tea history

29 Years of Building A Greener City for All


Building a Zero Waste Toronto, Growing the Greenbelt and Community Right-to-Know

Thanks to pressure from TEA and our supporters, Toronto's new Waste Strategy will help get us on the path to zero waste

TEA gets the Board of Health to agree to look at a point of sale display program for Toronto’s dry cleaners. These signs would help consumers make healthier choices and give community members a right-to-know about the chemicals used in their neighborhood.

After seven years of campaigning by TEA, the Province announces it will grow the Greenbelt into Toronto's ravines.

TEA joins the Our Hydro Coalition which succeeds in keeping Toronto Hydro Public

TEA grows the INHALE Project - Canada’s first community air monitoring initiative - from South Etobicoke to Toronto’s Downtown Core.



INHALE, a Dry Cleaning Scorcard, Climate Change Collaboration and NOW Award Winner

TEA wins the 2015 NOW Reader’s Choice Poll for Best Environmental Group.

TEA partners with Environment Hamilton to launch the INHALE Project, Canada’s first mobile air monitoring initiative that uses citizen science to engage local residents in monitoring neighbourhood air quality.

TEA launches the consumer-focused Dry Cleaning Scorecard to identify toxic chemicals used by dry cleaners and to increase the demand for safe alternatives.

TEA collaborates with 4 urban environmental groups (Ecology Ottawa, Environment Hamilton, Citizens Environment Alliance in Windsor and Oakvillegreen Conservation Association) to coordinate climate change efforts.


Municipal Election and Going Waste Free

TEA makes sure Torontonians have the information they need to vote in the 2014 Toronto Municipal Election by launching the environment-focused TEA Report Card on candidates and hosting the only mayoral debate on the environment.  

TEA launches its first ever Waste Free Challenge, encouraging residents to build a waste free city.

Toronto Public Health agrees to develop an air quality strategy for Toronto and a Toxics Reduction Plan for the 8 chemicals of highest concern.

Toronto City Council adopts TEA’s recommendations for getting the city ready for climate change.  


Focus on Waste Diversion now and Extreme Heat to come

TEA convinces City Committee to focus on waste diversion, not waste disposal in a new plan to deal with Toronto’s garbage.

TEA rings alarm bells about a new city report that shows extreme heat coming to Toronto by 2040 due to climate change.

TEA’s membership hits 37,000


ChemTRAC Data: first release

TEA’s membership hits 30,000

First set of ChemTRAC data on local business chemical use is released to the public as required by the Community Right-to-Know Bylaw. TEA works with communities to get data into the hands of Torontonians.


Holding the Line on Environmental Programs and Transit

TEA fights to save 44 Community Environment Days and other important environmental programs during the 2011 Core Service Review and 2012 Budget votes.

TEA mounts a major campaign to inform Torontonians about the Mayor’s “new” transit plan that costs more and delivers dramatically less service to Torontonians.

TEA's Good Neighbour Campaign in Scarborough pushes local company to address community pollution concerns.

(Photo courtesy of Shawn Micallef)


Advances on three fronts

TEA plays a key role in making sure six environmental priorities are part of the municipal election campaign.

TEA convinces City Council to begin the process of expanding the Greenbelt into Toronto through public lands in the Rouge, Don and Humber River Valleys.

TEA advocates to shut down the last City-owned biosolids incinerator in Toronto and wins! The Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant will no longer be one of the largest polluters in Toronto.


A voice for Transit Riders

TEA launches TTCriders.ca, a public transit advocacy group that gives transit riders a voice.


City Acts on Right-to-Know and Local Food

TEA publishes first-ever Culturally-Specific Local Food Guides that provide information about where Torontonians can buy fresh, locally grown food used in Chinese and South Asian cuisine.

City passes first ever Community Right-to-Know Bylaw in Canada that will require businesses (from dry cleaners to funeral homes and auto-body repair shops) to reveal their discharges of 25 priority chemicals.

City Council adopts a Buy Local Food First procurement policy for City Agencies that includes a target to buy 50% local food as soon as possible.


Toxics and Smog Campaigns make their mark

City adopts smog and climate change plan including key recommendations made by TEA over the past 10 years.

TEA holds Smog Hike to honour 1700 annual victims of smog.


TEA launches Community Right-to-Know Campaign

TEA succeeds in getting Mayor David Miller and other candidates to include important environmental goals in their election platforms.

TEA launches its Community Right-to-Know Campaign, calling on Toronto to adopt a bylaw that discloses the use, storage and release of toxic chemicals in our neighbourhoods.


Low Income Energy Network influences the Province

TEA awarded "Best Environmental Organization’ in NOW magazine’s Best of Toronto"

TEA works with tenants to launch an innovative tenant-led energy conservation program at an east-end Toronto Community Housing neighbourhood. The program wins a prestigious "Green Toronto" award.

TEA co-founds the Low Income Energy Network (LIEN) to address the burden of home energy costs on low-income families and to advocate for low-income energy efficiency and conservation programs. The Ontario government adopts and implements many of LIEN’s recommendations.


TTC's need to Expand

TEA convinces City to increase TTC ridership and expand transit service.


Pesticide Ban at last!

TEA and allies succeed in getting the City to pass a pesticide ban.

NOW Magazine votes TEA “Best Defender of Local Ecology”

(Photo by S. Wineland)


Green Bins at last!

City finally implements the TEA plan for Green Bins.

TEA gets the public and politicians to take seriously the 10 years of underfunding that has undermined the TTC.

TEA is instrumental in developing Toronto’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan, which outlines a 25 year work-plan to improve Toronto’s beaches, rivers and waterways by reducing pollution resulting from combined sewers and storm water run-off.

TEA works with a coalition of community groups to stop attempts to privatize Toronto's public water system.


No to garbage at Adams Mine!

TEA works with local citizens in Toronto and Kirkland Lake to stop City plan to ship Toronto's garbage to the Adams Mine in Kirkland Lake.

City adopts first-ever Environmental Plan, with key input from TEA.


Smog Reduction Plan

City adopts TEA’s Smog Alert Action Plan to reduce smog emissions on smog days.


Rocket Riders for better transit

TEA forms Rocket Riders to advocate for public transit.


Multiple Campaigns Unfold

TEA has active campaigns to reduce garbage, clean up city sewage, reduce pesticide use, develop a green local economy and share knowledge with a local environmental group in Ecuador.

TEA’s critique “A Curbside Tale: How Taxpayers Were Left Holding the Blue Box” gets national attention in the Globe and Mail


TEA Leaves

Issue 1 of TEA Leaves, TEA’s newsletter, gets made by hand and sent to TEA supporters.


Toxic-free Lawn Campaign begins

TEA starts a public information campaign to promote green lawns that don’t rely on toxic pesticides.


Beach Watch

TEA launches the Beach Watch campaign to help educate beach goers about the sources of beach pollution and the need for homeowner water conservation.


Ecobunk is Born

TEA starts the annual Ecobunk Awards, a tongue-in-cheek look at greenwashing.


TEA says NO to garbage burning

Province wants to burn garbage TEA says NO! in a new garbage report.


The Blue Box gets Bluer

TEA organizes a recycling education program that helps lower Blue Box contamination rates.


TEA is Born!

TEA is born on February 20th at a meeting at 519 Church Street when bylaws and a constitution are adopted by the members.


The TEA Concept

The idea for TEA is conceived at a February Greening the City Conference organized by Pollution Probe held in Scarborough.