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Biodiversity : In The News

8 Biodiversity Articles | Page:

Homegrown National Park Project gets some winter buzz

Earlier this year, we told you about the David Suzuki Foundation's Homegrown National Park Project, an ambitious endeavor that reimagined Toronto's green space and looked at the city as an urban park. 
 
Now, Fast Company is giving the initiative some mid-winter attention, highlighting the various "park rangers" who spent the summer completing various projects from planting flowers to turning persistent potholes into gardens. The projects took place along the path of the Garrison Creek, which Fast Company refers to as a "lost river." They continue, "Like many cities, Toronto was built along streams that were eventually filled and paved once they became polluted. The Garrison, which used to be a place where people could fish for salmon or take a trip in a canoe, is still underground, but the group wanted to remind neighbours that it exists."
 
The article outlines the project's future plans, which include introducing "a new class of volunteers" later this year, and "by 2015, the Suzuki Foundation hopes to have homegrown park rangers in each of the city’s 44 wards, helping stitch together green space that connects all 3 million residents."
 
Read the full story here
Original source: Fast Company

Parks and Blue Jays reasons to visit Toronto

The latest tour guide we've come across advocating Toronto mentions some fresh reasons tourists should visit the city. The National, a publication based out of Abu Dhabi, notes that Toronto "regularly appears near the top of global indexes for livable and competitive cities" and mentions how we ranked eight "out of 20 entrepreneurial hotspots worldwide, according to Startup Genome's Startup Ecosystems Report 2012."
 
The National mentions traditional attractions such as the Toronto International Film Fest, but what caught our eye was its attention to details and emphasis on nature and culture. 
 
"This week is Canada’s National Forestry Week so go for a stroll," the article says. "Rouge Park has nature, farms and trails. Set to become Canada’s first national urban park, Rouge Park lies within an hour’s drive for 7 million people. Alternatively visit the Hockey Hall of Fame (hockey and lacrosse are the national sports of Canada) and follow that up with a visit to Tim Hortons, a coffee and doughnut chain founded by a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player of the same name."
 
It also draws attention to our key industries. "The region is the No 3 financial services centre in North America, after New York and Chicago. The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the most sound in the world, six years in a row. The food and beverage industry also does well with the sector having $17 billion of sales in 2010. Designers, retailers and cost-efficient manufacturers in Toronto’s fast-moving fashion hub have helped increase Canadian apparel exports to the US more than fivefold since 1994."
 
Now, how about a game of ball? "Baseball fans might be interested to know that the Toronto Blue Jays are the only team in Major League Baseball to be located outside the United States. The Blue Jays won the World Series twice in their history - again the only team outside the US to do so."??

Read the full guide here
Original source: The National

Green roofs sprout up in Toronto in record numbers

The Daily Commercial News (DCN) has gathered the results of the Annual Green Roof Industry Survey and it's good news for Toronto. The city has, "experienced a 33 per cent growth in the installation of green roofs across the city," the article says.
 
The Toronto Metropolitan Region installed 338,310 square feet of green roofs in 2012, more than 100,000 more than the previous year. Toronto has more green roofs than anywhere else in Canada, but fourth overall in North America, falling behind Washington, Chicago and New York City. 
 
"Through the Green Roof Bylaw, the City of Toronto has required over 250 development applications to include green roofs, totalling 170,000 square metres of new green roof in Toronto,” Jane Welsh, project manager of environmental planning with the City of Toronto, says in the article. 
 
Read the full story here
Original source: Daily Commercial News

David Suzuki grades Toronto's enviro standings

David Suzuki and his Foundation's communications specialist Jode Roberts wrote a piece for Post City this week grading Toronto on its environmental and sustainability efforts. The "report card" notes many of the things the city is doing well, placing a large emphasis on the city's various parks and park initiatives.
 
Toronto's Park People, a network of more than 80 parks groups from across the city, were credited with providing innovations in the use of public space. "From installing outdoor brick tandoori and pizza ovens to hosting farmers markets and a litany of cultural festivals, more and more neighbourhood parks are becoming dynamic, vibrant hubs. And the good news continued last month with the announcement that the Garfield Weston Foundation will be supporting innovative new projects with $5 million in funding over the next three years. Watch for exciting things to happen in a park near you," Suzuki and Roberts wrote in the report.
 
They also applauded one of their own efforts, a new project that aims to establish a "Homegrown National Park in the heart of the city by creating a vibrant green corridor following former path of Garrison Creek, one of Toronto's most important lost rivers." The project will involve the planting of native trees and shrubs, as well as "cultivating bird- and big-friendly gardens and growing food in backyards and balconies" between Dovercourt and Bathurst, stretching from Dupont to the waterfront. 
 
