Dear Green Neighbours
This week delivered a devastating blow to environmental protection in Ontario with the passage of Schedule 6 of Bill 229, which guts the provincial Conservation Authorities. Those of us who understand the need for careful long term planning will need to continue to pressure the government and its supporters to respect our precious natural resources.
As we face a holiday season upended by the pandemic, we can reach out to lift up our neighbours who have been the most affected. We wish you all peace and light throughout this winter!
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 December 18, 2-4 pm
Please join us at our next meeting, Friday, December 18, 2-4 pm. Special guests include Ethan Chiddicks of Cycle Toronto's University Rosedale advocay group. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive Zoom log in info and to suggest any items for the agenda.
Calls to Action
Tell Council it’s time: REimagining Yonge in North York
Next week, City Council will vote on the REimagining Yonge Street Environmental Assessment. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for residents of North York Centre and surrounding neighbourhoods to shape their future.
REimagining Yonge includes the area between Sheppard Avenue and the Finch Hydro Corridor, which has not seen a substantial redesign since the 1950s. The decisions we make this year will determine what Yonge will look like for the next 50 years. In Willowdale, it is time to change a six-lane highway to a four-lane main street that better connects the neighbourhood. It’s time Yonge is reimagined as a safe place for all people: people who walk, shop, and eat; people that drive or take the subway; people that live and work on Yonge; and yes, people that ride bikes.
By December 15, please write to your City Councillor to tell them that you support REimagining Yonge and complete streets designed with everyone in mind. See Cycle Toronto’s website for a template letter and email addresses. https://www.cycleto.ca/news/reimagining-yonge-north-york. You can also sign a David Suzuki Foundation petition here
Turn the Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena into Pop-Up Shelters
Toronto's homelessness crisis is detrimental to its citizens. Over 10,000 people in Toronto are homeless at any given moment. With the COVID-19 pandemic, shelters cannot carry full capacity. If no action is taken, countless people will die this winter.
The Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena have sat practically vacant for months, and can easily be turned into pop-up shelters. Supported by the city, Rogers Communications, and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd, these arenas have the potential to bring in support workers, food service employees, and offer PROPER shelter for thousands of people. They could offer more privacy, better conditions, and more room for physical distancing.
This petition is calling on the City of Toronto, MLSE, and Rogers Communications to look into this possibility of creating pop-up shelters and give a valid explanation on if or why this cannot be done. This is an important way to support your citizens facing homelessness in wake of COVID-19.
Support an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy
Over the last month, more than 10,000 letters to Members of Parliament have been sent by over 2,000 supporters calling for “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy.
The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association's Indigenous Caucus still needs your help! To date, they have received 283 signatures for our e-petition in support of the FIBI campaign. We need a minimum 500 signatures by 4:40 PM on December 21, 2020 to have the petition certified and presented to the House of Commons. If you have not yet signed the e-petition you can do so here, and forward to your network.
We Need a Real Climate Accountability Act: Demand Climate Action Now!
The Trudeau Government has finally introduced a new piece of legislation with the stated purpose to help meet its climate goals - the Net-Zero Emissions Climate Accountability Act. Yet, the current text of the bill is wildly insufficient: it does not include a target for 2025 and it won't require the government to commit to serious climate action soon. It won't establish a clear pathway to limit warming to 1.5C. This is not good enough!
In response, Climate Fast is running a digital workshop to inform citizens about the bill and empower everyone to have their say. We need to join the youth who #Fightfor1point5 and a liveable planet for all! Join in on December 13 at 7 PM as they advocate together for policy that truly protects the next generation! Register for the letter writing party here and learn how to make your voice heard by government on this crucial climate legislation!
Dr. Anne Keary will present on the bill, how it compares to similar legislation around the world, and the ways in which the current version is insufficient to safeguard a healthy climate. Participants will then have the chance, with the support of ClimateFast volunteers, to write customized letters to their elected representatives.
Spread the Word! forward this email and/or this FB event link
Green Online Events and Webinars
Fridays for Future Weekly Climate Strikes
Fridays, 11 a.m. – noon
Live Streamed webinars with different speakers led by youth.
Transit in Toronto: Online training with TTCriders
Why is my bus overcrowded during a pandemic? Why are TTC fares so expensive? TTCriders is holding online trainings this month so you can get more informed and involved. TTCriders members will answer your transit questions and explain who makes transit decisions in Toronto, what's changed during COVID-19, and how you can help organize for better TTC.
