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Get your Councillor to “Dig Conservation, Not Holes!”

Want to make sure we don’t dig holes in the precious countryside surrounding the GTA to get the gravel we need to renew our roads, buildings, and bridges?

Contact your local Councillor and ask them to adopt TEA’s recommendations to practice the 3Rs for gravel use and help save the countryside we and our rural neighbours depend on.

For details on the campaign click here

Please write your local Councillor and ask them to take action to practice the 3Rs for gravel use and help save our countryside.

Below is some sample text you can consider using for your letter.

Please CC us at tea@torontoenvironment.org.

Dear Councillor,

I am writing you today to ask you to take action to practice the 3Rs for gravel use and help save our countryside we and our rural neighbours depend on.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is literally made of stone, sand and gravel, collectively known as aggregate. Aggregate is in the cement we use to make sidewalks, bridges, large buildings, sewers, the foundations of our homes, and the underground tunnels for subways, cars, and pedestrian walkways.

According to a report published by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), the gravel industry estimates that the GTA will require 1.5 billion tonnes of aggregate over the next 25 years to renew our urban infrastructure.

If we don’t change our current aggregate usage, renewing and building the GTA’s infrastructure will destroy precious agricultural land and world-renowned natural spaces in the Greenbelt.

TEA calls on all GTA municipalities to adopt the following recommendations:

  1. Ensure that any new requests of proposals (RFPs) that include the use of aggregate require the successful bidder to demonstrate they will use the highest level of recycled content allowable under provincial standards.

  2. Provide detailed information to the public on aggregate use within the municipality that includes:
    • How much and what type of aggregate is used for various types of urban infrastructure (eg. roads, sidewalks, bridges, sewers, etc) within the municipality annually
    • How much of the aggregate used is “virgin”, how much is recycled and how much comes from alternative sources
    • Where the aggregate comes from, including specific pits and quarries, and the quantities from each source
    • Projected aggregate use over the next 25 years
  3. Investigate how other jurisdictions effectively reduce “virgin” aggregate use through the use of 3Rs and report out to the appropriate council committee with recommendations about how the municipality can adopt similar strategies.

  4. Urge the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to ensure the 3Rs are the cornerstone of any updated aggregate policy for the Province and that it investigates and implements the production of “sustainable” aggregate.

I support these recommendations and am asking you to move them forward at Council.

Please write me back to let me know what you are doing to ensure these important recommendations are adopted.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Address]

Read more about our campaign here

 

1. Dig Conservation, Not Holes

Executive Summary

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is literally made of stone, sand and gravel, collectively known as aggregate. Aggregate is in the cement we use to make sidewalks, bridges, large buildings, sewers, the foundations of our homes, and the underground tunnels for subways, cars, and pedestrian walkways.  Large amounts of aggregate are also used to make our roads, both the beds on which they sit and the asphalt we use to pave them. Put simply, aggregate is everywhere.

For a material so vital to our cities, it’s strange there is so little publicly available information about how much aggregate we use to build the various types of urban infrastructure we rely on.

The aggregate industry has revealed that, each year, the GTA consumes 40%[1] of the aggregate produced in Ontario. Over the next 25 years, the GTA will continue to use large amounts of aggregate as urban infrastructure is renewed and as new urban infrastructure is built. According to industry estimates, the GTA will use about 1,500,000,000 tonnes (1.5 billion) of aggregate over the next 25 years.[2]

Most of the aggregate will come from pits or quarries marking the countryside around the GTA, hidden from most of us until we fly over them. To date, the pits and quarries that have largely “fed” the GTA are right in the middle of some of the most precious ecological and agricultural land in Ontario: the world-renowned Greenbelt. For example, Canada’s largest aggregate quarry is in the middle of the Niagara Escarpment, designated by the United Nations as a World Biosphere Reserve.

If the future imitates the past, the GTA will get this 1.5 billion tonnes of aggregate from environmentally sensitive lands in the Greenbelt, like the Niagara Escarpment. To put this in context, the land disturbed to get 1.5 billion tonnes of aggregate is about the same size as a 60 foot deep (20 metre) hole from Toronto’s Bloor Street to the waterfront between Greenwood Avenue and the Kingsway.

