Dear Green Neighbours
As we commemorate National Indigenous History Month, we would like to acknowledge the shocking but sadly unsurprising discovery of children’s remains at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. As we mark this tragic loss, among so many others, we must also consider what actions we can take now.
Foodshare recently posted calls to action: Consider writing to all levels of government asking them to immediately prioritize the implementation of the Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Calls for Justice identified by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls on all senators to ensure that Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), is adopted into law. You can use this One-Click Email Tool to write to all senators expressing your support for Bill C-15 and its swift passage.
You may also want to consider the resources and suggestions at Settlers Take Action:
“Non-Indigenous folk who live in Canada benefit from the colonialism that happened here. That means we are all responsible for our personal role in reconciliation.”
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, June 28, 7-9 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting, Monday, June 28, 7-9 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
Export Development Canada must stop fueling the climate crisis
Export Development Canada is a Crown corporation that provides oil and gas companies with an average of more than $13 billion in support each year. The funding provided by EDC alone makes Canada the second highest among G20 countries in total public financing for fossil fuels, and highest on a per-capita basis.
The agency is set to announce new climate targets shortly. Export credit agencies from other countries have changed their policies in recent months to bring them in line with domestic and international climate commitments.
As the agency develops its new climate targets, and with the G7 meeting taking place as this is written, more than 100 groups, representing nearly 2.5 million people across Canada, have come together to request that Minister Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, ensure that Canada’s public financing is in line with our climate commitments. Read more here and amplify the message on social media.
Pass the Just Transition Act
Workers and communities deserve a safe climate and decent work. A just transition is about ensuring both, and we need to start now. It's long past time for Prime Minister Trudeau to deliver the Just Transition Act promised in 2019. Consider signing this petition calling on the Prime Minister to pass the Just Transition Act.
Ask the federal government to ban the release of helium-filled balloons
Consider signing this new petition to the federal government asking Canada to ban the release of helium balloons and sky lanterns to protect Canada’s environment, wildlife and to avoid fires, and fine those who disobey the ban. (Also note that the world’s naturally occurring helium supplies, which are needed for many chemical processes, are running low.)
Ontario’s Energy Future is on the Line
As we have been highlighting in previous editions, the provincial government plans to ramp up gas-powered electricity. The timeline for deciding on this plan is very short. The Independent Electricity Services Operator (IESO) is taking public feedback on how Ontario can move away from fossil fuel-powered electricity to renewable energy - and the deadline is June 17.
Already, more than 60 groups and 27 municipalities across Ontario, representing half of the province's population, have endorsed resolutions calling for a phase out of gas-powered electricity. Add your voice to theirs! Check out For Our Kids page with information and a template response so you can send in your submission.
For a deeper dive into gas plant phase-out and how this will lower emissions and costs for consumers check out Ontario Clean Air Alliance and this overview by Environmental Defence.
Green Online Events and Webinars
Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty campaign launch
Monday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m.
You are invited to sign up for the launch of the Toronto campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (organized by ClimateFast, MobilizeTO and Fridays4FutureTO) . The aim is to have Toronto City Council endorse the treaty at the July Council meeting and also write a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau asking the Canadian government to endorse the treaty and support its passage at the upcoming COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Register here.
TEA-rivia: An online trivia fundraiser in support of the Toronto Environmental Alliance
Tuesday, June 15th at 7:00 pm
On June 15th, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) will host its inaugural virtual trivia fundraiser! All proceeds will support TEA's work building a green, healthy and equitable city. This lively two-hour online event will include multiple rounds of Toronto-themed trivia, and will bring together people who are passionate about environmental action and creating a greener city for all. Register here.
