Toronto: Bravo for Being the 2011 "Most Sustainable Large City in Canada"

Toronto: Bravo for Being the 2011 "Most Sustainable Large City in Canada"

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: News Release

February 9, 2011

Toronto named Canada’s most sustainable large city for a second year in a row

The City of Toronto is the most sustainable large city in Canada, according to Corporate Knights Magazine, which released its 2011 Most Sustainable Cities Ranking today at the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) Sustainable Cities Conference in Victoria, B.C. This is the second year that Toronto has received this honour.

To create the ranking, Corporate Knights assessed cities using 28 indicators in five categories: Ecological Integrity, Economic Security, Governance and Empowerment, Infrastructure and Built Environment, and Social Well-Being.

Toronto received top marks in governance and empowerment with its record turnout during the 2010 election. Toronto also scored high for its aggressive Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to reduce Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

“This ranking demonstrates our commitment to building a cleaner, healthier Toronto, both for today and for years to come,” says Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough Agincourt), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “In order to become truly sustainable, we need to continue examining all facets of our city – from our built environment to our energy, food and water use. Our task right now is to also ensure that our city is not only environmentally sustainable but economically sustainable.”

Toronto was recognized for its leading Green Roof Bylaw, the first in North America to require and govern the construction of green roofs on all new development. Other programs of note include the City’s strict household garbage limits and its commitment to recycling and composting.

“We were extremely impressed with the City’s consistency across all categories,” says Erin Marchington, Researcher, Corporate Knights Magazine. “By using a multi-tiered approach promoting sustainable living at work, home and in the community, Toronto sets a high bar for other big Canadian cities to meet.”

Live Green Toronto was another key factor in Toronto’s big city win. The outreach program involves a team of experts who work with residents to advance green initiatives at the neighbourhood level; an expansive website – livegreentoronto.ca – that offers environmentally-friendly tips, tools and resources; a network of 1,200 volunteers who commit over 5,500 hours to green projects and events; and several grant programs to inspire community action, create green jobs and help residents become more energy efficient.

The full results of the ranking can be found online at http://corporateknights.ca/report/2011-most-sustainable-cities-canada/results-0 and in the winter issue of Corporate Knights magazine that will be available in the February 10 issue of the Globe and Mail.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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