Winners of Green Toronto Awards announced

The winners of the City of Torontos environmental awards of excellence were announced recently:

Dr. David Bell – Leadership Award (sponsored by the Toronto Community Foundation)David Bell has made an immense contribution in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable development. He is immediate Past Chair of the Board of Downsview Park, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He has served on many boards and task forces.

Chaminade College School Environment Club – Youth Award (sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group)In conjunction with Ontario Streams, Chaminade’s Environmental Club has helped to pioneer the Adopt-a-Stream program in Toronto. The school has adopted its local creek, and collects garbage, plants trees and designs erosion-control projects. It has also developed community-awareness initiatives, and is carrying out an inventory of species in Black Creek.

LEAF – Environmental Awareness Award (sponsored by Toronto Hydro Corporation)The non-profit organization Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) aims to raise public awareness of the urban forest, foster a sense of ownership, engage diverse communities and provide educational resources. LEAF wants to improve city life one tree at a time. Through its Backyard Tree Program, 10,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted across Toronto.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre – Market Transformation Award (sponsored by Bullfrog Power)The convention centre has a strong environmental track record, with recycling levels averaging 63 percent and significant energy reduction over the past five years. The building has an enormous green roof, a partnership with Second Harvest for food leftovers, and programs such as computer and printing-cartridge recycling.

Dr. David Pengelly – Health Award (sponsored by Genuine Health)David Pengelly is a scientist who has dedicated his life, both professionally and as a volunteer, to improving air quality, protecting human health and demystifying the science of climate change. Working with Toronto Public Health, he has helped to empower the public to demand measures to clean up the air we breathe.

RISE – Energy Conservation Award (sponsored by AutoShare)The Riverdale Initiative for Solar Energy (RISE) began as a community-based project that brought together homeowners interested in clean, energy-grid-tied solar electricity systems for their homes. So far, 25 one- and two-kilowatt systems have been installed in east-end Toronto, and have displaced emissions of more than 1,070 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of taking 68 cars off the road.

Ryerson University – Green Roof Award (sponsored by Clean Water Foundation)Ryerson University was a green-roof innovator, installing a green roof in 1987. During the construction of the George Vari Engineering building in 2006, another green roof was installed to save energy and control rainwater runoff. The day lilies planted there provide an attractive view for the occupants of the neighbouring condominium building.

smartliving St. Lawrence – Community Projects Award (sponsored by Loblaw Companies Ltd)The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association, in conjunction with Eneract, businesses and community organizations, has worked to improve the neighbourhood and raise awareness of environmental issues. Initiatives include workshops; outreach promoting buying locally; energy retrofits and incentives for small businesses; and organic gardening, tree planting and green-roof projects.

St. Gabriel’s Church – Green Design Award (sponsored by Enbridge Gas Distribution)The new church for the Parish of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin Roman Catholic Church, and the Passionist Community of Canada, was designed to embody eco-theology and the belief that the most important challenge of our time is to establish a mutually enhancing human-earth relationship.

Unilever – Water Efficiency Award (sponsored by Toronto Water)Unilever’s Rexdale plant installed a reverse-osmosis system to improve the efficiency of its steam-plant operations. The plant now uses 50 million litres less municipal water and eight percent less natural gas annually. The environmental benefits include producing 1.6 million fewer kilograms of carbon dioxide, as well as reducing emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.

Toronto Hydro 2006 Summer Challenge – Environmental Achievement AwardThis Toronto Hydro program was a high-visibility, low-cost program introduced last summer when Toronto’s weather was hot, air quality was poor and people were tempted to turn up their air conditioners. Residential and small commercial customers received at 10 percent bill rebate if they reduced their electricity use and achieved a 10 percent reduction in electrical consumption over the previous summer. About 150,000 customers received the credit. This award is a non-sponsored award for City of Toronto programs/projects.

For more information, please visit