After an unusually mild winter, spring is officially here. With the opportunity to spend time outdoors in Toronto’s wonderful parks and trails comes the reminder of the importance and fragility of our environment.
Since taking office, I have consistently advocated for the environment both in and outside of city hall. Spring is a great time to recommit to environmentally friendly practices and raise awareness locally and across the city. I welcome residents to do their part by participating in this year’s City Clean up Day at Irving Paisley Park, on the morning of April 21.
Always eager to promote Toronto’s many environmental initiatives, I welcomed the opportunity to speak at two great events this year. At a three day symposium at the Toronto Botanical Garden on urban tree conservation, I spoke about the city’s work to increase the canopy cover from its current 17 percent to 30–40 percent.
The private tree bylaw was enacted to assist in sustaining the urban forest in the city and to educate individuals with respect to tree protection measures. Once the coverage goal is met, Toronto will enjoy a canopy coverage we haven’t seen since the 1960s.
At the Lawrence Park Community Church Energy speaker series earlier this year, I spoke about the many environmental initiatives facilitated by various city departments and agencies. The Toronto Environment Office, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Toronto Hydro and Enwave are some of the organizations actively engaging in creative projects to build a more energy efficient city.
Toronto’s walking strategy, cycling network, and Smart Commute Program represent a few of the many projects providing the building blocks for a greener Toronto.
At city hall, during the 2012 budget debate, I supported the very popular Environment Days, which were on the chopping block, by coming up with ideas to reduce the budget and run them more efficiently. Just in time for spring cleaning, I am happy to announce that I will be hosting the annual Ward 25 Community Environment Day on May 3 from 4–8 p.m. at the Jolly Miller.
I feel that the city’s support of this initiative is crucial to local engagement and awareness of environmental issues, and I encourage all residents of Ward 25 to join me on May 3 and renew your commitment to build a greener Toronto.
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