If we don’t change our current aggregate usage, renewing and building the GTA’s infrastructure will destroy precious agricultural land and world-renowned natural spaces in the Greenbelt.

The key recommendations of this report call for GTA municipalities to individually and collectively adopt a 3Rs approach -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- to aggregate consumption in order to ensure GTA infrastructure does not destroy the ecological integrity and agricultural livelihood of the Greenbelt. It also recommends that municipalities urge the Province of Ontario to develop new aggregate policies that mandate the 3Rs and promote the production of “sustainable” aggregate.  

 


[1]Ontario Stone Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) Website http://www.theholestory.ca/inhtw.php

[2]OSSGA’s About Aggregates #5 publication – Importance of Aggregate. “The projected consumption of aggregate in Ontario for the next 25 years is 4 billion tonnes.” 40% of 4 billion is 1.6 billion; to be conservative this report uses 1.5 billion tonnes as the GTA’s 25 year projected aggregate demand. 

 

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Dig Conservation Not Holes.pdf8.55 MB

Wind Power Myths

Myths

  1. Windmills are Noisy
  2. Windmills produce low frequency sound or infrasound that is dangerous to human health
  3. Windmills are unusually harmful to birds and disrupt bird migratory patterns
  4. Windpower will cause property values to decrease
  5. Wind turbines look ugly 

Myth 1: Windmills are Noisy

Fact: Extensive testing shows that a windfarm 500 metres away is less noisy than a car traveling at 40 miles an hour half a block away. A wind farm 2 km away will not produce enough sound to be heard above the normal background noise of a rural nighttime or a quiet bedroom.

 

Myth 2: Windmills produce low frequency sound or infrasound that is dangerous to human health

Fact: Low Frequency sound emitted from the 'swish' of a turbine's blades as it passes the base is often confused as infrasound. Numerous studies have demonstrated that wind turbines do not produce infrasound that affects human health.

Additional concerns about health impacts from sound, infrasound and flickering light from wind turbines have been extensively studied around the world and found to have no significant human health impact

  • More info:

 

 

Myth 3: Windmills are unusually harmful to birds and disrupt bird migratory patterns

Fact: Windmills can potentially have impacts on birds through collisions and habitat disruption. However, the impact is very small, and dramatically less than that of urban sprawl, buildings, house cats or climate change. For example, one study notes that for every 10,000 birds killed by human activities including fatalities by collisions with man made structures, less than one death is caused by a wind turbine. For every 1 bird death caused by a wind turbine, 1,000 to 2,000 bird deaths are caused by cats. Even the National Audubon Society strongly supports wind power as a clean alternative energy source that reduces the threat of global warming.

 

 

Myth 4: Windpower will cause property values to decrease

Fact: There is no evidence that the presence of a commercial windfarm within sight of a property reduces its value. Some studies even show the sight of windmills raises property values. The U.S. National Association of Realtors writes “…wind farms appear to have a minimal or at most transitory impact on real estate.”

 

Myth 5: Wind turbines look ugly

Fact: Beauty is the eye of beholder, and no two people agree on what is beautiful. However, research and anecdotal evidence indicates that wind developments do not negatively influence the viewscape. On the contrary, they have been found more than often to be a positive influence on tourism.

 

General Resources:

TEA Letter to Torontonians

TEA has been communicating with Toronto residents interested in this
issue over the past couple of weeks. Below is a letter we’ve
distributed to them:

October 27, 2008
Dear Torontonians,

For 20 years the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has been advocating for, and helping build a green Toronto.

Today, I’m asking you to help us continue this important work by
supporting Toronto Hydro’s proposal to test wind speeds in Lake
Ontario, near the Scarborough Bluffs. If Toronto is to benefit from the
renewable power revolution taking place across the planet, we at least
have to know whether Lake Ontario is a possible site for wind turbines.

To be clear, we are asking you to support Toronto Hydro testing wind
speeds, not installing wind turbines. The Toronto Hydro proposal is for
a 15 metre tall structure, 4 metres of it would be above the water, the
remainder below the water line. This structure would simply test wind
speed.

