Dear Green Neighbours
As spring progresses and we spend more time outside, the opportunities for sustainable gardening, supporting pollinators, and cleaning up / reducing trash abound. From No Mow May to green roofs - find out more in this week's news! And don't miss Green neighbours network's AGM tomorrow (Saturday) frorm 3-5 pm - details below!
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
Friday, May 21, 4-6 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Friday, May 21, 4-6 p.m. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Ask the Canadian government to set a target to cut emissions by 2025
Bill C-12, An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, was sent to the federal government’s Environment Committee for review last week. It’s a huge opportunity for MPs to make necessary changes to ensure Bill C-12 is based in science, puts communities and workers first, and creates true government accountability. But after delaying Bill C-12 for months, there’s no guarantee MPs will actually make improvements.
The Environment Committee wants to hear the public's views on Bill C-12. You can take this Lead Now survey to add your voice. Deadline for submission is Monday May 17.
Phase out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants by 2030
Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is launching a public engagement process on how Ontario can reduce its greenhouse gas pollution by phasing out its gas-fired power plants. This is your chance to tell the IESO that we need to phase out gas by 2030 to help our climate and clear our air.
The IESO is encouraging all interested citizens to participate in its engagement through public webinars and written feedback. Help keep building momentum for a 2030 gas plant phase-out by sending a message to the IESO right now. Click here to send your letter.
Ask the Ontario government to require washing machines be equipped with microfiber filters
Private Member's Bill 279 Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Microplastics Filters for Washing Machines), 2021 has been introduced and passed first reading. In a washing machine cycle, our clothes shed up to hundreds of thousands of microfibres that go down the drain to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), and a lot of those are plastic like acryclic or polyester. Microfibres are so small (less than 5 mm in size) that WWTP can't stop them all. Filters on washing machines can stop more than 85% of these fibres before they go down the drain. Washing machines equipped with effective filters are a key solution to staunching more of this pollution.
The bill seeks to amend the Environmental Protection Act to prohibit the sale or offering for sale of washing machines that are not equipped with a specified microplastics filter and to provide for corresponding penalties in case of non-compliance with the requirement. Find out how to support the bill here.
Green Online Events and Webinars
Green Neighbours Network AGM
Saturday, May 15th from 3-5 p.m.
Celebrate Green Neighbours Network of Toronto (GNN)'s 1st year as a registered not-for-profit organization, hear about GNN's vision and plans for the exciting year ahead, and help celebrate GNN’s amazing members and volunteers; the individuals, groups, and partners whose passion and energy are making neighbourhoods across Toronto and the GTA greener, healthier, and more sustainable every day. REGISTER HERE Speakers:
- Dorte Windmuller from Cliffcrest Butterflyway in Scarborough will talk about using the power of social media to find volunteers and engage a community to bring back bees, birds and butterflies to the neighbourhood.
- Saba Khan, one of the trio who founded EnviroMuslims in Mississauga, will talk about starting a group with the goal of educating, engaging and empowering the Canadian Muslim community, and the importance of intersectionality in the realm of sustainability.
- Beth Szurpicki, representing CanadaReduces.ca, will talk about how the ‘Reduces’ movement in one downtown Toronto neighbourhood leveraged the power of zero waste to scale up in record time.
- Myrtle Millares from Climate Pledge Collective will share how we can help stop big Canadian Banks from fueling the climate crisis by participating in their Bank Switch campaign.
- Colleen Lynch from ClimateFast's Kitchen Table Climate Conversations will tell us about this exciting climate conversation program designed to inspire and mobilize in advance of upcoming elections - and how you can get involved.
Writing is Your Nature: Finding Your Voice in Environmental Stories
May 11, 14, 18, 20 & 25, 1 p.m.
Are you a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast? Do your prose and poetry have ecological connections? Are you an environmental scientist, academic, or activist hoping to communicate to wider audiences? Sign up for these free virtual classes and learn directly from some of the best science and nature writers in North America today.