The Peoples' Summit: Protecting Areas in Ontario
Tuesday, June 15, 9:00 AM – Thursday, Jun 17, 6:00 PM
The Peoples’ Summit, a virtual event, will showcase stories of action to protect Ontario's special places. Ontario sits at 10.7% protected and we need to get to 30% by 2030 to be in line with global commitments. Achieving this requires leadership from of all of us: Indigenous Nations, environmental organizations, communities, municipalities, conservation authorities, progressive industry, land trusts and more. Find out how you can help increase nature protection in the province through an equitable, inclusive and collaborative process. This event is jointly hosted by Wildlands League, CPAWS Ottawa Valley, Wilderness Committee, and Carolinian Canada. Register here.
Every Drop Counts: Water Conservation for the Home & Garden
Wednesday, June 16 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Be water wise this summer!
Join in at the Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience, as Live Green Toronto hosts a free webinar on best practices for saving water around the home and garden, featuring guest speakers from Toronto Water's Community Outreach Team. Learn about downspout disconnection and why it's vital, outdoor conservation tips, and how to be a water wise gardener and keep rain water where it falls. Register now!
School of the Environment - Summer webinar series
Wednesdays 3 - 5 p.m. Twice a month from May - July
The Summer Webinar series is presented by U of T’s School of the Environment and the Environmental Students' Union (ENSU).
June 16 | Food Security with Sarah Wakefield
Drawing on her twenty years of research on food security, food systems, and alternative food movements in Canada, in this webinar Dr. Wakefield describes how food activism in Canada has evolved over time.
July 7 | Water be Dammed Screening with Romila Verma
This documentary shows that by not following the four pillars of water sustainability – science, economics, governance and spiritual connections, we have damned one of our most precious resources. Through the lens of the Satluj river in Punjab, India, the film traces the story of challenges, hopes and aspirations of water’s will to survive and rejuvenate
Follow School of the Environment on Twitter for details on the July 21, 28, and August 11 seminars.
Water Conversations: Episode Two – Growing the Greenbelt
Wednesday, June 16th – 6:30-8:30 p.m. ET
Hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Environmental Defence, this is the second of three in-depth workshops on actions needed to ensure healthy waters. This session will focus on coordinating efforts to maintain momentum around the Ontario government’s consultation to grow the size and further enhance the quality of the Greenbelt. Participants will learn about what other organizations are doing, get an update on what is happening provincially, and discuss potential joint priorities and actions, and how they can work together. Registration is required.
TRCA Offers Free Online Spring Activities
- Gardening for Pollinators Monday June 21
- Milkweed to Monarchs Tuesday June 22
- Gardening for Birds, Bees, Butterflies and Beyond Tuesday June 22
- Bumble Bee Watch . Wednesday June 23
- Sustainable Balcony Gardening Thursday June 24,
- And many other sessions! Find out more at: https://trca.ca/learning/nature-elearning/
Sixty Minutes with Ecological Economists Hazel Henderson and Kate Raworth
Mon, Jun 28, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Join ecological economist and futurist, Hazel Henderson, in a 60 minutes dialogue with Kate Raworth an English economist working for the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Kate is known for her work on 'doughnut economics', an economic model that balances between essential human needs and planetary boundaries. Her work shows how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. Register here
Intersectional Environmentalism 101
Wednesday, June 30, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
This webinar invites attendees for an introductory presentation about the intersections between race, culture, and the environment, including LGBTQ2+, Eco-Ableism, Environmental Racism, Indigenous Communities, Asian Communities and Socio-Economic barriers within the context of the contemporary western environmental movement.
The event is intended to educate and raise awareness about the need for a diverse and inclusive approach to climate action to ensure that all voices are welcomed, honoured, and involved in the call for more sustainable lifestyles. Register here
Food+Land+Climate – Groundwork for Change
Three-Part Series - June 7, July 12, August 9, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Food systems have a huge impact on climate and climate has a huge influence on food. Research has shown that the global food system produces almost a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This ClimateFast / Drawdown series on the food system - from politics, justice, sovereignty, access, and climate - is in preparation for the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit this September.
Register for July & August
View recorded June 7 session
Green News and Resources
The Keystone XL pipeline is dead. But the fight against similar projects is far from over.
