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Dear Green Neighbours

COP26 is set to launch this week. Canada will join over 120 other nations to determine what steps can be taken to avoid climate catastrophe, with a focus on national targets – known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Read on for resources on the conference and how to hold Canada responsible for its contribution to NetZero carbon.

Be sure to also check out our new Green Profile feature: this week Paul Overy describes two eco-initiatives in a Ward 11 high-rise.

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, November 26, 4-6 p.m.
Please join us at our next meeting. Contact Paul Overy at to receive log in info for the meeting and to suggest any items for the agenda.

Our October meeting highlights included: a recap of Harbord Village’s successful e-bike  event, organized by the HVRA NetZero Committee; an update from Ward 11’s Climate Champion Jimmy Lu on his soon-to-be launched EcoBuddies project, additions to our list of potential guest speakers at upcoming meetings, and planned improvements to our website.

Calls to Action

Reuse, not single use, in Toronto
Consider supporting bold city-wide action to reduce waste and single-use plastic. AS TEA suggests: "To tackle plastic pollution, we can’t focus simply on recycling or swapping single-use plastic for other disposables. We need to make a real shift away from single-use and focus on reuse." If this resonates with you, consider speaking up for bold local action that encourages reuse by signing this petition of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA).

Right to Food Campaign: A Toronto Food Charter Updated for All of Us
Food charity is not a solution to food insecurity. Consider signing the petition at FoodShare Toronto to the City of Toronto for a new food charter that ensures everyone in Toronto can access the food they need with dignity and joy.

It's time to get serious about phasing out gas power
Please consider contacting Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith and ask him to direct the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to return the gas plants’ pollution to their 2017 level ASAP; and to achieve a complete gas plant phase-out by 2030.

Ontario Place redevelopment plans: share your views with the Province
Form here. Closing on Thursday October 28, 2021. Read thoughts from Swim Drink Fish on a swimmable beach on the West Island at Ontario Place

Canada: It's time to move forward with action on plastic pollution (petition)

Protect the Great Lakes: Shut Down Line 5 Oil Pipeline (petition)

Consider writing a Letter to the Editor for Canada to Ban Coal Exports

 Green Profile

Green projects at an apartment building in Ward 11: The fruits of collaboration
By Paul Overy
Thanks to a group of committed tenants, supportive building management, and grants from three generous funding groups, the residents of 280 St. George Street, a private apartment building, have been able to benefit from a community garden for four years and a waste reduction initiative since March 2021. A July 2021 Landscape Ontario article briefly describes this garden (which benefited from LO funding in 2020 and 2021), as well as a few others they helped fund.

The photos are from the spring of 2021, so the garden beds became rather more substantial through the summer, and a "fedge" (fruit hedge) garden was also added, thanks to fruit bushes provided by Treemobile.

The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) provided funding in March 2021 for a waste-reduction initiative, which is now keeping batteries, compact fluorescent lights and black-plastic containers out of the waste stream. TEA shared a blog post about it  (look for the description of the Summit project), and there is a link at the bottom of the post to the recording of a celebration event for participating buildings.

This building's success in implementing engaging and significant projects of benefit to many tenants shows how cooperation among tenants, building management and supportive funders can lead to worthwhile outcomes!

 Green Online Events and Webinars

Canada’s Pipeline: The Silent War of a Petrol-Police State
Why does Canada own the Transmountain pipeline? Where are divestment pressure points?

(as a part of Social Justice Week 2021 organized by X University)
Tuesday October 26, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
This podcast episode examines the economic risks posed by the Trans Mountain Expansion Project - the pipeline that crosses 518 km of Secwepemc territory in the south-central interior of British Columbia. The featured guests are experts in the fields of law, economics, and Indigenous governance who analyze the economics behind the pipeline. Without the consent of Indigenous people, what are the calculations being made to uphold colonialism in Canada and to sublease Indigenous lands?

Regenerative Agriculture: The Catalyst for Restoring Soil Health, Combating Climate Change, And Creating Economic Resilience
Tuesday, October 26, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Hear cutting edge data which shows how agriculture, when done correctly, can solve an enormous number  of problems and draw down 100% of all the carbon emissions created each year. Institute for Responsible Technology.

