Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Improving the resiliency of Toronto's critical services

By: Kristin Burns

In line with our TransformTO objectives, the City of Toronto recently completed its first solar photovoltaic (PV) + energy storage project on Toronto Paramedic Services' EMS station 46 in the Woodbine and Danforth area.

EMS 46 showing off its new bling

The building's roof and south-facing wall have been outfitted with a 10 kilowatt (kW) solar PV system, coupled with two 13.5 kilowatt-hour (kWhr) Tesla Powerwall batteries.

Our Tesla Powerwall batteries

More photos and details after the jump >>

Sunday, 30 June 2019

This July, Refuse Single-use Plastics at lunch!

by: Candice Keast

Hello my fellow Live Green Beans!

Summer has officially started - the weather is hot, the lake is cool, the streets are bustling - and there's plastic litter everywhere.

Fortunately, Plastic Free July is here and Live Green Toronto has launched a city-wide campaign to help YOU go single-use plastic-free at lunch! Take our "Refuse Single-use Plastics at Lunch" pledge for a chance to win a $250 VISA gift card or a Live Green Toronto Go Plastic-Free swag bag.

Plastic Free July encourages you to go plastic free all day, every day in the month of July - but we know this is no easy feat. Refusing single-use plastic at lunch is a great first step!

This is how we do it

1. BYOL: Bring your own lunch
2. #BYOC: Bring your own container. Many food court and restaurant vendors will allow you to bring your own container when you are getting take-out. None of them promote or advertise this but all you need to do is ask. Some will even give you a small discount.
3. BYOM: Bring your own mug. Refuse disposable coffee cups for your morning and afternoon pick-me-ups!

Your turn

Let's break the plastic cycle together: 

- Take the pledge at livegreentoronto.ca 
- Follow us on social for tips and tricks for going plastic-free and
- Share your journey with us! @LiveGreenTO #BYOC #PlasticFreeJuly2019

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Get Growing on your balcony & in containers!

by: Candice Keast

Interest in growing food in small spaces is becoming more common as we start to understand the impacts food production and transportation has on our planet. In order to prepare for a global population of nearly 10 billion, it's important to consider more sustainable practices such as eating locally and incorporating more plant-based foods into our diet.  One great way of achieving both is to grow your own food.

By growing food you can enjoy fresh and delicious food – right where you live and - save money and have fun at the same time. Growing your own food will help you incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet and align with what scientists call a "planetary health diet" – one that is healthy for you and the planet.

This summer, join us as we use Live Green Toronto's Get Growing Toronto guide as inspiration to explore growing in small spaces, especially on balconies.


Before we jump into the gardening basics, let’s explore your plant options. If you are a beginner, opt for seedlings over seeds, choose organic, and don’t overwhelm yourself with all the possibilities. Start with easy, low maintenance vegetables such as mixed greens and herbs like basil, mint, and chives. Read more about shade tolerant and sun loving plant options in the "Plant Selection" section of our Get Growing guide.

Are you growing food at home this summer? If you have any questions or have encountered challenges, feel free to ask our expert Lara Mrosovky, author of Grow Without a Garden: 101 Plants for Containers


In order to have an abundant harvest your plants will need:
  • Space & sun
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Drainage
Get the details after the jump.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

It's time to Get Growing!

It's one of the most exciting times of the year for green thumbs - planting season! But you don't need to live in the country or have a ton of space to grow your own food garden. Join us over the next two weeks as we explore options that will lead to a yummy, healthy harvest of locally-grown food.

This week, in partnership with Global News, we are pleased to present 5 Ways to Grow Food in the City

Can't wait to get started? Check out our Get Growing Toronto guide for all the details you need to create your own urban food oasis.

It's time to rethink our relationship with food: when we cut food waste, grow our own food, and eat locally-grown and organic food we benefit our health as well as the environment. Visit livegreentoronto.ca to find out more.  

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Leading by Example to TransformTO

by: Sophie Plottel, Project Lead, Policy & Research, Environment & Energy Division

The City of Toronto is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations. In 2016, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with City operations accounted for 10% of the overall emissions across Toronto. Through TransformTO, the city's climate action plan, the City has committed to leading by example on actions to reduce emissions associated with its buildings, vehicles, and waste.

In addition to its goal to reduce community-wide emissions by 80% by 2050, TransformTO also set a series of corporate leadership goals to reduce the environmental impact and costs associated with City operations. This includes a goal to retrofit and improve energy efficiency of all City owned buildings by 2040. Buildings currently generate about half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto, primarily due to space and water heating with natural gas.

The Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre at Queen’s Quay and Bathurst Street is one building that is currently undergoing a deep retrofit to reduce energy consumption and improve building resilience. The project includes replacement of lighting with energy efficient LED lights, and updating the building automation system to optimize the performance of the building’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration.

Watch Rob Maxwell, the City's manager of corporate energy initiatives, speak about the project on GlobalTV

The project will also install a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system that uses water from Lake Ontario to heat and cool the building. The building will also be outfitted with an innovative combined solar and storage system that generates power through rooftop solar panels and stores the energy in batteries. This will ensure the centre's supply and security of energy is reliable in blackouts, giving the community a reliable and safe place in times of extreme weather.

Curious about installing renewable energy technologies in your home? Click on the image to view four ideas, developed in partnership with Global News.