President Biden canceled Keystone XL. Now Indigenous groups want him to nix the Line 3 pipeline.
Canada's Troubled Waters
Not only is it a myth that Canada has an abundance of readily accessible water, say researchers, but we're poorly managing what we do have.
New federal policy restricts thermal coal mine projects, citing ‘unacceptable’ environmental impacts
New and expanded thermal-coal mines are highly unlikely to get the green light under a policy change announced by the federal government on Friday. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.
Trudeau promised a transition strategy for oil-and-gas workers, now it’s rarely mentioned
This Globe article includes a reference to Environmental Defence’s study.
New report details Big Polluters’ next Big Con
Exposé of “net-zero” pledges uncovers grossly insufficient plans and the strategies polluting industries have used to lock in the ineffective schemes.
Become a Climate Venture
Climate Ventures (CV)fast-tracks the success of early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators developing and implementing solutions to the climate crisis. A joint initiative of the Centre for Social Innovation and Foresight Canada, CV collaborates with innovators, investors, industry, government and academia to solve challenges and scale solutions.
Climate Ventures is about turning an atmospheric transformation into a human transformation – an opportunity to evolve how we live and treat our planet. If you want to be a part of this transformation, working on the market, policy and culture shifts needed to create our low-carbon future, learn more here.
Vote on Future Ground Prize Finalists and you could win a David Suzuki prize pack!
Through June 15, 2021, vote for your favourite Future Ground Prize finalist project in both the People’s Choice and the Youth Prize categories! (Five are in Toronto!) Winners will be announced on June 16, 2021, at a virtual event where the winners will present their projects to David Suzuki.
Zero Waste Events, News and Resources
Innovation For A Sustainable Fashion Future
Virtual Demo Day Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 1 p.m.
Fashion Takes Action– and the WEAR webinar series is partnering with Alante Capital and Style with Substance Ventures to host a virtual Demo Day showcasing innovative technologies and solutions to address the social and environmental impacts of the apparel industry. We hope to provide insight into commercially available solutions that can be deployed by brands in the near-term, as well as potential investment opportunities for capital providers in the space. Register here.
Canada's Textile Recycling Feasibility Study
Fashion Takes Action's textile recycling feasibility study, funded by Environment & Climate Change Canada, was published on June 9th and features 22 recommendations for the federal government, and the next steps for the project.
Toronto voted to approve Single-Use Reduction Strategy - Stage 1!
The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) tweeted June 9th:
“This is a good first step, but it’s only the beginning. Thank you to everyone who spoke up to show support and push Council to take bold and swift action! Council also passed 3 additional motions from [Ward 11, University Rosedale City Councillor] Mike Layton: to commit to lead by example in City-run facilities and to move faster with guidance for businesses on reducing disposables and switching to alternatives to encourage a green reopening and recovery. Phase 1 of this strategy must be followed with strong regulations in 2022 that will ban and restrict disposables and shift our city towards reusable alternatives! All levels of government need to act to curb the single-use plastics that are harming our health and environment.”
You can see the full item that was passed by Council here.
New Ontario Blue Box program puts business interests ahead of protecting the environment
The Province of Ontario announced long-awaited changes to the Blue Box program. Environmental groups are disappointed and concerned that the new program puts business interests ahead of the environment. The new extended producer responsibility (EPR) system has low targets, broad categories and poor reporting requirements. That means companies will still be able to churn out mountains of non-recyclable packaging destined for burial or burning and face no consequences. And, the program does not require producers to take responsibility for toxic contents of their materials.
See more in this joint statement by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), Environmental Defence, Health and Environment Justice Support, Citizen's Network on Waste Management, Waste Watch Ottawa, and Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
Birds & Plastic Pollution - A Case Study in Toronto
Unfortunately for birds that live in urbanized areas, they often use anthropogenic debris (otherwise known as garbage) to build their nests. This can result in entanglement or ingestion and presents a growing problem for birds – including many native species. Read the Ontario Nature blog post.
Repair Café Returns!
