Media Advisory - 'Planning our Urban Future'

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ -

WHY: The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. The theme of this year's World Habitat Day is 'Planning our Urban Future'. To pay tribute to this annual occasion, the Toronto Habitat affiliate will hold several events over the course of the week that focus on setting the foundations for our city's affordable housing future.

WHAT: CN Tower - For one night only, Toronto's brightest beacon will shine in Habitat for Humanity's signature blue and green in commemoration of World Habitat Day. This limited time photo opportunity will highlight Canadian support for the effort to help every person around the world obtain access to decent affordable housing - a basic human right.

City Hall Breakfast - Mayor Miller and Councillor Mammoliti (chair of the affordable housing committee) will host a light breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. to celebrate the day and honour Home Ownership Alternatives for being one of nine-world-wide finalists for the 2008-09 World Habitat Awards. In addition the Mayor and Councillor will sign a large-format version of the new Toronto Housing Charter - Opportunity for All. (this event is by invitation)

Faith Leader's Build - The 7th annual Faith Leaders build will be held at Habitat for Humanity Toronto's Hainford Build site (20 Hainford Street). Leaders from all faith backgrounds will come together to build homes and hope.

Habitat Toronto starts its new foundation - Mayor David Miller will be joined by past and present partner families, volunteers, donors and staff to break ground on Humanity Toronto's new homebuilding factory, ReStore East York and head office. Mayor Miller will congratulate the organization on its success and will promise continued support from the City of Toronto.

First Habitat solar build in the nation - The ground breakings will continue when supporters will gather in the west end of the city on the site of Canada's first solar-panel technology homes built by Habitat for Humanity. Twenty townhouses will be built to provide safe, decent and affordable homes for 96 women, men and children currently living in substandard housing in Toronto. The solar build will also showcase GreenHouse(R) certified construction standards and will be 25-30% more energy efficient than those built to minimum Ontario Building Code standards. Speaking at this event will be Councillor Nunzuata, The Home Depot Canada Foundation, TD Bank and several other home donors and partner families.

    WHEN & WHERE:   Monday, October 5th: World Habitat Day
                    -  8:30 a.m. - 9:30a.m.: City Hall Breakfast
                    -  8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Faith Leader's Build, Hainford
                       build site, 20 Hainford Street
                    -  7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.: CN Tower lights up green
                       and blue

                    Tuesday, October 6th
                    -  10:00 a.m.: 155 Bermondsey Ground Breaking

                    Wednesday, October 7th
                    -  11:00 a.m.: 1500 Weston Road Ground Breaking

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity GTA

For further information: For further information: Neil Hetherington, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, office: (416) 755-7353 ext 223, cell: 416-436-4190,; Allen Davidov, Director of Marketing and Communications, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, office: (416) 755-7353, ext. 236,

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