COVID-19, the Climate Crisis and the City of Toronto: Joint Submission from the Toronto Climate Action Network (TCAN)

As part of the Toronto Climate Action Network, we put forward a joint submission to Toronto’s Office of Recovery and Rebuild. 

The submission urges the Office to ensure that Toronto's recovery and rebuild plan addresses the worsening climate crisis by accelerating action to build a healthy, equitable and resilient zero-carbon city.

In the submission, TCAN outlines specific actions the City of Toronto can take to launch a recovery process that addresses the climate crisis while also improving health, well-being and equity, and building resilience to future shocks. These include: 

  • launching a low-carbon jobs strategy focused on training and hiring equity-seeking groups, including racialized youth 
  • ramping up energy efficiency retrofits of multi-residential buildings to reduce emissions, improve living conditions, and create new jobs
  • expanding green space, tree cover, and green roofs, especially in neighbourhoods that have the least access to green space and are vulnerable to climate-related extreme weather
  • expanding community gardens and community food programs in food insecure neighbourhoods
  • providing safe transit options by ensuring accessible, equitably-available transit service, protected bike lanes, and BikeShare rentals across the city
  • strengthening resilience and emergency preparedness by supporting neighbourhood hubs and resident networks that have been stepping up to respond to emergency needs. 

The submission also includes overarching recommendations for all phases of response, recovery, rebuild and resilience: 

  1. Uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  2. Put Equity First
  3. Accelerate Climate Action
  4. Reject Austerity Measures
  5. Make Health-Driven, Evidence-Informed Decisions
  6. Ensure Meaningful Resident Participation

Read the full submission as a PDF here

Read the submission

About the Toronto Climate Action Network (TCAN): TCAN works to foster collaboration among diverse, action-oriented organizations working in Toronto to prevent climate breakdown, strengthen climate resilience, and advance climate justice. It has over thirty member organizations.