Resuming June 2, 2021, Creative Reuse Toronto is once again hosting Repair Café Toronto on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. People can make an appointment for mending or repairs and drop-off and pick-up their items at CRT's front door (68 Abell St, steps south of Queen Street West, between Dovercourt and Gladstone)! Masks required. CRT & RCT ask that people clean their items and check them for pests before bringing them in. PWYC to support this initiative via cash drop-box on-site or e-transfer to email@example.com
Free Geek Reopens!
Free Geek Toronto (a registered not-for-profit organization, and employment social enterprise, established in Toronto since 2009, that reuses technology to extend the life of electronics and help bridge the digital divide) is excited to announce they resumed operations starting Thursday June 3, 2021, and are accepting curbside drop-offs of electronics Saturdays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at 180 Sudbury St. Learning more here and check out what they accept here .
Feds stand firm on toxic ruling as Big Plastic threatens lawsuit
Canada’s Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson writes, 'Our plastic problem is urgent'
Zero Waste High-Rise Project Celebration of Action in 2021!
The "Growing a Movement of Zero Waste High-Rises: online celebration of action in 2021" event on June 9th led by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) was so inspiring, and included one rental building in Ward 11! Leading buildings are diverting 80%+ of waste and many more buildings have become involved! You can see the Zero Waste High-Rise Project tools and forms, guides, and success spotlights here. [Editorial note: If we see the recording from the June 9th event available, we will aim to share it in a future e-newsletter too.]
City Waste Management info and resources
- Check out the TOwaste app - and WasteWizard website - from the City of Toronto! Get collection schedules, Waste Wizard, drop-off depot and donation locations right from your phone with the TOwaste app! Refer to them regularly. Even avid zero wasters have found them helpful on multiple occasions!
- Find out what to refrain from flushing or pouring down drains
- Check out the handy Waste Educational Resources from the City of Toronto: have you seen all of these yet?!
People who litter at Toronto’s parks and beaches could be fined up to $500 if they’re caught
Litter costs the City more than $27.5 million/year and comes with a fine of up to $500. Report litter hot spots to @311Toronto or by calling 3-1-1.
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 Agriculture is Changing the World
Sunday, June 13, 7:00 p.m.
Join Toronto Urban Growers and The Backyard Urban Farm Company with filmmaker and backyard gardener Jamie Day Fleck as they show examples in Toronto of how Urban Agriculture is being implemented in the city. Register here.
Future of Toronto's Golf Courses: Public Consultation
Monday, June 14, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Parks, Recreation, and Forestry are inviting you to help shape the future of Golf Courses in Toronto. They will be hosting a Virtual Public Meeting for you to learn about the City's Operational Review of its five (5) golf courses and to share your ideas for future improvements. As part of this review, the City is exploring opportunities on how to improve golf play as well as preliminary ideas for additional and/or complementary uses of golf courses, like improved trail paths, additional programming, and more. You can find more information about the public meeting and RSVP/register by clicking here.
3 Easy-To-Grow Medicine Herbs and How to Use Them
Thursday, June 17, 2:00 p.m.
With Shabina of Seed, Soil and Spirit School of Herbal Medicine. Gardening doesn't need to be complicated, and neither does the use of herbal medicine. In this workshop, participants will learn about calendula, tulsi and sage. We will cover tips on how to grow them and simple recipes for using them as medicine. Register here.
Earth is Life - High Park Nature Centre special event
Thursday, June 17, 4:00 p.m.
Recognizing our eldest planetary Relatives - the minerals, we will reflect on their Teachings, Earth Medicines and the Life of the Soil. Through song and ceremony we will create and re-awaken mounds, home for the Three Sisters (Corn, Beans, Squash) and ReStory this traditional practice. With Donna Powless, Catherine Tammaro and Joce Two Crows Tremblay. Register
Did you know that June 21-27 is Pollinator Week?
Find out more and watch the CN Tower at sunset on June 22 – it will radiate yellow and orange in honour of pollinators!