Presented with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a not-for-profit group dedicated to securing the long-term ecological health of the region from Yellowstone National Park to Yukon Territory, Writing Is Your Nature is your field course for writing about the natural world. These 5 masterclasses were designed for writers who want to better capture the natural world and our connections to it. From honing your voice to putting your skills to work, the series will sharpen your non-fiction prose through the lens of nature, ecology and conservation.
For the event schedule and registration, click here. (Don’t worry if you miss a session - you will have access to the recording!)
Nigel Topping, UK Climate Champion, in conversation with Catherine Abreu
Tuesday, May 18, 1:15 p.m.
COP26 will take place in November 2021 in Glasgow. This summit is approaching quickly. It comes at a moment of great uncertainty where all countries continue to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis' immediate impacts and recover from it. We need leadership now!
Climate Action Network will speak with guest Nigel Topping - the UK Government High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 - about increasing climate ambition in times of recovery.
During this conversation, Nigel Topping will present the UK Presidency's vision for COP26, in particular for non-state actors. More importantly, Mr. Topping would like to hear from civil society organizations and non-state actors interested in actively engaging in COP26 or in driving ambition forward. Register here
Land Governance: Towards a More Just Future - Live discussion of Indigenous rights and responsibilities
Tuesday, May 18 at 3 p.m.
To help better understand the root causes of conflicts over land use and resource extraction in Canada, this conversation will examine Indigenous sovereignty, jurisdiction and the concept of “land back.” Working with Indigenous colleagues, the David Suzuki Foundation has co-produced three short videos that examine past, present and future land governance in Canada. They highly recommend watching the first two ahead of time; the third one will be screened live during the webinar. Register now to join the conversation.
Creative Solutions for a New World Climate & Artists Series
Wednesday, May 19, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Free Climate and the Arts webinar series. Your one-time registration signs you up for the entire Season 3 webinar series and to receive free video replays of each presentation. Please visit www.CreativelyUnited.org to learn more about upcoming presentations.
Summer Webinar Series: Bees for Peace with Carrie Dohe
Wed May 19, 3pm
Bees for Peace promotes pollinator protection through faith communities and humanitarian organizations. In addition to other activities, Bees for Peace seeks to establish blooming feeding sites for pollinators at houses of worship. These feeding sites form a “peace network,” as bees, imagined as peace ambassadors, visit the various feeding sites, thereby uniting disparate communities through this cross-pollination. By partnering with trained environmentalists, people of faith gain the technical and scientific know-how they need to mobilize both their spiritual and material resources to protect pollinators, while environmentalists improve their communication and outreach to this major sector of civil society. This talk begins with an analysis of Bees for Peace in its pilot phase in Cologne, then opens up into a community discussion about how the project might find roots in Toronto and contribute to the important work of pollinator protection in the city. Register here.
SolarTO: Going Solar in Toronto
Wednesday May 19, 7:00 p.m.
Register here. Recordings from the series’ past episodes have been posted on Live Green Toronto’s channel on Youtube
Climate Ventures Conversations: Nicole Rycroft of Canopy
Thursday, May 20 at 12:00 p.m.
“No individual or single company can resolve the planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss by themselves. Whole supply chains need to shift, and fast,” says Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. Thirty-five to sixty percent of the world’s forests continue to be felled to manufacture the products we consume. In order to safeguard our forests, ecosystems, and climate, we must engage business executives as champions for conservation and sustainability. In March, Nicole was awarded the US$3M Climate Breakthrough Award — funds that will go toward creating low-carbon, commercially viable fibre alternatives that will rapidly shift paper, packaging, and clothing production away from forests.
Women Resisting Extractivism Film Club: Firewater Thunderbird Rising, an Anishinaabe Dance Film
Thursday, May 20, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Inspired by Anishinaabe creation stories, “Firewater Thunderbird Rising” is a performance that is an emotional and powerful journey to understand the historical effects that alcohol has had on our people creating a truth that pierces through the darkness of addiction rooted in fear to reveal a path towards healing that is directly connected to the land.
Find out more and register here
Growing the Future workshops
During the month of May, Greenest City will be raising funds for Growing The Future children's programs by hosting workshops. The online sessions are fun, educational and led by Greenest City’s own passionate staff.