The TTC Board will be voting later this month about fares and service levels. They may propose higher fares because fewer people have been riding transit during the pandemic and there is a budget shortfall. It wouldn't be fair to make transit riders pay the price of the pandemic. Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau need to pay their fair share of transit funding. Learn how to make your voice heard.
How to speak to the TTC Board
Thursday, December 17, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
- Learn how the TTC and City Budgets affects bus service and fares
- Find out how TTC decisions are made
- Prepare to speak to City Councillors on the TTC Board
WEBINAR: Stepping up to the Plate: How Canada can meet ambition on phasing out fossil fuel support
Tuesday, December 15, 12:00 p.m.
Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Canada committed to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Yet the country is set to miss this target, in part due to ongoing support for fossil fuels. In fact, a recent scorecard ranked Canada last among G20 OECD countries for progress in ending fossil fuel support, even as the federal government committed to net-zero by 2050.
Please join IISD’s latest webinar on December 15th, delving into how Canada can step up to the challenge of phasing out fossil fuel support. It will focus on major research outputs for 2020, including the Production Gap report (just released!) and G20 scorecard, and examine how the US election might affect Canada on this file.
This webinar will present Canada’s current state of fossil fuel support and identify where the problem spots are, comparing to other G20 countries. We’ll examine how Canada’s planned policies and actions will expand fossil fuel production, widening the gap from what’s needed for 1.5°C and 2°C pathways and creating other risks in the process. Special attention will be placed on what the US election means for climate action post-2021, helping to shed light on what can be expected from the new Biden administration and how it could affect Canada. Register here.
Growing the Future - Online Cooking Classes for Kids
Growing the Future is a weekly cooking class for kids by Greenest City. These classes strive to not only teach about food, nutrition and cooking techniques, but also larger conversations about where our food comes from, how different cooking methods work and why we do certain things while cooking. We want to teach usable skills while trying to instill a sense of curiosity about food that will extend beyond the class. If you would like to know more about the classes or sign up for one of the four sessions, CLICK HERE! Programs run:
- December 8th, 2020 - December 29th, 2020
- January 5th, 2021 - January 26th, 2021
- February 9th, 2021 - March 2nd, 2021
- March 9th, 2021 - March 30, 2021
Soup & Stories
Soup & Stories is a Greenest City program dedicated to featuring the creative culinary creation of local community member guest chefs and sharing their talents and delicious soups with folks who are craving soup and missing neighbourhood dinner with friends. Every two weeks, we'll have a different Guest Chef making a huge batch of soup. We'll send out an Eventbrite like THIS ONE where you can signup for a free soup and get the link for a Zoom meeting the following day.
Guest Chefs will use our kitchen facilities, have a budget for ingredients and be paid a honorarium for their time and labour. Greenest City will package the soups, freeze them and organize the Zoom Dinner Party.If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Guest Chef please email email@example.com. You don't need to be a professional or trained cook, but you should feel confident cooking in large batches (40 Litres at least).
Green News and Resources
The Ontario Government Betrays the People of Ontario in Favour of Bad Developers with the Passage of Schedule 6
“Schedule 6 amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act will let developers dump, build and excavate largely unchecked in high-risk areas, risking impaired water quality, property damage, and environmental degradation, and endangering public safety across the province.Now that Ontario has passed Bill 229 and its attack on Conservation Authorities, the job of protecting wetlands, forests, drinking water and quality of life falls to ordinary citizens. Together, environmental and community organizations will continue to work with the dozens of respected organizations and the more than 50,000 Ontarians who expressed their outrage to protect natural spaces and stop destructive developments to ensure a better future for all Ontarians.” Read full Environmental Defence statement here.
