The Toronto 2030 District

If you live in Toronto you may have heard about The Toronto 2030 District buy you might no know what is means.

The Toronto 2030 district website states this is s a collaborative, nationally recognized, but local community of high performance buildings in downtown Toronto that aims to dramatically reduce energy and water consumption and reduce emissions from transportation all while increasing competitiveness in the business environment and owners’ returns on investments.

The Toronto 2030 Core District activates include:

Establishing aggregated energy, water, and transportation baselines for the district

Working with local stakeholders to align protocols for the collection of dissemination of building performance data to empowered informed analysis and decision making on the part of building owners conservation, organizations, and policy makers.

Improving accessibility for building owners and managers.

Working to increase effectiveness of participation in building performance improvement programs.




Promoting Toronto’s achievements in energy, water and GHG reduction within the district.

Sharing the experiences of Toronto with other jurisdictions to support broader market transformation of the built environment.

It is a joint effort of many groups working together toward a common long-term goal. Their focus is on improving the effectiveness of conservation through better data, collaboration, and industry leadership.

The districts approach recognizes that every property is unique, and that each property owners or management may contribute to the overall goals in its own unique way. They in invite business, partners, participates, and stakeholders to join and get involved. Visit the 2030 districts website to fill out the forms to become a member.

Creating an Energy Efficient Home

There many ways in which we can make small changes to help do our part in protecting our environment, things we can do at work, at home, and in our community.

Some of the small changes we can make at home to help our home become more sustainable, efficient, and affordable are:

  • Switch your lightbulbs to LED bulbs, these will last longer and have become much more affordable
  • Install a smart thermostat, they have temperature control and can even be controlled with a smart phone, so if you are at work and realize you forgot to turn the heat down, you now will able to.
  • When upgrading appliances purchase energy star ones, they are more efficient
  • Instead of putting your clothes in the dryer hang them outside to dry
  • Make sure you have energy efficient window installed so no cold air gets in
  • Wash dishes by hand when you can and only run your dishwasher when it is full.
  • Take shorter showers
  • Do not leave water running while brushing your teeth

The City of Toronto offers a home loan program to help with some of the financing when you make some of these energy saving improvements to your home, visit their site for more information.

Lower income home owners can possibly quality for the Home Assistance Program where you may be able to receive free energy-efficient upgrades.

The Organic Council of Ontario

The organic council of Ontario is the voice for organics in Ontario. Our members are the organic farmers, processors, businesses, and supporters who bring organics from the field to your fork.

The OCO will:

Advocate – it works with the government figures to ensure that agricultural policy and legislation meet the needs of Ontario’s organic producers and businesses.

Grow – the demand for organic is high, OCO helps support Ontario’s organic industry in order to build its capacity and supply more Ontarians with organic.

Connect – the OCO works to create interconnected networks of organic producers, processors, scholars, consumers, and supporters.

You can sign up as a member, there are two member categories:

  • Associate member – as an Associate member you are an individual (organizations are not eligible for this) who wishes to support growth in and again awareness of the organic sector. Associate members do not have voting rights but are represented by one seat appointed at large on OCO’s Board of Directors.
  • Producers, Processors, Distributors, Input Suppliers, Certifying Bodies and NGOs – membership fees for this group is on a sliding scale based on your business or organization’s annual sales of organic products.

To see what a membership will cost and what category you fit under go to the OCO’s website at www.orgainccouncil.ca.

Buy signing up as a member you will benefit from:

  • Business exposure to social media via OCO’s social media website and platform
  • Links to various funding and educational opportunities
  • Reduced rates at OCO’s annual organic networking events
  • Access to tabling and merchandising opportunities at exclusive events
  • Voting rights in the election of their Board of Directors at the annual AGM
  • Discounted advertising space on the Organic Council of Ontario website
  • Participation in polls and surveys which guide the future of organics in Ontario
  • The knowledge that you are contributing to the future of Ontario’s organic business

Visit the Organic Council of Ontario’s website to learn more and get information on what organic means at www.organiccouncil.ca.

Conserving Water at Home

Finding ways to conserve water at home may be easier than you think, there are many small changes we can make in our daily use to take steps to conserve water. Our water is a valuable source, did you know that very little of the earths water is fresh and able to drink? With this in mind, we need to find other ways to water plants/lawns, washing cars, and running water down drain by leaving our taps running.

Some of the biggest uses of water in our homes is; flushing the toilet, which is approximately 24% of our homes water use, showers and using faucets, which is about 20% each. So how can we reduce our water usages at home?

