Dear Green Neighbours
The City of Toronto Infrastructure and Environment Committee was overwhelmed this week with nearly 50 people deputing and over 500 people writing letters about the urgency for The City of Toronto to adopt the Transform TO Net Zero by 2040 Strategy to tackle the climate crisis. The message was received loud and clear, but the final vote comes to full council next week. Read below how to keep this momentum going.
Meanwhile across the country RCMP have violently attacked indigenous land defenders resisting CGL pipelines. Below are links to solidarity actions you can take.
Finally, as the holiday season continues, take a moment to think about how you can reduce your carbon footprint with new traditions and even rethink the notion of “giving” as instead one of “sharing.”
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
Monday, December 13, 6-8 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting. Contact Paul Overy at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.
November meeting highlights: In his presentation on Don’t Mess with the Don, Floyd Ruskin explained that while there’s no shortage of garbage that gets thrown and blown into the Don Valley, there’s also no shortage of dedicated volunteers to gather and dispose of it all. Besides garbage cleanup, DMWTD also does nature walks for school groups and other educational outreach. (Read more in the profile below!) Updates from Harbord Village Residents Association included a board motion committing to action to mitigate the climate crisis at the neighbourhood level and enthusiastic response to their heat pump webinar.
Calls to Action
Tell Toronto to Take Serious Climate Action
On December 15, Toronto City Council will vote on an updated climate action plan called the TransformTO Net Zero by 2040 Strategy. This is the first major update to our City’s climate action plan since Toronto declared a climate emergency in 2019. Tell City Council to make sure this plan is more than just new targets or promises - it has to be a concrete plan of action to reduce emissions and create a sustainable and equitable future for our city. You can sign the TEA petition before the December 15th City Council vote. You can also send a letter to the mayor and your councillor using this ClimateFast template.
Support important Cycling Infrastructure
Last week the Infrastructure and Environment Committee supported some great cycling recommendations, including making all 2020 ActiveTO bike lanes permanent, installing 100 km of bike lanes in the next three years, considering complete streets designs for every major road rehabilitation project, and promoting e-bikes and cargo bikes. However, City Council gets the final say on December 15th. Share your support for these recommendations to your local Councillor and the Mayor with this Cycle Toronto link.
Let's get food in Toronto’s Net Zero by 2040 plan
Food and gardens are largely missing from the recommendations in the proposed Net Zero by 2040 Report going to Council on December 15th. We need to remind Council that growing food increases green space, reduces waste, promotes low-carbon diets and helps residents to take action! You can write to Council using these talking points from Toronto Urban Growers.
Solidarity Action for Wet’suwet’en
The Coastal Gas Link project severely violates Indigenous rights, poses a major risk to ecosystems, and increases fossil fuel production when we need to cut it. Canada is currently supporting companies that refuse to follow the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent and that instead expropriate unceded Indigenous territory for profits and pipelines. Find out how to take action to support Wet’suwet’en resistance.
Also: from December 9-11, Leadnow is hosting phone banks in solidarity with land defenders. Together, Leadnow will call members and patch them through to key B.C. and Federal NDP decision-makers to call on them to remove the RCMP from Wet’suwet’en territories and halt all construction on CGL. The phone banks will take place on Zoom; training is provided. RSVP here
Keep Foreign Interests out of Canadian Climate Policy
Amidst a growing climate crisis, wealthy foreign-owned oil corporations have been using their power to block climate action in Canada. In a new report Posing as Canadian: How Big Foreign Oil captures Canadian energy and climate policy, researcher Gordon Laxer discovered that Big Foreign Oil has been working through CAPP (the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) to shape climate and energy policy in Canada and stall meaningful action. It’s time for our elected leaders to put climate action before the profits of Big Foreign Oil. You can sign the Council of Canadians’ petition and urge Prime Minister Trudeau to put Canadians before the profits of extractive corporations.
Classify nurdles (pre-production industrial plastic pellets) as hazardous
Nurdles - the worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of - billions of these tiny plastic pellets are floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills
When the International Marine Organization (IMO)’s marine environment protection committee met in London [the last week of November], environmentalists had joined forces with the Sri Lankan government already in an attempt to turn the X-Press Pearl disaster into a catalyst for change: Sri Lanka’s call for nurdles to be classified as hazardous goods attracted public support, with more than 50,000 people signing a petition. Awareness is growing about the huge threat posed by the tiny pellets. Classifying nurdles as hazardous would make them subject to strict conditions for shipping. The IMO secretariat referred the issue to its pollution, prevention and response committee, which meets Spring 2022. Please consider signing and sharing the petition as a public show of support that is so urgently needed.
Don't Mess With the Don by Floyd Ruskin
Don't Mess With the Don is an all volunteer Canadian registered charity committed to protecting and enhancing the natural heritage of the Don Valley and Toronto ravines. Don’t Mess with the Don was founded in April 2018 by a core group of five members. In the time since then, DMWTD has removed over 170,000 kg of garbage from the Don Valley. We have created a large stewardship site dedicated to removing invasive species from the valley and planting important native species.