TRCA Offers Free Online Spring Activities
- Bird Sounds: Understanding your Feathered Neighbours | May 18
- Spring into Native Plants | May 18
- Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes with Wildlife Preservation Canada | May 20
- Frog Watch | May 25
Intro to Sustainable Investment
Tuesday, May 25, 6 - 7.30 pm
Sustainable investing, or socially responsible investing (SRI) means putting your money into assets consistent with specific ethical principles. It's a strategy that's become increasingly popular in recent years, but many people are still looking for the best way to ensure their investments agree with their values, while still providing competitive returns.
Join Sustainability Consultant Network (SCN) on May 25th for a webinar that will examine straightforward ways to allow anyone to invest sustainably. Register here.
Race and Nature in the City: Engaging Youth of Colour in Nature-based Activities
Wednesday, May 26th from 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Time spent in nature has the power to teach us, restore us, and bring us joy. However, for Black and other racialized people, nature experiences are often hindered by the fact that they rarely see people like themselves reflected in environmental groups, nature activities, or nature-related media. This lack of representation reinforces the perception that nature is a white space and is for white people.
Set against this backdrop, Nature Canada has partnered with two experts in the intersection of race and the outdoors, Jacqueline Scott and Ambika Tenneti, to produce an important new report entitled, “Race and Nature in the City.” This report explores the barriers to urban nature experienced by young racialized people and presents recommendations that can be implemented by any environmental or nature group.
During this webinar, Jacqueline and Ambika will present the findings and recommendations of this report and answer questions about how to effectively and equitably engage youth of colour. Register here.
You can also read more about Nature Canada’s NatureHood program connecting young people to nature in their neighbourhood and nearby natural spaces.
Green News and Resources
Federal government to undertake environmental assessment of Ontario’s proposed superhighway 413
On May 3, the federal government announced it will do an environmental assessment of Ontario’s proposed superhighway 413.That means this highway - which would run through our Greenbelt, destroying forests and wetlands - is on pause for at least a year and likely two. The assessment will hopefully show how harmful the highway is and it won’t get built. The project isn’t dead yet, but it’s much less likely to go ahead.
Federal Environmental Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in his statement the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) had identified clear areas of federal concern related to the project. The project may cause adverse direct or incidental effects on federally listed species at risk and there is uncertainty around whether these updates can be mitigated through project design or existing mechanisms. The provincial Ministry of Transportation will be required to submit an initial project description, that once accepted, will begin the planning phase of the assessment process. Ottawa will then have 180 days to consult the province and the public about how to mitigate the highway’s environmental impacts. If concerns remain, a full federal assessment will take another 300 days. Read more here.
Earth Day Webcast Now Available Online!
ClimateFast's inspiring Earth Day webcast, "Healing Our Earth Together" is now available on their Youtube channel! This webinar presents an alternate vision for the future and how we can achieve it.
Participate in RAOG’s ‘No Mow May’
Random Acts of Green’s No Mow May invites you to relax and let the grass grow a little while longer. It may be tempting to fire up the lawn mower and tidy up your green space but we are asking you to consider hitting the brakes on that idea. Here are just a few reasons why:
🌼 Let the first flowers of spring fully emerge to support the pollinators who are recently awakening from hibernation.
🌼 The ‘Every Flower Counts‘ campaign in the UK found that 80% of lawns supported the equivalent of around 400 bees a day from the nectar sugar produced by flowers such as dandelion, white clover and selfheal.
🌼 Did you know that many of the 20,000 species of bees help pollinate 85 percent of food crops and fruits around the world?
🌼 In recent years their numbers have been decreasing by the billions due to habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change.
You can see a great video here where Random Acts of Green CEO, Jessica Correa visits Peterborough-based hive and chats about the importance of helping our declining bee populations.
Unflood Ontario is a collaborative movement dedicated to reducing the impact of flooding on Ontario, starting in Niagara, Toronto, and Durham. More rain means more floods. Cost-effective, sustainable and beautiful, natural infrastructure can complement and sometimes replace traditional solutions, while bringing communities together to make it real. Join the Unflood Ontario movement and reduce flooding through natural infrastructure — together, naturally. Unflood Ontario offers different ways to take action!