Nature-based Climate Solutions
Tuesday, October 26, 2021: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
This one-hour webinar from Nature Ontario will discuss nature-based climate solutions, Ontario Nature’s Protected Places Campaign, the upcoming 2022 provincial election, and more.

Progress Toronto 2021 Fall Training Series
City Council will be voting soon on inclusionary zoning and this is your opportunity to up your skills so you can learn how to speak at Committee and meet with your City Councillor in order to ensure as many affordable housing units are built as possible.

#4 City Hall 101
Wednesday, October 27 - 7PM ET

#5 November City Council Online Watch Party & Discussion
Tuesday, November 9 - 9:30AM

Women in Climate Policy
Thursday October 28, 12:00 p.m. ET
Meet some of the inspiring women working on climate action, and hear about the big changes needed to decarbonize Canada. Moderated by Sarah Lazarovic, Vice President, Clean Prosperity.

Why is COP26 Important to cities?
Thursday, October 28, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET                                                    
COP26 is a critical opportunity to push for bolder action to tackle the climate crisis. Cities have a key role to play in ensuring that COP26 leads to transformative climate action and a green and just recovery. Join Canadian Urban Institue for the next CityTalk exploring with key stakeholders heading to Glasgow how cities can advance climate action through COP26. 

Enough is Enough: A Key Year Ahead in Protecting Ontario's Environment
Thursday October 28, 6:30 p.m.  
Webinar and Q&A: special online evening featuring David Crombie (former Mayor of Toronto and ex-chair of the Greenbelt Council) and Loreena McKennitt (singer-songwriter and environmentalist). Hosted by Environmental Defence.An Ontario: Yours to Protect Community Webinar. Preregister:

COP26 and Net Zero's Dangerous Distractions
Thursday October 28, 7:30 p.m. ET
The presenter is Marc Lee, senior economist from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Hosted by Seniors for Climate Action Now, Climate Haliburton, and Climate Action Muskoka.

Day of Action Against Fossil Fuels
Friday, October 29, 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Financial District, Toronto
This event is part of a Global Day of Action against the Big Banks funding the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure worldwide. The Canadian Event highlights the Coastal Gas Link Project. Organized by Banking on a Better Future, Greenpeace Canada and Climate Pledge Collective

Rally for Climate Justice Now! Real Action @ COP 26
Saturday, November 6th: 1:00 p.m.
Queen's Park
Here in Toronto, a newly formed coalition of labour, climate and social justice groups has been organizing to hold an action around more Canada-specific demands:
  • Respect Indigenous sovereignty
  • Phase out fossil fuels
  • Just transition for communities and workers
  • Global Justice
This action has been endorsed by the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, Labour Education Centre, Greenpeace, Council of Canadians, United Steelworkers Local 1998, with endorsements pending from Fridays for Future Toronto and Toronto Climate Action Network.
Sign up for email updates

2021 EcoFair Toronto
Thursday, November 4 to Sunday, November 7
The 13th annual EcoFair will have 4 days full of exciting events. With the slogan “The green new decade is underway!”, the 2021 EcoFair Toronto will be a mix of webinars, movies, games, bike rides and more to inform and inspire greener and more sustainable choices in our communities and daily lives. As always, the EcoFair showcases awesome environmental non-profits and environmentally friendly businesses to celebrate their success and inspire everyone to join them in taking action. Free, informative, family-friendly and fun! Hosted by Green Neighbours Network of Toronto and Transition Toronto.
  • Don’t miss the EcoFair Launch Webinar Nov 4
  • Enjoy a fun online Eco-Games Night on Nov 5
  • Hop on your bike for the Eco-Humber Bike Tour on Nov 6
  • See exhibitor Facebook livestreams and watch and discuss Eco-Films Nov 4-7
  • Meet Eco-Exhibitors and learn more in interactive Workshops Nov 4-7
Follow @EcofairToronto to learn more about this year's amazing exhibitors that are helping create a greener and healthier Toronto for us all. There is no time greater than now to take action toward sustaining the environment. Together at EcoFair Toronto, learn about solutions, celebrate progress, promote change, and be inspired to take action in our own lives. A more sustainable future awaits! Stay tuned for the details on each day’s schedule on the website and in the EcoFair newsletter - updates direct to your inbox! Advance registration is open now.