Toronto is home to hundreds of species of pollinators, including over 360 species of bees and 112 species of butterflies. Pollinators are critical to the survival of most food crops and flowering plants. In fact, it is said that 1 out of every 3 bites of food is because of pollinators. Unfortunately, native bees are in decline because of several factors, including habitat loss, invasive species, pesticides, climate change, and more. Furthermore, native bees are the most specialized and efficient pollinators. When native bees disappear, they disappear forever, unlike honeybees. When a honey bee colony dies, more honey bees can be purchased and new colonies started.
The easiest and most effective way to help native pollinators and support urban biodiversity is by planting a pollinator garden using native plants! Check out Live Green Toronto’s Wild About Bees page to learn the difference between honey bees and native bees and how to create pollinator habitat.
Did you know that Toronto has a Pollinator Protection Strategy? City council unanimously adopted it back in 2018.
Resilient Victory Gardens for Bees: Keep your gardens buzzing with biodiversity with Lori Weidenhammer
June 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Lori will share some top tips for growing plants that support several species of bees in your garden. She will show examples of garden projects that will inspire you to create your own oasis for our essential pollinators. Register here.
Birds Canada Launches National Initiative to Empower Gardeners and Home Owners to Protect Birds
Birds Canada announced the launch of “Gardening for Birds” - a major new conservation initiative which promotes the creation of nature-friendly gardens, benefiting birds across Canada. The website, videos, factsheets and resources provide practical information to help Canadians from coast to coast to coast protect birds and other wildlife.
‘Tis the Season for Not Far From the Tree!
With the change in season, Not far From The Tree is getting ready to start the 2021 Picking Season! If you have fruit-bearing trees on your property, consider reviewing NFFTT's Ripening Guide for tips on how to tell when they're ripe, when to schedule NFFTT for a pick if you wish, and - if of interest - picking, storing, & pruning tips too! Discovering when is the right time for your fruit trees to be harvested is a really important step in the process! If you are ever unsure, feel free to reach out to NFFTT! Their initiative and website are an amazing resource!
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
Bike Month continues!
Find more events and activities on the Cycle Toronto Bike Month Calendar
Sign up to log your rides, play bike bingo, visit a cycle safety station, join a community ride, get family cycling tips and more here
Petition to extend the Bloor Bike Lanes west on Bloor from Runnymede to Six Points and on Dundas to the East Mall
Volunteer cyclists help deliver essential goods during the pandemic
Watch this CBC video about Toronto’s Bike Brigade. Learn more and sign up to volunteer with them here.
Calls for Donations and Volunteers
Help protect Lake Ontario
Love Your Lake 2021 volunteers have picked up 48,613 pieces of litter from the shores of Lake Ontario since May 15th - almost halfway to the 100,000 piece goal!
There's still time to join in on the fun! Register to become a Love Your Lake volunteer and help clean up your local shoreline, parks and beaches. As a volunteer, you'll have access to our Community Science training, which will teach you how to do a litter cleanup and collect data. After each cleanup you do, you'll submit your data to us through an online form. These data help A Greener Future to analyze trends and track progress.
Learn more about how they are running the program and to register as a volunteer.
The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is back!
This June, every $1* donated to any charity on CanadaHelps is an automatic chance to WIN $20,000 for your favourite charity! Enter today! #GivingChallengeCA
Grants & Opportunities
Urban Forestry Grants & Incentives
The City is investing in tree planting and stewardship on private land to help enhance and expand our urban forest, and to improve the health of the environment. With some of the greatest potential on private land, everyone’s help is needed to reach our 40% canopy cover target.
These programs support partnerships and collaborations with homeowners, landowners and not-for-profit organizations that advance the City’s strategic priorities to invest in people and neighbourhoods, and to tackle climate change and build resilience.
Wednesday, June 16, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register or join the meeting
Wednesday, July 28, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register or join the meeting
All Neighbourhood Tree Giveaway Program applications are due July 2.
All community grant applications are due August 13.
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.