No Planet B: A Teen Vogue Guide to the Climate Crisis
A new edition to the youth climate action literary collection, Lucy Diavolo's recently published No Planet B: A Teen Vogue Guide to the Climate Crisis, analyzes the environmental crisis through an intersectional lens- with critical feminist, indigenous, antiracist and international perspectives. The book has also been endorsed by 350.org founder, Bill McKibben. This hot-off-the-press book on the climate crisis certainly looks like an exciting compilation of articles giving a voice to young people! You can listen to a free audio sample of the book here.
Local Green Businesses – Vegetarian Restaurant Gems
Dianne Saxe interviews Ward 11 businesses who are doing their part to make Toronto a greener, cleaner, better place. In February, (Black History Month) she chatted with owners of two great vegan restaurants: Peter McKenzie of Veggie D'Light, 160 Baldwin St in Kensington Market, and Ikeila Wright of One Love Vegetarian, 854 Bathurst St., about what inspires them. Watch here.
Why green roofs have the power to reduce flooding in cities
Saving ocean life within a human generation is “largely achievable”
New report suggests a substantial recovery of marine life is possible, but only if we put into action a number of critical measures and curb climate change. Read more
What we can do: A Letter from the Drought
"What to do whether you live in California or not”, written by Anne-Marie Bonneau a.k.a. the Zero Waste Chef
Resources to reduce waste while camping or hiking in Parks
Check out the tips in these blog posts from Ontario Parks and Quebec Parks.
Zero Waste Events
The Zero Waste Cafe’s Carbon Neutrality Edition: Individual Action for Collective Impact - a Virtual Panel Discussion
Thursday, May 27, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Hosted by Toronto-based Inwit. Co-hosted by Greenpeace Canada. Moderated by Brianna Aspinall, founder of Carbon Conversations Toronto. Free. Pre-Register.
WCEF+Climate conference recordings now available!
The World Circular Economy Forum WCEF+Climate virtual conference took place April 15-16 with representatives from around the globe to digitally gather and discuss the crucial role of a circular economy in achieving climate neutrality. One may watch the conference recordings here
“It’s Time for Toronto to Ditch Single Use Plastics” recording available!
City of Toronto Councillor Gord Perks, and Parkdale High Park for Climate Action, presented a Ward 4 Parkdale-High Park virtual town hall and discussion on April 20 about what our local governments, businesses and individuals can do to play their part to reduce unnecessary single use plastics. It featured special guest panelists: Tina Soldovieri of Roncy Reduces; Emily Alfred of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA); leading local business owner Dipesh Shah of Canary and Fox; Adrianna Couto of Inwit; and Annete Synowiec of City of Toronto Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS). It was an exciting, inspiring, and motivating event! Watch the recording to learn more!
Zero Waste News and Resources
Don’t burn Toronto’s garbage in neighbouring communities - Letter to City Council
The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) won a motion at City Council on May 5, 2021 that will require City Staff to report detailed information to Council (including naming the facility and providing detailed environmental and emissions data) before being able to send waste for incineration. Incineration, often called “energy-from-waste” or “thermal treatment”, is a toxic and harmful way to deal with waste. An item passed May 5, 2021, by City Council would allow waste to be sent for incineration in neighbouring communities in Peel and Durham - but this is counter to Toronto’s climate goals and further burdens communities facing multiple sources of pollution. The item passed with amendments. Read more here. The City of Toronto Council May 5, 2021 meeting agenda item # IE20.5 that passed with amendments may be viewed here.
For those who would like to learn more, consider checking out these great fact sheets from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) about the health and pollution impacts of incineration and why it is not a part of a circular, regenerative economy, which were shared by TEA on their social media accounts @TOenviro on Twitter and Facebook.
Canada officially declared plastics a toxic substance!
Canada has officially added plastic to the Toxic Substances List under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). This is important! The listing of plastic under CEPA is a crucial first step in Canada’s fight against plastic pollution. It means the federal government can better manage the production, use and disposal of plastic. It also means Canada will be required to address the harms caused by plastic in the environment.