This is part of a larger effort by Toronto Hydro to determine whether
there is sufficient wind off the eastern shores of Toronto to possibly
install wind turbines in the future. Should Toronto Hydro determine
that the wind and economic potential is there, Toronto Hydro would then
develop a project proposal. This proposal would have to go through an
environmental assessment to determine whether the proposed project and
location are appropriate. The public would play a key role in this
assessment.

Some residents in the area are opposing this proposal to test the wind.
While we appreciate that some people have concerns with where the wind
turbines should be located, we strongly believe these concerns should
not stop Toronto Hydro from gaining valuable information about wind
speeds.

Put simply, we very much encourage a public discussion about whether
wind turbines should be off the shores of Toronto. But let’s have it
when we have a proposal in front of us.

To ensure Toronto Hydro gets a chance to test wind speeds, please call
or mail or fax a letter of support to: Mark Patterson, Ministry of
Natural Resources 50 Bloomington Road West Aurora, ON L4G 3G8 Phone:
905-713-7386; Fax: 905-713-7361.

If you have any questions about this issue, do not hesitate calling me
at the TEA office or email me at franz@torontoenvironment.org.

Thanks for helping us support local renewable power here in Toronto and taking a step closer to curbing climate change and smog.

All the best,

Franz Hartmann
Executive Director

Locally Grown South Asian Food Guide Online Map

Map of Retailers that sell fresh South Asian produce and meat, grown on Greenbelt farms and other local farms surrounding Toronto

Explore the map to see what is in your area and click on the markers to see details. Scroll down to see a list of the retailers included in this map.


View Larger Map

List of Retailers that sell fresh South Asian produce and meat, grown on Greenbelt farms and other local farms surrounding Toronto

Al Quresh Food
1879 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 288-0330

Sheung Thai Supermarket
2684 Eglinton Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 269-6070

Overlea Halal Meat
45 Overlea Blvd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 424-2034
Arz Fine Food
1909 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 755-5084

Sheung Thai Supermarket
1255 Markham Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 289-6137

BJ Supermarket
1449 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 469-3712
Batala Supermarket
200 Markham Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 264-311

The Natural Food Depot
2075 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 640-0234

Cai Yuan Supermarket
359 Broadview Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 465-1886
Bombay Bazzar
3601 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 431-6955

Top Food Supermarket
2715 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 752-3666

Dhanshiri Supermarket
2978 Danforth Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 693-5990
Bombay Bazzar
2875 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 264 1614

Yal Market
2499 Eglinton Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 267-5551

Fresh Express Fine Food
733 Pape Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 461-3991
Chung Hing Supermarket
17 Milliken Blvd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 293-0188

Yousaf Halal Meat Supermarket
683 & 685 Markham Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 289-3664

Fu Yao Supermarket
639-643 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 778-1920
Eraa Supermarket
2607 Eglinton Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 269-2622

Asian Food Centre
10 Westmore Dr at Albion Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 740-3262

Marhaba Supermarket
3018 Danforth Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 755-2933
Food Depot Supermarket
4466 Brimley Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 321-1038

Caribbean International Food Distributors Inc.
109-127 Westmore Dr Toronto, ON, Canada (647) 430-5320

Sarker Foods
2996 Danforth Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 691-4815
Food Depot Supermarket
3331 Sheppard Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 756-1880

Jeet Food and Fashion
6620 Finch Ave W Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 748-5338

The Big Carrot
348 Danforth Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 466-2129
Fu Yao Supermarket
462 Birchmount Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 690-0081

Krishna's Rice-n-Spice
2291 Kipling Ave, Unit 103 Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 745-3585

Toronto Cash & Carry
1405 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 778-8355
Ghadir Meat Market
1821 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 750-7404

Sameem Halal Meat & Grocery
5010 Steeles Ave W, Unit 15 Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 740-4655

Trinity Supermarket
287 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 462-1288
Lone Tai Supermarket
2300 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 285-6686

Asa Meat & West Indian Grocery
2391 Finch Ave W Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 740-3915

Vincenzo Supermarket
2406 Danforth Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 422-3196
Nasr Food
1996 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 757-1611

Cactus Exotic Foods
1911 Finch Ave W Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 633-2412

Essence of Life
50 Kensington Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 506-0345
Royal Kerala Foods
1738 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 285-6655

