TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ - This evening, the City of Toronto in partnership with Green Living, celebrated the people, organizations and neighbourhoods helping lead the way to a greener Toronto at the sixth Green Toronto Awards ceremony at Exhibition Place.
Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss announced the winners from the Main Stage of the Green Living Show, as friends and family of the 27 finalists and the public looked on.
For their outstanding contribution to the greening of Toronto, each of the winners received a prestigious Green Toronto Award and $5,000 to donate to a registered charity of their choice.
"You are shining examples of what is possible when we lead by example, and do the right thing for our city, and for our environment," said Mayor David Miller to the Green Toronto Award winners and finalists. "Your leadership is helping Toronto be recognized internationally as one of the greenest cities in North America."
The 2010 Green Toronto Award winners are:
Community Projects Award: Green Change Project, Jane Finch Community and Family Centre
The Green Change Project, an ambitious initiative run by the Jane Finch Community and Family Centre, is greening its neighbourhood through a local resource centre that promotes environmentalism and provides green job training. Through the project, 60 community volunteers have been trained to perform environmental audits for neighbourhood residents. The community tracked its environmental footprint and reduced carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes.
Youth Award: Green Collar Corps, Toronto Community Housing
Green Collar Corps' youth complete an environmental curriculum, commit to demonstrating conservation behaviours in their homes and communities, and participate in educational activities and events which promote environmental stewardship, such as their Recycling Trade Show and Eco-Fashion event, which won accolades. The Green Collar Corps help create pathways to green jobs for teens living in Toronto Community Housing communities.
Local Food Award: Debbie Field, FoodShare Toronto
Under Debbie Field's leadership, FoodShare has become Canada's largest community food security organization, creating sustainable systems, building communities and driving change. Its vision - good and healthy food for all - led the organization to deliver 800 student nutrition programs in 2009 alone. The programs feed 125,000 children and youth annually and are distributed universally to remove the stigma of poverty. Classroom programs about growing food, composting and reducing our ecological footprint, reached 7,000 students last year.
Green Roof Award: ESRI Canada's Garden in the Sky
ESRI Canada, which provides geographic information systems to organizations, transformed a large paved terrace at its rented office into a rooftop garden. Inspired by a study showing that green roofs reduce urban heat, ESRI partnered with its landlord to create their urban oasis. In addition to improving air quality and reducing energy consumption, ESRI created an additional 7,500 square feet of useable space that is enjoyed by tenants and the surrounding community.
Green Design Award: One Cole - Diamond and Schmitt Architects, The Daniels Corporation
Proving that a high level of environmental stewardship is compatible with commercial success, One Cole built this condominium despite the additional costs of green construction, neighbourhood stigma and a sluggish economy. With features such as low-VOC materials, in-suite heat recovery ventilators, and a 1,200-square-foot Living Wall Bio-Filter that draws air through a wall of living plants before distributing it through the ventilation system, One Cole is built to LEED Gold certification standards.
Energy Conservation Award: Wilmar Court
For 15 years, Wilmar Court, a seniors' non-profit housing project, has focused on sustainable environmental solutions, proving that older tenants will not only participate in green initiatives, they will take the lead. Most recently, after three years of planning, partnerships, and educating stakeholders, Wilmar Court installed 24 solar panels to pre-heat its domestic hot water. In 2008, Wilmar Court won the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association Go Green Award.
Water Efficiency Award: University Health Network
University Health Network (UHN) gives top priority to recycling, energy and water conservation, pollution prevention (phasing out hazardous chemicals), green procurement and sustainable construction. With two full-time staff in its Energy & Environment department, UHN reduced its annual water consumption by 120 million litres between 2006 and 2009. Staff training programs, energy awareness campaigns, and feedback surveys help maintain behaviour changes. UHN also shares its knowledge widely.
Environmental Awareness Award: Earth Rangers
Earth Rangers gives Canadian children - including those in underserved communities - simple tools to make a real difference at home and at school. Its new website hosts a kid-friendly fundraising campaign to protect animals and their habitats, which is a top environmental priority for children. Last year, Earth Rangers launched a permanent, interactive, multi-media live show in its own studio - with broadcast capability - at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Leadership Award: Evergreen
With a 10,000-strong volunteer base, Evergreen has helped 1,600 schools to green their grounds. The non-profit has planted more than 50,000 trees and shrubs since 2007, and helped 140 youth from priority neighbourhoods turn 18 barren plots into wildflower gardens. Last year, they delivered $688,000 in small seed grants. Evergreen is also working to transform Don Valley Brick Works into a thriving environmental community centre.
The 2010 Green Innovation Award winners were also announced at the event. The Green Innovation Awards offer up to $50,000 in seed money to help Toronto entrepreneurs develop and bring their new and innovative green products and solutions to the Toronto marketplace.
The 2010 Green Innovation Award winners are Green Gym: Harvesting Energy from Exercise Equipment, submitted by Olivier Trescases & the U of T team, $10,000; GreenHouseTO, a searchable, multi-purpose web and mobile renovation application, submitted by Sarah Lazarovic, $15,000; and My Green City, a cross-platform game/application for the iPhone and Facebook that encourages Torontonians to engage in pro-environmental behaviour through a green rewards system, submitted by Robert Kori Golding, $25,000.
For more information about the Green Toronto Awards, visit: www.toronto.ca/greentorontoawards. For more information about the Green Innovation Awards, visit: www.livegreentoronto.ca. For more information about The Green Living Show, on now through April 25, visit: www.greenlivingonline.com.
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