Toronto's "urban dwellers" also helped the city out, especially considering the City of Toronto released a Biodiversity in the City series of booklets exploring the various critters that live among us. These books are available at libraries and for download.
 
However, the city lots marks for the high number of bird deaths ("Toronto buildings are estimated to kill at least one million birds each year"), the advent of "fracking" as a home heating measure, and the possibility of potentially hazardous pipeline leaks that may come as a result of piping oil from Alberta's tar sands through Ontario's Line 9. 
 
Overall, Suzuki and Roberts are pleased. "Toronto is on track to have an unprecedented green boom this year."
 
Read the full report card here
Original source: Post City 

Green with envy over UoT Mississauga's Instructional Centre

The Univeristy of Toronto's Mississauga campus has caught the attention of sustainability publication Treehugger for its award winning Instructional Centre. 
 
Featuring a gallery that highlight's some of the building's greatest attributes, Treehugger pays homage to the Centre's many integrated photovoltaics, solar panels that convert light into energy, as well as its student lounges that overlook green roofs planted with indigenous meadow grasses. The solar panels are unique in that they also offer shading in the centre's main east west corridor and centre staircase while simultaneously providing clean energy throughout the building. An additional star attribute, the building's geothermal system that heats and cools the building, is hidden beneath a playing field. 
 
The Centre is the creation of architects Perkins + Wills, known for their green educational buildings, as well as design principal Andrew Frontini, a master at crafting breathtaking fixtures. He chose to "clad the building insides and out in copper," which Treehugger points out isn't the greenest of materials, but one that certainly lasts a long time "if it isn't stolen." 
 
"This is certainly not the greenest educational building that Perkins + Will has turned out; that would probably be Peter Busby's Centre for Interactive Research and Technology. But it is lovely to look at and combines such generosity of comfort, luxury and sustainable features. Leonard Shore would be proud," Treehugger says. 
 
View the gallery here
Original Source: Treehugger

The Aussies have their koalas, we have our gorillas

The Toronto Zoo has made the Cheapflight.com's list of the world's best zoos.
 
It was ranked in the top 10 along with Belize Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Dubai Underwater Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Lone Pine Tree Koala Sanctuary (Brisbane, Australia), National Zoo (Washington), San Diego Zoo, Singapore Zoo and Wuppertal Zoo.
 
"The more than 5,000 animals—covering more than 500 species—is a strong representation of the planet's creatures. Bring your camera for the 5-acre polar bear habitat or the Gorilla Rainforest, the globe's largest indoor habitat for lowland gorillas," writes the Huffington Post about the Toronto Zoo.
 
Read the full story here
Original source: Huffington Post 

Pickering backs plans for Rouge Valley National Park

Plans to create a national park in the Rouge Valley are picking up steam.
 
On April 10, Pickering council voted to endorse a statement of intent from Parks Canada that confirms the commitment of all parties involved.
 
"A staff report noted that the creation of the park will require the transfer of lands from various governments and public agencies within and adjacent to the Rouge Valley, including Pickering. Once transferred, those lands will no longer be subject to taxes or payments in lieu of taxes."
 
"Planning discussions to identify the boundaries of the park are expected to begin this year under the direction of Parks Canada. No budget numbers for the park have been announced as yet."
 
The creation of a national park was announced during the June 2011 throne speech.
 
Read the full story here
 
Original Source: DurhamRegion.com
 

Getting in touch with your wild side… without leaving the GTA

Digital Journal reports on how it's possible to go camping without leaving city limits. Writer Bryen Dunn recounts his own experience of pitching a tent in Toronto.
 
"There are actually two campgrounds located within the city of Toronto that provide both visitors and residents an opportunity to experience an urban-rural setting. The 4,700 hectare (47 square km/11,500 acres) Rouge Park is operated by the City of Toronto, and is located in the northeast part of Toronto, within the Rouge River, Petticoat Creek and Duffins Creek watersheds. It's been designated as a protected natural ecosystem since the mid 1990s, and parts of the area are also designated as National Historic Sites because of the ancient 1600 Seneca native archaeological findings."
 
"The Toronto Regional Conservation Authority operates Indian Line Campground, which is located at the opposite end of the city, in the northwestern reaches. This site definitely has more of an urban feel to it, far removed from nature, but still providing a fun experience. The nearby Claireville Dam gives a simulated lakeside camping experience, where campers are able to fish or float around in motor-less floatation devices such as canoes, kayaks, or rubber rafts. "
 
Read the full story here
Original Source: Digital Journal
 
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