- Environmental Defence Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Oceana Canada, Ecojustice, and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) joint press release
- Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) & HEJ Support joint press release
- Greenpeace Canada press release
Ontario's plan to overhaul Blue Box program: Details still not ironed out as producers set to take responsibility for recycling, and municipalities amend their waste contracts to accommodate
CBC News: Ontario's plan to overhaul blue-box program stalls
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA)’s post: Ontario needs to get serious about its commitment to reduce waste, prevent plastic pollution, and end litter
“Is recycling a waste of time? What's the solution to improving Ontario's recycling system?”
Watch TVO’s Earth Day special on The Agenda with Steve Paikin featured Myra Hird, Professor at Queens University, and author of the new book Canada’s Waste Flows, and Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario.
U of T Trash Team studies styrofoam pollution from construction activities
Have you ever noticed styrofoam ‘snow’ on the streets of Toronto? It comes from construction activities, litters parks and pavement alike, can enter storm drains, and may be one of the sources of styrofoam polluting Lake Ontario and its shorelines. This summer, U of T Trash Team is tracing this, with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
Ontario bill passes to keep dock styrofoam out of waterways
Bill 228 Keeping Polystyrene Out of Ontario's Lakes and Rivers Act, 2021 passed third reading on Thursday May 13, 2021. The bill has to do with unencapsulated polystyrene dock foam, which fragments, polluting waterways, and “requires persons who sell, offer to sell or construct floating docks, floating platforms or buoys to ensure that any expanded or extruded polystyrene in the dock, platform or buoy is fully encapsulated”. Read more here and learn more - including tips for replacing old docks, to consider a plan to work toward an alternate option that doesn't fragment - here. Special thanks to Georgian Bay Forever for their work on this, that benefits us all.
Reducing food waste is critical in the fight against climate change
One may learn how they can do their part at www.wastewiserevolution.secondharvest.ca.
It's your device, you should be able to repair it
Repair or replace? An expert guide to fixing or ditching eight essential household items
Repair Café Toronto news and resources
Repair Café Toronto has updated the display of amazing videos on its website. They offer a rich collection of their stories since 2013, awesome repair tips and ever-needed inspiration. Be sure to check out recently recorded workshops hosted online by the Scarborough Repair and Bike Café. Featured are RCT’s fixers on: computer care; smartphone repair; sewing machine maintenance; clothing repair; and troubleshooting of small electrical appliances and home electronics.
More Zero Waste News and Events
For more zero waste related news and events taking place across Toronto check out Zero Waste Hub Toronto on Twitter and Facebook !
Urban Agriculture Events, News and Resources
Urban Harvest Food Preservation Series
Wednesdays, May 19 & 26, June 2, 1- 3 p.m.
Get ready before the harvest season starts! Learn skills on how to save the abundant produce from your garden or the seasonal produce from the farmer’s market or local grocery. Save money, reduce waste and enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables even when they are out of season.
In this 3-week Food Preservation Series you will learn about the basic principles and food safety rules in canning, explore different methods to preserve food and become familiar with using basic tools and equipment needed for home canning. Plus you will have fun trying out a new recipe in each workshop!
Limited spots! Each workshop builds on the previous one. Registrants are encouraged to commit for 3 weeks to get the maximum benefit. Residents from M3N/M3J/M3L postal codes will be given priority. Limited canning pots and kits are available for loan. For more information and to pre-register, email email@example.com
- (May 19) Workshop 1: Canning at Home 101 - Know the tools and equipment needed and food safety rules around canning. We will be making salsa and use our canning kit to preserve our salsa batch.
- (May 26) Workshop 2: Pickling Fruits and Veggies 101 - Learn pickling methods from different cultures and the science behind pickling. We will be making bread and butter pickles or mango chutney.
- (June 2) Workshop 3: Making Jams and Jellies 101 - Learn about the fundamental principles and basic recipes you can use for any fruit jam. We will be making a berry jam or pepper jelly.
This program is a collaborative project between Black Creek Community Farm and the City of Toronto Community Reduce and Reuse Programs.
Civic Life: Food Insecurity in the City
Wednesday May 19, 6:30 p.m.