ReSurge: Canadian Film Festivals for a Liveable Climate
Tuesday, November 9 to Sunday, November 14 with on-demand access until Nov. 30.
Water Docs Film Festival turns 10 this year and wanted to do something special to celebrate.  For this year's festival, they are joining forces with over a dozen other notable Canadian film festivals and environmental organizations to voice the growing concern over the climate crisis and promote environmental awareness and climate action through film. Throughout this unique festival, they will present moving and informative environmental documentaries about water and climate change from around the globe, in partnership with some of the largest film festivals and most prestigious water research institutions in the country, to make a real splash and let the world know it's time for climate action… NOW! The message is clear, film festivals can change the world… consider joining in and making a difference.

Our Fragile Planet events series (Toronto Public Library) [
Upcoming events in the Our Fragile Planet series organized by Toronto Public Library include:
  • Heal Land, Heal People: The Invasive Species Question - October 26
  • Urban Forest Governance: Resident Associations & Recent Immigrants - October 26
  • Toronto Ravines: Intersections of Race, Access & Engagement - November 24

TRCA Offers Free Nature E-Learning Online Fall Activities
With titles including:
  • Gardening in a Changing Climate - October 25
  • Invasive Species at Home - October 26
  • Nocturnal Nature in Your Neighbourhood - October 28

 Green News & Resources

HallowGreen™ Challenge
Still time to join! Random Acts of Green’s annual HallowGreen™ Challenge is designed to help educate the public on different things they can do during the month of October to make lifestyle s-witches for the planet. With your help, we can engage local and global communities to participate in climate action.

Race Against Climate Change
This new six-part podcast from Canada’s National Observer digs deep into areas of daily life impacted by climate change. It features interviews with experts to help us learn what we can do, if we choose to act quickly.

e71 green sessions debrief
Highlights from the 2021 Green Sessions organizing committee about how the Canadian arts sector can step forward with impact to address the climate emergency.

Resources for COP26
ClimateFast Information and articles about COP26

For an excellent overview of COP26 view this presentation by Caroline Taylor of Ryerson Life Institute.

Here are a few Guardian articles about COP26 that might be of interest:

City of Toronto joins the United Nations' Cities Race to Zero
The objective of Cities Race to Zero is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. Thank you to Councillor Mike Layton for introducing this motion which City Council adopted in October. You can learn more at C40, the network of 97 megacities representing 700M people. The City of Toronto is a member.

For the Love of Creation advocacy webinar series recordings available
For the Love of Creation, a Canadian faith-based initiative for climate justice, September 2021 webinars on Climate Financing, Indigenous Rights as well as Climate Ambition and Transition, recordings are available. You can learn more at the For the Love of Creation website, via Kairos, or Faith and the Common Good.

ICLEI: 10 reasons to promote urban biodiversity
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability  is a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. The City of Toronto is a member.

CBC Radio's The House: Is COP26 our 'last, best hope'?
Massey is Missing #COP26 : Climate Action and Indigenous Voices

The Guardian: There are two fatal flaws with “net zero by 2050”. One is “net zero”. The other is “by 2050


Zero Waste Events, News and Resources

A just transition towards circular cities – why people matter
Wednesday October 27, 2021, 7:00 am - 7:55am
Understanding and managing the social impacts of urban transitions towards a circular economy is central to making the transition inclusive and long-term, as well as ensuring that cities are viable and attractive environments for all residents. Local governments need to be supported in implementing circular urban pathways that are equitable and just.

Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through
Art exhibit on at the University of Toronto Art Centre - through November 20
Plus online dialogues on plastic pollution with special guest panels  - Wednesdays in October

This exhibition by Synthetic Collective links scientific and artistic methodologies to show how arts-based approaches to thinking and working can make viable contributions to environmental science and activism. Read this great review. Watch the exhibition teaser. Reserve your timed-entry tickets for the exhibit.

