-cost and low-carbon mode of transportation.
There are some important cycling projects happening this year in Ward 11. In particular there's an initiative underway to change Yonge St., north of Bloor, in a similar way to Danforth's transformation last year. There's lots of work that needs to be done on this and we could use your help!
If you feel connected to these issues, we'd love to meet you. We meet monthly - our next meeting is April 6th at 6:30 p.m. (Google Meet link), or get in touch by email at email@example.com.
Are there green news or resources you'd like to see included in the Green 11 newsletters? Send your items and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.