In terms of the items we find, if our industrial society produced it, we have collected it from the valley...including the kitchen sink! The overwhelming majority is single use items... plastic or otherwise. My favourite item I’ve collected is a bowling pin :)
During winter months we continue our cleanup activities a little differently. Because winter activities are weather dependent, instead of larger monthly events posted on social media and shared with event sites, we switch to our POPUP model where it is short notice posted on Facebook. We get a smaller number of volunteers, but we keep up the activity and the focus on the environmental issues high.
I would estimate that since starting we have had close to 6,000 volunteer hours with many folks coming time after time for both cleanups and stewardship. Our last four events in 2021 have brought out over 600 volunteers from across Toronto
Pre Covid we did 1-2 school field trips per month. Five virtual presentations during Covid. Happy to report we did our first post Covid nature hike this past week and one more booked for 2021 and 3 so far for 2022. We make sure to engage HS students by providing volunteer hour certification for all our activities
In all our activities we endeavour to engage with the local neighbourhoods that are adjacent to the Don Valley. Forging relationships with communities from Riverside to Leaside, from Regent Park to Thorncliffe Park, from Riverdale to Rosedale and points north our goal is one green community coming together for a common cause.
In the DMWTD community, there is an unspoken commitment to the idea of giving back. This idea of volunteerism is rooted in the deeply felt desire to do important work and in the process, find community. DMWTD believes a volunteer who participates in an organization event should come away with a feeling of joy, a sense of empowerment and a greater fundamental connection to community and planet. DMWTD is also an outspoken advocate for Toronto greenspaces and the environment, deputing at city council and through frequent media interviews.
Contact info for those who want to learn more and get involved:
website and donations: www.dontmesswiththedon.ca
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
Join our community FB group: A Park for All
Green Online Events and Webinars
Pangea’s Dream: A Family-focused, Eco-writing webinar
with eco-poet, arts educator and activist Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland
Tuesday, December 14, 6:00pm - 7:15pm
Pangea is Greek for 'One Earth'. Pangea is also the name of the supercontinent that contained most of the world's land masses during the Carboniferous Era, three-hundred-million years ago. In this one-hour webinar, Elizabeth will engage imaginations through poetry, stories and discussion. Participants will delve into 'creative space' while looking at what it means to be an Earth Ally in these changing times.
Green News & Resources
Environmental Defence: Ontario Auditor General’s Environment Audits Reveal a Government That’s Abandoned Its Obligation to Protect the Environment
The ABCs Of Heat Pumps: A Great Way To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
HVRA Webinar November 23 - recording available
Toronto Star: Cities are taking the lead on climate change — and it’s just the beginning
TransformTO: Getting To Net Zero Public Consultation Report November 2021
International Institute for Sustainable Development: Farming the Future: Agriculture and climate change on the Canadian Prairies
World Wildlife Fund: Mapping Canada's Carbon Landscape
Canada’s first-ever national carbon map reveals the location of billions of tonnes of carbon stored in ecosystems across the country. This data, and how we use it, could alter the pace of climate change.
Brownie 2021 Award Winners Announced
Founded in 2001 by the Canadian Urban Institute, the Brownie Awards recognize the innovative efforts of professionals who rehabilitate brownfield sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized, and undeveloped by remaking them into productive residential and commercial projects that contribute to the growth of healthy communities across Canada. The Bloor Annex parkettes (located in Ward 11, between Spadina and Bathurst) were among the 2021 Refocus category finalists.
Giving Tuesday, Mutual Aid, and Collective Enoughness
What if Giving Tuesday was a day to celebrate and share what we DO have, rather than competing and pleading for what we do NOT have?
Zero Waste Events, News and Resources
Join Random Acts of Green’s JollyGreen™ Holiday Eco-Challenge
It’s been reported that globally, our waste levels increase by 25-35% during the holidays. Take the JollyGreen™ Holiday Challenge and learn what you can do during the month of December to reduce holiday waste. To start, try upcycling your decorations, baking only what you're going to eat, giving experiences instead of stuff, and buying local.
Zero Waste Chef: Making memories: 35+ Practical, Thoughtful Gifts
Greenpeace: Low waste holiday gift guide and The Future of Gifting is Secondhand - we can start right now
BeyondPlastics: Twelve simple tips - a guide to help make your holiday gift giving as plastic-free, zero-waste, and Earth-friendly as possible
Intergalactic Zoom Fixit Clinic
Saturday December 11, 2021 1:00 p.m.
Santa's Fixing Elves will be Zooming in from all over the world to spread good cheer and repair! Celebrate Sweden’s Santa Lucia Day with the Global Fixers Holiday Fix Festival. (𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙕𝙤𝙤𝙢 𝙁𝙞𝙭𝙞𝙩 𝘾𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙨 are scheduled Zooms hosted from around the world: present your item to a global team of expert community repairers and get suggestions for things to try. After all items have been presented, fixers move to Zoom breakout rooms to implement the suggestions and, hopefully, fix the items.) Got something broken? Register here. Want to help fix? (Or just observe?) RSVP here
Do you have electronics you're looking to donate or are you looking for secondhand electronics?
