Toronto Mayoralty Campaign – A Welcome Announcement

In February of this year 4RG sponsored a well attended Forum on the threat to Toronto’s Tree Canopy.  The panel of Jeff Cullen, Janet McKay and Hilary Cunningham explained how the December 2013 ice storm had devastated the trees that we depend on

  • for shade that can mitigate the effects of extreme heat;
  • to sustain many natural forest areas within the City,
  • as a desirable feature of Toronto’s many Parks,
  • as a way to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
  • as a means of reducing ground saturation – which is important in controlling floods, and
  • as a setting for our recreational environment.

Read moreToronto Mayoralty Campaign – A Welcome Announcement

The Prospect of Resiliency

In January 2013, Norm Kelly, now the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, reacted with scepticism to a study by experts describing the impact that climate change will have on Toronto. Kelly estimated that accepting the recommendations in the study would require billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades.

Kelly and other councillors shrugged off concerns that climate change would contribute to more frequent and more severe extreme weather events.  Kelly said that warmer temperatures in the future “tain’t bad”.   In effect Tennessee’s climate of today will be Toronto’s climate tomorrow. Perhaps he did not appreciate that extreme heat waves cause serious problems for seniors and in other countries have lead to a spike in deaths of aged people?

Read moreThe Prospect of Resiliency

Toronto Trees Threatened!

These words were the banner for a 4RG Community Forum held Thursday, February 13th.  As every Torontonian knows the threat had already arrived on the city’s doorstep:  a December ice storm that caused extensive losses to the urban forest, estimated by some to approach 40% of the existing canopy.

Some people may be sceptical of these losses, calculated at millions of dollars.  They don’t realize that trees are on our side when it comes to the battle against GreenHouse Gases.  Just as the actions of individuals can assist by reducing their carbon footprint, so each tree is a carbon sink.  Read on!

Read moreToronto Trees Threatened!

Why a community forum on trees?

Toronto has been described as a “city of trees”.   This description reflected a civic belief that trees were an amenity that mitigated the impact of intense urban construction.  Yet over the years the citizens of Toronto have tolerated “densification”, a policy of current city planners. As buildings grow taller and crowd out to the boundaries of property, trees disappear.

I recall a law school lecture on planning where the lecturer, a downtown Toronto lawyer, explained that it was less expensive for his clients to take down trees and retain him if there were any legal repercussions.  In the long run, this was cheaper than engaging in long negotiations with neighbours.

Read moreWhy a community forum on trees?

SubscribeSubscribe to one of 4RG's Newsletters

Click below to subscribe to any of our email newsletters. You can always unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe Here