- New Recreational Parkland for Pedestrians and Cyclists
- Increased Property Value and Economic Growth
- Protection for an Important Transportation Artery
- Clean Energy and Reduction of the Heat Island Effect
Or is it crucial for people to be able to interact with nature in spaces like parks?
Many of your our childhood memories happened in parks. To some extent, we’re probably aware that the parks in the neighbourhood where you grew up had an impact on who you are today.
It turns out parks are a crucial part of any community. They have a significant impact on the development of children and the happiness of everyone in the neighbourhood.
Here’s why parks are important to our neighbourhoods—and why Toronto needs to actively improve its own park network. [click to continue…]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, you’ve probably heard about the local food revolution. Food gurus, journalists and even ordinary people all over North America are moving away from mass supermarkets and heading to the local farmers’ market instead.
Of course, some of these people are foodies who insist on purely organic meals, but why is everybody else jumping on the bandwagon? It turns out there are several reasons to eat locally-grown produce:
Nutrition and Taste
Most offerings you find at the supermarket have travelled thousands of miles, and modern technology can only keep things so fresh. Local food retains more nutrients and flavour thanks to their shorter journey.
Protection of the Environment
Where did that supermarket food come from? How much did it cost to transport? How much oil was used? It turns out that eating a diet based on supermarket food uses 17 times more oil and gas than a locally-grown diet.
Support for Local Farms and Economy
Eating locally gives local farmers the money they need to survive, helps stall urban sprawl, which is threatening to destroy all our farmland, and builds the economy. Local farmers spend their money locally, putting almost twice as much money into the economy for every dollar earned as your average supermarket does.
Thinking about where your food comes from also makes you think more about what you eat. When you eat local, you’re likely to eat more vegetables, get more nutrients out of every fruit, and sample a wide variety of healthy dishes. Farmers’ markets are also a great place to find healthy alternatives to your favourite junk food.
Convinced that you should try this local eating thing but not sure where to start? Here’s a handy master list of the best ways to get fresh food in the GTA: [click to continue…]
Sometimes called creative reuse, adaptive reuse is a growing trend in architecture, placemaking, and urbanism.
This is good news! It is critical that older, developed cities like Toronto embrace adaptive reuse.
Why Is Adaptive Reuse Important?
Scientific research has shown that urban residents have a higher percentage of mental illness than their rural counterparts, but it’s not just about living in the city. Your neighbourhood can influence your mental health too.
In fact, living in an area with several parks is proven to have long term mental health benefits. Not convinced? Keep reading to find out exactly how parks benefit mental health. [click to continue…]
Air pollution can cause a variety of health problems such as asthma, cancer, and even heart disease. We often hear about the dangers of outdoor air pollution that are caused by factories, automobiles, power plants, and incinerators. It’s less often that we hear about the real dangers of indoor air pollution.
Many people are unaware that indoor air pollution is typically worse than outdoor air pollution. In fact, indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Fortunately, there is an unexpected remedy for poor indoor air quality: house plants.
In the late 80s, NASA published a report entitled “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement”. The intention of this report was to study how houseplants could be used to positively impact “sick building syndrome”, a phenomenon in which building occupants experience health issues due to poor air quality.
NASA used the chemicals benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene to conduct the study. This study found that certain houseplants are able to improve indoor air quality by eliminating toxins in the air.
How Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Health?
This should come as no surprise to anyone.
Waterfront Toronto has been on record as wanting to demolish the Gardiner since its inception as an agency of the city, the province and the federal government.
The Environmental Assessment that is now reaching its inevitable conclusion has simply served as their vehicle to take the next step in that grand plan.
Despite the pretense of a public process and in-depth studies, they have been unable and unwilling to move the discussion beyond the 30+ year old “keep it or tear it down” debate. In the end, after spending millions of dollars in studies, they have selected the option that is the least green, the least efficient, one that most effectively cuts the city off from its lakeshore, that will prove to be very costly in terms of dollars and disruption to the working of the city– and shows the least vision.
Toronto has large collection of green organizations working every day to make our city better. Whether you want to do something big (like building a green roof over the Gardiner Expressway) or you simply want to start recycling more at home, here are eight great websites full of useful content about living sustainably in Toronto.
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Have you ever walked by a city park or bank of trees and noticed the distinctive feeling of cooler air? It’s often a huge relief on hot and sunny days in the city. On a small scale, you are experiencing the heat island effect.
Though city dwellers have become accustomed to these temperature changes, the heat island effect can actually cause a variety of health and environmental problems.
What is the Heat Island Effect?
Unfortunately, we don’t usually get to decide how our deliveries travel—it’s up the company we’re ordering from.
Whether you need to courier an item between offices, or just get lunch for you and your team, there are a variety of green delivery options in Toronto. We’ve put together a list of companies that walk, bike, or use transit to get your package where it needs to be in a timely yet sustainable manner.
Since January 31, 2010, green roofs have been mandatory on large building construction projects in Toronto.
Actually, Toronto was the the first city to adopt a mandatory bylaw for green roofs in North America.
Even City Hall has a green roof now!
Interest in green building and energy efficiency has been growing all over the world.
Currently, traditional roofs are simply wasted space, sometimes called “tar deserts”. The green roof movement is working to change that.
Green roofs are growing in popularity and for good reason. Since green roofs can help solve environmental problems as well provide other helpful benefits, this type of roof solution just makes sense.