Oriental Food Mart
2592 Finch Ave W Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 747-8886

Kensington Fruit Market
34-36 Kensington Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 593-9530
Rubini East & West Indian Groceries
31 Tapscott Rd, B2 Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 297-5053

Iqbal Halal Foods
2 Thorncliffe Park Dr Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 467-0177

Sanko Trading Co.
730 Queen St W Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 703-4550
Samah Supermarket
4470 Kingston Rd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 282-9692

Mecca Halal Meat
25 Overlea Blvd Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 467-7867

Sunwah Fruit Market
229 Augusta Ave Toronto, ON, Canada (416) 979-2813


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Final Electronic South Asian Guide.pdf4 MB

African/Caribbean, Chinese, Middle Eastern and South Asian Food Guides

Everyone deserves to eat fresh, locally grown food and to cook with food that tastes like "home". Cooking with products from our local farmers ensures that you get the healthiest, freshest, best quality food possible, at a good price!

You can't get more local than Ontario's Greenbelt. Just above Toronto, it makes sense that more and more Greenbelt farms are producing African/Caribbean, Chinese, Middle Eastern and South Asian foods. These maps tells you where you can find these freshly-picked products, and many more, in your neighbourhood grocery stores, your local farmers' market and the Greenbelt farm closest to you.

The more you shop for locally-grown African/Caribbean, Chinese, Middle Eastern and South Asian food, the more our local farmers will produce, ensuring you have fresh food that tastes like home for generations to come.

View the Locally-Grown South Asian Food Guide Map online here 

Add the Locally-Grown South Asian Food Map to your Google Maps!

Locally-Grown African/Caribbean Food Guide PDF

Locally-Grown Middle Eastern Food Guide PDF

Locally-Grown Chinese Food Guide in PDF

Saving Energy in Windsor - A Tenant Action Workshop

Date:  Wednesday, October 29th
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location:  College Avenue Community Centre, 3325 College Ave., Windsor.

Register now at www.torontoenvironment.org/workshops

Who is this workshop for?

  • Active tenants living in apartment buildings
  • Neighbourhood and community groups working with or for tenants
  • People looking to find new ways to save energy in their apartment building
  • Environmental organizations that want to learn about a tenant-led energy conservation model

What can you expect?
This will be a free full-day workshop hosted by the Homeless Coalition of Windsor-Essex County.  The workshop will be run by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), a Low Income Energy Network steering committee member who has on the ground experience running energy conservation programs for tenants. The workshop lays out the steps to help tenants start a custom-made energy saving program in their own apartment building.

At the workshop, you will:

  • Get inspired by real-life examples of how tenants have successfully run their own energy conservation programs.
  • Learn step-by-step how you could kick-start your own energy conservation program.
  • Collect ideas, advice, tools, and resources to help you along the way.
  • Participate in breakout sessions and activities.
  • Relate what you’ve been learning to your own neighbourhood.
  • Network with fellow tenant advocates and activists.

Why should you attend?

  • It’s free and you’ll have a chance to talk with other tenant advocates
  • You’ll feel refreshed and motivated to try out some new ways to bring tenants together and take action on an important issue.
  • You’ll gain an impressive ‘tool kit’ to kick start energy conservation activities in your neighbourhood
  • What you learn at the workshop can be used time and time again to take action on other neighbourhood concerns


Registration
Register quickly and easily by filling out the online form at:  www.torontoenvironment.org/workshops  

Please register by Friday, October 24th, 2008.

There is no registration fee for the conferences and lunch will be provided, but we ask that you register as soon as possible so that we can order the food.

Directions
The College Avenue Community Centre is located at 3325 College Ave.  The workshop will be held in the Gymnasium.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, if feasible, organizers would encourage the use of public transit or car pooling.

For more information (including parking and accommodation in the area) contact:
Coordinator
Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN)
c/o Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
425 Adelaide St. West, 5th floor
Toronto, ON  M5V 3C1
Tel: 416-597-5855 ext. 5167
Toll-free: 1-866-245-4182 ext. 5167
Fax: 416-597-5821
Email: bhanjiz@lao.on.ca
Website: www.lowincomeenergy.ca


 

With support provided by the Community Go Green Fund