City of Toronto launches Welcome T.O. Winter parks plan
The Welcome T.O. Winter plan provides safe ways for people to get outside in Toronto’s parks, including at our 54 artificial ice rinks and five golf courses. Residents are encouraged to stay active this winter with members of your household at:
Throughout the winter the following parks amenities will remain open:
- 23 toboggan hills in neighbourhoods across Toronto
- 8 snow loops for walking and snowshoeing at the City’s five golf courses, with loops ranging from 1 kilometre to 2.5 kilometres
- Free, leisure skating at the City’s 54 outdoor ice rinks, including Nathan Phillips Square, beginning November 28, weather dependent, with a maximum of 25 participants
- Six disc-golf locations, including the newest at Scarlett Woods Golf Course, beginning November 28
- New guided outdoor Walk Fit programs, including 45 sessions each week
- High Park car-free weekends
- City parks with additional 60 kilometres of paved recreational trails and pathways with snow maintenance
- 100 parks with winter maintenance, including 60 with enhanced maintenance this year including cleared parking lots and paved pathways
- Up to 30-plus natural ice rinks – the City is accepting applications until December 31 for community-built and maintained natural ice rinks in City parks
More info here
- More than 800 playgrounds and 30 parks with outdoor fitness equipment
- Outdoor sport courts, including 57 tennis courts with nets in place for winter tennis
- 70 outdoor table tennis and 60 chess tables
- 68 dog off-leash areas
- The City will more than double its supply of winter park washrooms from 64 to 143 as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19
- The archery range in E.T. Seton Park
Listen to the David Suzuki Podcast
In Season 1 of The David Suzuki Podcast, David explores how the pandemic can help us refocus on what’s most important, and how a green and just recovery from COVID-19 could look. Joined by acclaimed guests like Jane Fonda and Neil Young, inspiring Indigenous leaders and youth activists, David Suzuki Foundation experts and more, the podcast builds a clear vision for a better world, leaving listeners with a renewed sense of possibility, urgency and hope.
Community Hubs and Responding to Community Needs in a Time of Crisis
Read the second blog in TEA’s series on how community hubs have responded in a time of emergency and the lessons for building more equitable and sustainable neighbourhoods. In this blog, we highlight how community hubs are responding to the emergency needs of residents in their neighbourhood, and shine a spotlight on work in St. Jamestown and Parkdale. Read the blog.
A Societal Transformation Scenario for Staying Below 1.5°C Climate Change
Interesting thread on a new mitigation scenario for 1.5C. How does it work? What would society look like? Are we willing to do what's required to stop climate breakdown? Read the full research paper here.
Applications Open: Climate Solutions Accelerator Program
Do you have a great climate solution idea or existing sustainability initiative and the determination to make it a success? Are you 19-25 and a resident of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas? Youth Challenge International’s (YCI) Climate Solutions Accelerator is a 6-month incubator program that supports GTHA youth Climate Leaders to enhance their skills and refine and grow their existing climate action and sustainability solutions – whether they are community-based initiatives or social enterprises and green businesses.
YCI will be recruiting 30 Climate Leaders for our second cohort that will launch in January of 2021. Spaces are limited and YCI reviews applications on a rolling basis to offer eligible individuals open spots as they become available. More information and how to apply here
BetterHomesTO is a City of Toronto program that features a one-stop website with information on how you can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient – while at the same time saving money on your energy bills. It provides information on key energy efficiency upgrades as well as guidance on planning a renovation with a focus on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
At the BetterHomesTO.ca website you can access information on available supporting programs and rebates, including the City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Enbridge's Home Winterproofing Program and the Home Efficiency Rebate Program.
A one-stop-shop for ethical and eco-friendly holiday gifts to give this season for everyone on your list.
Zero Waste News and Events
Live in a high-rise? Get involved in the Zero Waste High-Rise Project!
Since TEA launched its new online program in September, dozens of buildings have joined the Zero Waste High-Rise Project! They're releasing new resources, tools, and stories of success each week, based on what they've learned from working with leading buildings.
Multi-residential buildings in Toronto with 6 units or more are invited to make use of the "Zero Waste High Rise Project" resources available at the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) for free. Buildings that complete through stage 3 & submit an action plan by January for an action they'll take by February may apply for a $500 microgrant for hard materials. Buildings are invited to learn more about the Zero Waste High Rise Project, its FAQs, phases, resources, & microgrants at the following link, complete forms to introduce, assess your building, & sign up for a group coaching session: next dates are your choice of Dec 10 through Dec 16. Learn more and sign up here.
7 SIMPLE STEPS to Sustainable Grocery Shopping and Eating Habits
BEST BEFORE DATES: Everything You Need to Know
Just Eat It food waste challenge 2021
Drawdown Toronto has created the Just Eat It food waste challenge that will run January 18 - February 28 2021, providing information, tips and resources so all participants can engage in being part of one of Drawdown’s top solutions – #3 Reduced Food Waste. More info: Plasticfree Toronto here and Drawdown Toronto here and here
How to Have a Low Waste Holiday
Watch a replay here
Living low waste during a pandemic is possible and so is celebrating the holidays sustainably! Learn creative ways to upcycle items readily available at home, tips and hacks to reduce waste, and how to spread environmentally friendly holiday cheer this year. Presented by The WE-Solation team
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
Liberate Your Lawn (or Someone Else’s)
Liberating Lawns is open again & looking for landholders, and BIPOC youth growers More info and sign up
Toronto is getting a new urban farm!