The city of Toronto offers programs and advice for saving water, visit the Toronto website for more information.

Here are some easy steps you can take:

  • Turn taps off when Brushing your teeth or washing your hands
  • Don’t flush your toilet after every use
  • Fix any leaks in your faucets
  • Reduce your shower time and place a bucket under the tap to collect water while waiting for the water to heat up, you can then use this water for flushing toilets and watering plants, you can also install a low flow shower head
  • Install a low flush toilet or energy efficient appliances
  • Wash your car at a car wash that uses recycled water
  • Only run the washing machine or dishwasher if it is full
  • Consider installing a rain barrel – you can use this water to water plants and lawns
  • Fill up the sink when washing dishes instead of running water to rinse
  • Use less electricity – did you know that power plants use 1000’s of gallons of water to cool, by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use you will help to reduces this
  • Wash the dog outside instead of indoors, this way you are watering your lawn in the process

These are just a few steps you can take to reduce your water uses, if you have any ideas or ways that you reduce your water use, please contact us, we would like to hear your ideas and keep the conversation going. Saving water means saving money and helping the environment.

Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive Program

 Did you know that if you install an eco-roof you may be eligible for a grant if you meet all the requirements?  You must submit your application before work starts by using the online Application form.  For Green roof projects, you will receive $100 per m2 and for a Cool roof project you will receive $2 per m2.

As of 2017 you, not only will you receive $100 per m2 for a green roof but there is also a Structural Assessment Grant offered as well as New Construction projects offered by not-for-profit eligible corporations.  For Cool roofs, partial roof retrofits are now eligible as well as Cool roofs on new buildings (GFA less than 2000 m2). To read more on the eligibility, click here.

An eco-roof is a green roof that supports vegetation or a cool roof that reflects the sun’s thermal energy.

A green roof, which is a roof that supports vegetation is made up of:

  • Waterproofing membrane
  • A drainage layer
  • Organic growing medium soil
  • And vegetation.

A cool roof is a system with and exterior surface which has:

  • High “solar reflectivity” that will reflect the sun’s rays
  • “Thermal emissivity” which reduces the heat build-up from the sun’s thermal energy.

It can be from a coating applied over an existing roof system or a new single-ply waterproofing membrane.

Some good reasons to install an eco-roof, besides the incentives offered are: you will save energy, reduce urban heat, capture stormwater, improve air quality and create habitat.

Live Green Toronto

The City of Toronto has implemented the Live Green Toronto program to help make it easy for you to green your life. You will receive a Live Green Card that help you to shop green and save. Live Green Toronto hosts an annual awards program, a green street festival, community grants, a one-stop website, a monthly newsletter, and more to help you green your life.

To get your free Live Green Card and sign up for the program go to the Live Green Toronto Website, you must live, work, or shop in the City of Toronto. You can save on everything from foods, fashions, entertainment, car, and bike shares and much more. New deals are added every week so check back to see what the deals are.

There are more than 500 businesses signed up across Toronto and it is free to sign up for a Live Green Card, sign up today and start saving on green products and services.

If you have a green business and would like to sign up for the program go to the Live Green Toronto business sign up page. This is a great way to promote your business, draw in new customers and keep them returning to shop at your business.

The idea behind the card is to encourage consumers to shop at local businesses which will help to grow the green economy and to work towards greening the city of Toronto by encouraging customers to buy eco-friendly products and services and buy using their Live Green Card they will get a discount for doing so.

The cards are made from recycled plastic, so they are truly a green card, and it is free to get a card.

Downsview Park Merchants Market

Downsview Park Merchants Market is rated Toronto’s best market, it is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

Downsview Market is a combination of a flea market with endless shopping, international food court, and a farmer’s market all under one roof. There are over 500 venders who offer unique merchandise from local products to products from around the world.

The Farmer’s Markets is approximately 10,000 square feet of local farmers selling only the freshest and local fruits and vegetables. Stop buy and talk to your local farmers about he food you are purchasing and support local businesses.

The Market offers shopping venues that sell electronics, home furnishings, clothing, health and beauty products, jewelry, automotive accessories, household products, antiques, collectables and so much more.

The international food court offers a wide variety of diverse foods from around the work such as Chinese, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Canadian cousins and much more.

Downsview market is owned by a local family and has been open since 2005. With the support of the community and the local vendors this has grown into one of the largest markets in Toronto. Its space is located in the heart of Downsview Park and is a 162,000 sq. ft. indoor facility that even offers a kids zone.

For more information on the market and to get directions please visit their website, www.dpmarket.com.

