2023 March 31
Today, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) proclaimed April as Earth Month in Toronto, a month to raise awareness of the vital role that every Torontonian plays in caring for the planet.
The City of Toronto is committed to working with businesses, governments and institutions to take real and measurable action against the climate crisis and working quickly to create a greener, more resilient and sustainable future.
In 2021, Toronto City Council adopted the accelerated TransformTO Net Zero Climate Strategy, an ambitious plan to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040. This is one of the most ambitious net zero targets in North America.
To reach this target, the City has led many initiatives to deliver dozens of programs that enhance water and air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve biodiversity, reduce waste and protect vibrant green spaces across Toronto.
Some of the key programs and initiatives include:
- Providing low-interest loans to homeowners to help make homes more energy efficient through the Home Energy Loan Program. Other programs supporting residents to make energy retrofits and reduce emissions from homes and buildings include BetterHomesTO , Better Buildings Partnership, SolarTO and the Eco-Roof Incentive Program.
- Rapidly expanding and improving the City’s cycling network through the Cycling Network Plan and advancing the Missing Sidewalk Link Program to provide safe, comfortable and accessible sidewalks on all public streets in Toronto.
- Helping achieve an interim 2030 target to have 30 per cent of registered vehicles in Toronto be electric by implementing the Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy. To help meet EV charging needs, Toronto Parking Authority is adding 650 EV chargers in off-street (garages and lots) and on-street Green P locations by the end of 2024. More information is available on the City’s Electric Vehicles webpage.
- Protecting the environment and water quality in Lake Ontario, rivers, streams and other water bodies from stormwater through the Wet Weather Flow Master Plan (WWFMP). As part of the WWFMP, the Don River and Central Waterfront project will virtually eliminate combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff being released into the Lower Don River, Taylor-Massey Creek and Toronto’s inner harbour, significantly improving water quality and aquatic habitat.
- Promoting and enabling waste reduction through continued implementation of the Long Term Waste Management Strategy, including the development of the Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy, Community Reduce & Reuse Programs, Food Waste Reduction and other programs.
- Helping address heat relief and climate resiliency through updates to the City’s Heat Relief Strategy and improvements to the Cool Spaces Near You mapping system.
- Protecting ravines by maintaining and improving their ecological health through continued implementation of the City’s Ravine Strategy.
- Providing mentorship, training and networking opportunities to help emerging women leaders advance their climate-related projects and business start-ups through the Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Program.
- Providing training and supports to help residents catalyze climate action in their communities through the Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions program.
- Planting and maintaining trees on City land to increase the City’s tree canopy to 40 per cent by 2050. More information, including volunteer opportunities, can be found on the City’s Tree Planting & Stewardship Events webpage.
More information on the City’s climate and environment initiatives, including available grants and incentives and tangible ways residents can be actively involved in local climate action initiatives, can be found at toronto.ca/livegreen.