Free screening: Story of Plastic
In honour of its nomination - and as of September 29th, win! [](!) - of the 42nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Award [] for Outstanding Writing: Documentary, Discovery has made the Emmy-nominated StoryofPlastic available for FREE on Youtube  and Vimeo until November 30. THE STORY OF PLASTIC presents a cohesive timeline of how we got to our current global plastic pollution crisis and how the oil and gas industry has successfully manipulated the narrative around it. From the extraction of fossil fuels and plastic disposal to the global resistance fighting back, THE STORY OF PLASTIC is a life-changing film depicting one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

Fighting Plastic Pollution in Lake Ontario
Saturday October 30, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
22 million pounds of plastics enter the Great Lakes every year. Of that, three million pounds end up in Lake Ontario. In this timely panel conversation, TPL brings together the experts working along the shores of Lake Ontario to: monitor the impacts of plastics on our great lake; discuss the massive work ahead of us; and, clean up the mess. Special guest panelists are:
  • Kennedy Bucci (U of T Trash Team);
  • Rochelle Byrne (A Greener Future);
  • Sam Athey (Plastic Lakes Project); and
  • Mark Mattson (Lake Ontario Waterkeeper / Swim Drink Fish).
You can check out the full On Civil Society series here

New resources encourage Torontonians to choose reusables!
New posters have been released by the City of Toronto to encourage Toronto businesses and residents to help reduce waste by choosing reusables instead! You can check them out and learn more at:  | |

To help reduce waste, you can bring your own (BYO) reusables, or choose to participate in reusable takeout container and cup programs by these Toronto initiatives - visit their websites to find participating local food establishments near you, or ask your favourite local places if they would consider taking part too(!): Muuse Canada by Dream Zero ; Inwit ; and Suppli.

Environmental Health News: Plastics on track to contribute more GHG emissions than coal by 2030.

Beyond Plastics The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change.

This DIY laptop is challenging tech giants like Apple & Microsoft

CBC: high levels of chemicals in clothes by some fast-fashion retailers

WaterDocs blog: How to reduce waste: create your own reusables kit!

A Greener Future reaches 3M pieces of litter milestone
Congratulations to A Greener Future and its volunteers who reached a special milestone in October: they have now collected more than 3 million pieces of litter since 2014!

A Greener Future has released its 2021 Butt Blitz Results       
The results are in! With the help of 189 volunteers, they were able to pick up over 551,000 cigarette butts from across Canada! This is a massive achievement resulting in 442,000 litres of water being saved from contamination. All of the cigarette butts picked up during this campaign will now be sent off to TerraCycle for recycling.

Zero Waste Resources
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

The Spirit Garden: A Space for Teaching, Learning, Sharing & Healing
(as a part of Social Justice Week 2021 organized by X University)
Wednesday October 27, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The Spirit Garden is slated to open at Nathan Phillips Square in 2023. This 19,250 square foot Indigenous cultural space will honour Residential School Survivors and Indigenous cultural traditions. This event explores the logistics of creating the Garden (partners, key players, negotiations) and the importance of Indigenous place-making, allyship, reconciliation and resurgence in these projects. The All Nations Juniors Drum Group will open and close the session by playing honour songs. Organized by the Jack Layton Chair, and featuring Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre.

LiveGreen Toronto: After the Harvest
Prepare your garden space for winter with a bit of help from our latest blog post, covering topics on planting garlic, seed saving, season extension, and cover crops and include the last installment of the Get Growing Toronto video series.
Building a Resilient Future, a conversation with WCK
Wednesday, Nov 10, 06:00 PM

In 2018, World Central Kitchen launched the Food Producer Network (FPN) after months of feeding communities in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. FPN is WCK's long-term commitment to building resilient local food systems and strengthening food security throughout the Caribbean and Central America. Join a special conversation with members of FPN to hear about their experiences building a more resilient future for their communities.         

Food Resources

Annual Guide to Organics (farmgate sales, Pick Your Own (PYO), Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s), and more; partial list)

Community Fridges TO

Farmers Markets: Farmers Markets Ontario; Greenbelt Fresh

Foodshare Toronto (not for profit Good Food Markets, Good Food Boxes, and more!)