About GMO’s  

What is GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)? This is when plants or animals have their genome altered or engineered so that it’s DNA will contain one more genes than normal.

Some of the most commonly genetically modified foods are: corn, canola, soy, and cotton. When you are buying food, it is important to read the labels and if you see any of these products on the list such as: corn oil, corn syrup, corn starch or corn meal, soy protein, soy oil, soy sauce, etc, or canola oil or cotton seed oil you are buying a product with GMO.

One of the ways to avoid buying GMO foods is to shop organic. Organic farming does not allow or use GE to raise or feed their livestock, or grow their crops.

GMO’s have environmental risks as well as health risks to you. Some of the environmental risks include: It is killing insects, including honey bees and butterflies, it also can contaminate other non-GMO crops, stronger herbicides and pesticides are being used which is harmful to our health and environment.

Studies have shown that some of the health issues humans are facing due to GMO’s are: allergies, digestive and bowel syndromes and in some cases even autism.

It has also been found that animals being Genetically modified or feed GMO food have developed tumors, damaged immune systems birth defects, smaller brains and livers and have had reproductive and infertility issues.

To avoid buying GMO foods it is important for you to read the labels on foods, to avoid buying any processed food, and buy organic. There is a Non-GMO shopping guide to help you to know what foods to buy and some products are labeled with Non-GMO Project labels.

Fresh, Local Produce

Shopping at your local Farmer’s Markets gives you the opportunity to support local Farmer’s in your community.  It is a place where you can shop for fresh fruits and veggies grown right here in you community, as well you are able to talk to the farmer’s who grow your food and ask questions about how it was grown or when it was picked.

Farmers will pick the fruit when it is ripe and ready to eat and brings it to the market, in most cases it is picked the day of or the day before the market, talk about fresh.

Most farmer’s markets are often set up throughout the week at set locations throughout the city, they will often offer live, local entertainment and have a variety of local products for you to stock up on such as, fresh produce, baked goods, local artisans selling products, organic meat, dairy, fresh cut flowers, honey, plants for your garden, and speciality foods.

They are great ways to be involved in your community, get to know your neighbors and local business owners, and keep your money local. Some markets are seasonal, running usually May through to October and some will run year-round.

For a list of Farmer’s Markets in your neighborhood or to sign up to be a vendor at a Market go to Toronto Farmer’s Market Network website. They have provided information, links to producers and a list of markets for you to visit in your area.

Toronto’s Earth Hour 2017 Walk

Earth hours is a worldwide movement that happens once a year where people are encouraged to turn off their lights for just one hour in the evening to in hopes of helping with the fight against climate change.

The idea was started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has turned into a worldwide event with over 7,000 cities and towns taking part. You might wonder how turning off your lights for just one hour can help the fight against climate change, well it can! If billions of people across the world turn off their lights during Earth hour it can make a huge difference, for example, Christchurch, New Zealand saw a 13% drop in the demand for electricity during this hour.

Earth hour is set to take place on Saturday, March 25, 2017 starting at 8:30pm.

Toronto is Hosting some Earth Hour 2017 Walks, they are asking you to bring a lantern and flashlight or even a candle in a mason jar. See the information on a couple of walks below:

Earth Hour 2017 – 10th anniversary    Sat Mar 25, 2017, Toronto, ON 

Join Green 13 & Heritage York for the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour Date: Sat. March 25,  7:45 pm to 9:00 pm Lambton House, 4066 Old Dundas St. York M6S 2R6 Join Green 13 and Heritage York for the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour. Where: Meet at Lambton House, 4066 Old Dundas Street, York Ontario M6S 2R6 When: Saturday March 25, 2017 Start Time: 7:45 PM – gather on the front lawn Walk Time: 8-9 PM  Speakers: 9 PM inside.  Refreshments and entertainment to follow The walk along the Humber River will be lead by Madeleine McDowell. Please bring your own lantern or flashlight. If you do not have a lantern a candle in a mason jar will work. We will have some tea lights for those who need a candle, but please bring a glass jar to put the candle in. See you there!

Or

Earth Hour Walk    Sat Mar 25, 2017, Toronto, ON 

Our Place Initiative | Centennial Park | Earth Hour Walk Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017 8:30 – 9:30PM  Meeting Location: Centennial Park Arena, 156 Centennial Park Rd Walk Leaders: Matthew Siwiec and Johnathan Robertson Please dress for the weather and bring a source of light

These are just a couple of ways to get involved and show you are committed to making a difference. Remember, Turn out your lights on March 25th for just one hour starting at 8:30pm!