Donations / resale: Reboot Canada is open Monday to Friday during daytime business hours (by appointment only), renting space at Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Ave. Reboot Canada is a registered charitable organization, issues charitable donation receipts by email, offers secondhand tech for sale, and recycles responsibly what they won't reuse.
Plan and prepare to visit Free Geek Toronto in January: open 4 days a week at 180 Sudbury St. (Queen Street West at Gladstone Avenue, between Ossington & Dufferin). FGT is a registered not for profit organization and employment social enterprise, and offers secondhand tech at accessible prices, and what they can't reuse, they recycle responsibly.
Electronics recycling: if you have electronic waste that cant be repaired or reused, it should be recycled responsibly. Evergreen Brickworks has an electronics waste drop off bin strictly for recycling. City of Toronto does electronic waste collection if you set it out on your garbage day separately from your other bins, or you can visit Staples, Best Buy, or City of Toronto drop off depots.
Tool Library Member Workshops
Toronto Tool Library has begun offering free member workshops each month hosted at TTLMakerspace. So far they’ve had workshops in both power-tools and sewing - check out the videos to get a sense of what’s involved. You can learn more about TTL and join here.
World can't recycle its way out of plastic crisis: experts
Guardian Environment: Microplastics cause damage to human cells, study shows
Zero Waste Resources
CanadaReduces.ca: consider joining (or starting!) your local neighbourhood or ward-based Reduces waste group of residents volunteering together to help reduce waste in your community!
Repair Café Toronto
Free Geek Toronto
Toronto Tool Library
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
Toronto Food Resources
Active Transportation / Public Transit
Investigating the Potential for the East Toronto Railpath
City Council supported Councillor Mike Layton's motion to explore the creation of the East Toronto Railpath, during its November 9, 2021, meeting. At the core of this connection is an abandoned railway bridge owned by Metrolinx popularly known as the "Half-Mile Bridge" that has the potential to link the Don Valley's public spaces, while providing relief to the existing crowded trails and provide new connections to adjoining neighbourhoods. The ability to build a trail through this land can become an important part of an active transportation network of trails that connects to the Evergreen Brickworks, Waterfront Trail, and the West Toronto Railpath.
Beyond the Automobile: This Intersection Design Will Save Lives
Beyond the Automobile: How Freeways Make or Break Active Transportation Networks
Canadian Urban institute: The Joy Ride Project brings cycling groups together around equity
City of Toronto: Walking: Winter activities & resources
Donations / Volunteering
Holiday Wish List for agencies serving those who are experiencing need
Looking for ways to give this holiday season? The annual Holiday Wish List of what local not for profit social service agencies in Toronto are seeking this holiday season has been consolidated and posted: visit toronto.ca/reduce-reuse/ > click on "Where to Donate Items" > "Holiday Wish List" > open the accordion for your area of Toronto > see community agencies in your neighbourhood along with their wish lists! Each agency has listed specific details regarding drop off, which may include the need to call ahead of time. Please read these instructions carefully.
If you're looking for more options, visit 211central.ca > enter your postal code > select the topic that interests you > press "search" > to find the related agencies nearest you.
COVID-19 Resource Pamphlet: Newly Updated
The much-used COVID-19 Resource Pamphlet is back, and up-to-date! If you or someone you know may be seeking open drop-ins, meals, showers, WiFi, phone access, clothing, or laundry access, save and share this one-page resource! Originally created in 2020 by (Ward 11's own) Church of the Redeemer, the resource has been updated this month by the Toronto Drop-In Network (TDIN). (You'll notice on the cover of the brochure where it mentions washrooms, it directs people to visit the GottaGoToronto website - a truly awesome resource for everyone travelling outdoors!)
Grants and Opportunities
Toronto's Vital Signs Grants
Friday December 17 grant application deadline
$10K-$25K per organization. Priority will be given to small and medium sized organizations that are equity-led and equity-serving, as well as indigenous-led organizations. A total of $300,000 is available to fund between 20-25 organizations. Watch their information webinar recording from November:
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (FEF) Grant
January 15 grant application deadline
Funding requests are needs based, and there is no set minimum or maximum amount for which you can apply. However, the majority of TD FEF grants are between $2,000 and $8,000.
Telus Friendly Future Foundation
Telus Community Board: for registered charities working within a specific city or region
($20K max) January 27 application deadline
“Supporting local education, health or technology programs for at-risk youth.”
Larger national, territorial and provincially focused registered charities
($20K-$200K) ~February application deadline (check back in January for 2022 application deadlines)
“These grants support education, health and technology initiatives for at-risk youth.”
Your Wishes are Granted: A fundraising webinar with Ken Wyman
and special guest Thea Silver of Environment Funders Canada
Tuesday December 14 1:00 p.m. $25
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.