Grow Food Toronto (group on FB with 2,900+ members)

Get Growing Toronto (City of Toronto enews, consider signing up for their e-newsletter)

Miinikaan (local urban agriculture tips and resources)

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 (centralized events listing, news, resources, email group, and more!)

Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC)

City resources: Food banks, meal programs, meal delivery, and more

Active Transportation / Public Transit

CycleTO University-Rosedale October Meeting
Tuesday, November 2 at 6:30 pm in Jean Sibelius Park
CycleTO University-Rosedale is a volunteer group focusing on cycling issues in Ward 11 that works to make cycling more accessible, safe and equitable. If the weather is inclement, the meeting will shift online to Google Meet.

Cycle Toronto: Fall cycling tips

Give Feedback on Proposed Palmerston Tecumseth Road safety upgrades
The City of Toronto is proposing cycling, pedestrian, and road safety upgrades on Palmerston Avenue, Palmerston Square and Palmerston Boulevard as well as Tecumseth Street. The proposed bike lanes, contra-flow bike lanes, cycle tracks, and wayfinding markings would expand the local cycling network. Project Goals:
  • Improve safety for people walking, cycling and driving.
  • Encourage cycling by connecting and improving bikeways.
  • Maintain City services and access to driveways.
  • Minimize impact to on-street parking.
Please complete the feedback form - closes November 3, 2021.

Bikechain: DIY is back!
230 College St (entrance on Huron)
  • Curbside parts sales:  Monday to Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Drop off bike repairs: Monday to Friday by appointment
  • Indoor DIY repairs are back. First come, first served service with a waiting list - visit early in the day to ensure that you’ll get a spot: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Resource: GottaGoTO
A map of public washrooms, drinking fountains, showers, and which ones are open and working (be patient for map to load)
Created in 2021, GottaGoTO is a washroom advocacy mapping initiative created by Derek Pokora in collaboration with Toronto Public Space Committee and TOToiletCodes, and lists public drinking fountains, and showers, too. It is useful for when people are walking, cycling, or otherwise enjoying Toronto's outdoor spaces, or unfortunately experiencing being unhoused. People can: find a facility that is open to the public; and submit new additions or feedback on public washrooms and conditions. *Be sure to submit information about anything broken, or not open when it should be, directly to the City (call 3-1-1 or email also.

Improving Winter Access to Parks
This week, the City Council’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) will debate several items that could help improve healthy and affordable movement in Toronto and which are in particular need of support. Toronto saw a significant expansion of winter maintenance in parks last winter. Now, we could potentially see that expanded further. The proposal would have more facilities maintained during the winter including more snow clearing on multi-use paths that are vital parts of our transportation network. The proposal would also look to explore different snow clearing methods in environmentally sensitive areas, such as our ravines, which cannot be salted due to the environmental impacts. Making our parks more accessible year-round will help people lead healthier, happier lifestyles while enjoying nature within the city limits. This item will be considered by Infrastructure and Environment Committee on Tuesday October 26, 2021. It will be considered by City Council on Tuesday November 9, 2021, subject to the actions of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee. Show your support by emailing IEC. See sample on the Cycle Toronto website

Take Action for a Better TTC
Do you want free TTC for high school students? If so, consider taking action today via TTCriders: here is a template to send your own letter to your TDSB trustee and Mayor Tory - see the action toolkit to send a message & learn more.

Transform the TTC: The TTC votes soon on the 5-Year Fare Plan - Consider sending a message to the Mayor and TTC Board members

Grants and Opportunities

Nominations Open for Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 award
If you know folks that are deserving of this accolade, which includes access to funding, mentorship, care packages and more - please head to to nominate them. Finalists are rewarded with the opportunity to have their story and work shared through The Starfish’s national platform and social impact network.

City offers grants to support the creation of pollinator gardens
The City’s next round of PollinateTO Community Grants will open this fall! Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support community-led initiatives that result in the creation or expansion of pollinator habitat on public and private lands in Toronto. A priority will be placed on funding projects in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. Community groups, not-for-profit organizations, school groups, parent councils and other resident-led groups are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted from September 27 to November 1, 2021. Gardens will be planted in 2022. More information about PollinateTO

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