What does food insecurity look like in the City of Toronto? Join Toronto Public Library’s panel of experts from Black Creek Community Farm and community organizers as they discuss the current measures of insecurity including the use of food boxes, community gardens and local efforts. Wrapping up with a live demo of turning food scraps into broth. Register now or tune in on May 19 at 6:30 pm
Support the Chinatown Community Fridge
Community Fridges Toronto and Friends of Chinatown have collaborated on a community fridge for Chinatown neighbours where community members can share fresh food. Hosted by Send it Courier, a worker-owned and operated bike courier service located at 138 D’Arcy St. If you would like to support this community fridge by providing fresh and culturally appropriate food purchased from local Chinatown grocers, please do so. Community Fridges Toronto has provided a grocery list in Mandarin, Vietnamese and English that prioritizes food items that can be shared.
Evergreen Garden Market is now open!
Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The garden centre is fully stocked with Toronto’s widest selection of Ontario native flowers, plants and trees for gardens of all sizes—container on your condo countertop to your backyard in the city. The outdoor nursery will focus on:
- Vegetable seeds and seedlings
- Native plants, shrubs, trees and fruit bushes
- Organic compost, soil, mulches and other soil amendments
- Planters and garden tools
- Tomato cages
Saturday Farmers Market at Evergreen Brickworks is back outside
The outdoor market season runs from May to November. Find all your favourite vendors under the Pavilions on Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (https://www.evergreen.ca/evergreen-brick-works/markets-food/saturday-farmers-market/ ). See “How farm vendors are prepping for the outdoor market season at Evergreen Brick Works” (https://www.evergreen.ca/blog/entry/whats-on-at-the-saturday-farmers-market-in-may/).
Bloor-Borden Market is scheduled to open June 2021
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
To stay in the loop and/or inquire about volunteering, visit their website and keep an eye on their page on Facebook.
Annual Guide to Organics: Farmgate sales, Pick Your Own (PYO), Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s), and more: partial list
Community Fridges TO
Farmers Markets Ontario
Grow Food Toronto
Not Far From the Tree (volunteer picks and harvest share from participants’ fruit bearing trees)
Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC)
Toronto Little Free Pantries Project
Toronto Seed Exchange
Toronto Seedy Saturday (webinar recordings, list of seed vendors, and more!)
Toronto Urban Growers (central events listing, news, resources, and more!)
Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC)
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Active Transportation / Public Transit
Take Advantage of ActiveTO Road Closures This Weekend!
On wheels or on foot, take to the open streets - including Lakeshore Blvd - this weekend. The weekend closures provide space for thousands of people to be active, respect physical distancing and contribute to the overall wellbeing of residents. Residents planning to use ActiveTO routes should do so only with members of their own household and access them by bike or as a pedestrian because nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available. More info on times and locations here
You can also explore the many paths, ravines, and hydro corridors with trails throughout Toronto that continue to be open and available every day for fresh air and exercise. Maps and details are available for paths and trails across the city. Find a Bike Share Toronto station on and around ActiveTO routes. Download the PBSC app for a contactless way to get started.
Toronto ♥️ ’s Bikes Make-a-Thon Winners
Assist by the ReCYCLEs took home the top prize! Assist is an idea to help more people carry more gear on their bikes: the ReCYCLEs proposed a network of public stations, coordinated with the Bike Share Toronto network, that hold e-assist trailers for bikes. The trailers would attach to anyone’s bicycle, be available for short-term rental, and provide variable assistance for hauling heavy or bulky goods. You can check out their video for more information on the great project.
The three runners-up touched on various topics in cycling.
Many thanks to Curbside Cycle, Karma Co-op, Velotique, and Sweet Pete’s Bicycle Shop for providing prizes for the winners!
- Nithursan Elamuhilan’s “The Cycling Divide” is a data story that walks through differences in core and suburban cycling infrastructure, exploring slope of paths, locations of collisions, and more.
- Richard Audette’s Bicycle Dash Cam prototype attaches to a bicycle and uses a camera and machine learning techniques to identify cars that are passing too close; the device displays warnings about such vehicles to the cyclist as they ride.
