The 2020 Greener City For All Award: CREW (Community Resilience to Extreme Weather)

At our annual Greener City Celebration, we present the Greener City For All Award. This award celebrates the success and hard work of community organizations and individuals that are creating a greener and more equitable city. 

Congratulations to CREW (Community Resilience to Extreme Weather), the recipient of the 2020 Greener City for All Award. 

Watch the recording of the award presentation below and hear from CREW. 

When the pandemic hit Toronto, there was a network of volunteer residents in a St. Jamestown high-rise that sprung into action. They put up posters with a number to call for assistance, worked with a local agency to deliver food and checked-in on vulnerable seniors.

These volunteers were ready to respond because last fall and early winter, before the pandemic, an organization had recruited and trained a network of 14 residents as floor captains in that high-rise.

That organization was CREW.

CREW stands for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather, and since they started out in 2014 that’s exactly what they’ve been building.

CREW has spent three years working with high-rise communities in the St. Jamestown area, bringing awareness to the need for emergency kits and planning. There’s been a number of emergencies over the last few years, including fires, burst pipes, flooding, loss of electricity, and extreme heat.

Whether responding to climate-induced extreme weather or a pandemic, CREW has demonstrated remarkable leadership and foresight by organizing in advance. Their dedicated and proactive approach to building volunteer resident networks, drawing on community assets, and identifying climate risks particularly faced by people living in high-rise buildings is an inspiration. 

- Heather Marshall, presenting the Award to CREW on behalf of the  

Toronto Environmental Alliance  

Previous recipients of the Greener City for All Award include PARC and Parkdale People’s Economy, Building Up, and the staff and residents of Mayfair on the Green. We are committed to sharing these inspiring stories and amplifying this great work because we believe in the power of proving what’s possible in our own backyard.