Food insecurity in Toronto
FoodShare’s Paul Taylor speaks to Global News’s Stafford & Supriya of 640 Toronto, in response to Toronto Foundation’s Toronto Fallout Report
Supermarkets are making huge profits at a time when food prices are rising and Canadians are suffering, advocates say
Toronto Urban Growers
Grow Food Toronto
City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more
Active Transportation News and Resources
How to Build Great Bicycle Streets
Bicycle streets offer a glimpse of what streets can look like when cars are not the primary design user. The Bicycle Streets Beyond Europe series concludes with key takeaways for all communities. https://beyondtheautomobile.com/2020/11/25/how-to-build-great-bicycle-streets
Call for Donations and Volunteers
Toronto Little Free Pantries Project
"Give what you can. Take what you need." Have you heard about the Toronto Little Free Pantries project? It is estimated that food insecurity affects almost 1 in 5 Toronto households (18.5%). Toronto Little Free Pantry Project’s objective is to address this need on a local level and ultimately make our city a better place. Please consider: giving to a little free pantry in your area (you can drop off non-perishable food items, hygiene products and/or toiletries to one near you); and hosting one if you'd like, too!
They're also looking for donations of materials that can be reused, carpentry skills, use of equipment and/or space where little free pantries - made of a wood box, with a shelf, on legs/stilts, with chicken wire or plexiglass covering the door - can be made.
Give Back This Holiday with Second Harvest
Start a holiday fundraising campaign for Turkey Drive
Second Harvest's annual Turkey Drive is on now and their goal is to raise 8,000 turkeys and deliver them to frontline non-profits in the GTA. Register yourself or gather your family, friends, classmates and colleagues to create an online team and fundraise to reach your turkey goal. Sign up today by visiting Holiday Turkey Drive.
Buy a bird
Every $25 donation equals one turkey delivered to a community organization in Toronto and the GTA. Click here to donate
9 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
The 2020 GIVING Gift Guide offers a wonderful opportunity to get gifts for your loved ones and give back.
Call for donations for sleeping bags via the Encampment Support Network
There are 1,000+ people sleeping rough in Toronto https://www.instagram.com/p/CGYTxeYAJN3/
Email ESN at firstname.lastname@example.org to donate. Follow ESN on instagram and twitter.to read statements against evictions and for a template letter to Mayor Tory.
Toronto Public Health guidance on donations of food and non food items (PDF)
Green 11 Volunteer Opportunity
Green 11 is seeking a friendly, energetic, creative and detail-oriented Social Media Moderator and Content Creator
Volunteer Position Description:
This role includes the creation of timely and appropriate content for Green 11’s social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The Social Media Moderator and Content Creator will also analyze, review and report on the effectiveness of Green 11’s posts and pages.
● Update the Green 11 Facebook page and Facebook group, including creating the rules to be followed by its members.
● Create content and moderate the comments from the Green 11 Facebook page and Facebook group.
● Publish, share and/or re-tweet green-related posts or events organized by Green 11.
● Post relevant green articles and news on Green 11 social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (coming soon).
● Analyze and report on the effectiveness of the posts.
● Time commitment of 2-4 hours per week.
● Experience as a content creator and moderator
● Expertise in a variety of social media platforms
● Strong written and verbal communications skills in English; other language skills are also an asset.
● Solid interpersonal and teamwork skills.
● Understanding of social media metrics; able to interpret results and take action to increase effectiveness of posts.
● Knowledge about environmental issues.
● Preference is for a 6 – 12 month commitment, possibly longer
Orientation and ongoing support will be provided to the Social Media Moderator and Content Creator by Green 11 members throughout the entire duration of volunteer work. The Communications Support Volunteer is an excellent opportunity for someone who enjoys engaging with social media platforms and is interested in learning more, keeping informed, and spreading the word about green events, activities and initiatives happening in Ward 11 and the City of Toronto. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in finding out more about this volunteer position.
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.