- Jeannie Lee proposed an idea to modify Toronto’s building codes and require that structures provide bike parking solutions that are weatherproof and secure.
Toronto bike sharing trips have surged during COVID-19
Torontonians turned to the cycling program in record numbers in 2020 as they got outdoors and avoided transit.
Greyhound Canada shutting down all bus service permanently
Greyhound Canada has been in operation in one form or another for nearly a century. The iconic bus carrier pulled out of Western Canada in 2018. It then put its remaining routes in Ontario and Quebec on pause when COVID-19 hit in 2020, and now is pulling out of domestic Canadian service permanently. Governments need to step up to fill the gap to ensure that bus-based transportation networks can exist, either by subsidizing them like urban bus systems or by helping to develop a hybrid model such as a co-operative, which many other countries have seen success with. Read the full article at CBC News. See what public transit advocates TTCriders.ca shared about this in a thread on Twitter
Calls for Donations and Volunteers
The Pine Project Camp Volunteers
The Pine Project is a registered charitable organization dedicated to inspiring a love of nature. Their programs are founded upon the principles of experiential learning, igniting curiosity and care for the natural world. If you’re passionate about working with children and are looking for a fulfilling outdoor volunteering opportunity in the urban wilderness of Toronto, this position may be ideal for you! Volunteers are responsible for planning and leading nature connection programming for campers aged 4-12.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Love Your Lake 2021
May 15th - June 30th
A Greener Future is recruiting volunteers from lakefront communities to take part in a Community Science project, with the goal of picking up 100,000 pieces of litter from the shores of Lake Ontario! Due to the Ontario stay-at-home order and COVID-19 restrictions, the program has been adapted to keep everyone safe while cleaning up the Lake. Instead of running public cleanups, our volunteers will carry out independent shoreline cleanups between May 15th and June 30th, collecting data on all of the litter they find.
Where: Lake Ontario shoreline parks and beaches
Commitment: Minimum 1 cleanup + training
Goal: 100,000 pieces of litter picked up
Learn more about how they are running the program and to register as a volunteer.
Help End Bike Theft
Cycle Toronto is exploring community-led solutions to the rise in bike theft that focus on prevention. They are looking for a few volunteers who are interested in committing up to five hours per month over the summer. This new bike theft task force would work independently and with other members to research options, map out potential solutions, and work with staff and potential partners to help us roll out a plan. If you’re interested in this role, please send a brief email describing your interest in the project and any relevant experience you have to info@cycleTO.ca with “End Bike Theft Task Force” in the subject line.
Grants & Opportunities
InTO the Ravines Grants
Let your imagination run wild with the InTO the Ravines $1000 grants! Park People, in partnership with the City of Toronto, has launched the InTO the Ravines Grants program. These grants will support grassroots community groups to host two simple environmentally-focused events either in person or online, between July 14 and November 14, 2021. Learn more and apply here. Applications are due June 6, 2021.
Environmentalist in Residence (EnvIR) Posting for 2021
The Environmentalist in Residence (EnvIR) program will take place for 2021 as part of the Toronto Public Library (TPL)’s Our Fragile Planet (OFP) program series. This is the 4th year that TPL is hosting the EnvIR, and will be TPL’s 5th EnvIR! The duration is for 10-weeks from July 26 to October 1, 2021. The EnvIR supports OFP programming and serves as an industry expert in the area of conservation, sustainability, food sovereignty, intersectional environmentalism or environmental justice. Programs and activities will be virtual or modified in-person, depending on Toronto Public Health safety guidelines. Info here. See also information about past EnvIRs here.The deadline to apply is Monday June 7, 2021.
Nominate a Tree for Heritage Status
Did you know that you can nominate a TREE for heritage status in Ontario? The Heritage Tree Program collects and tells the stories of Ontario’s unique trees. Launched in 2009 in partnership with the Ontario Urban Forest Council, the program brings awareness to the social, cultural, historical and ecological value of trees. Anyone can nominate a tree for the Heritage Tree Program – whether it is on their own property, their friend’s or family member’s property or in a public space! More information on Heritage Trees HERE
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