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Helping You Make and Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

As the year draws to a close we realize what that nagging thing in the back of our mind was reminding us to do. No, it wasn’t to buy a gift for the neighbour (we already did that), or to get the turkey ahead of time (did that too and it’s organic!). It was setting New Year’s resolutions! While resolutions can be a bit of an annoying or daunting task, it doesn’t hurt to set out some goals before the new year begins, in the hopes of making the most of the next 365 days. In case you’re stumped, here are some ideas for making New Year’s resolutions, and how to stick to them!  Continue reading

Toronto Green Initiatives: Evergreen Brickworks

Toronto is a rapidly changing city, and among all the construction and improvements, our green initiatives can get lost. One of the most significant efforts comes from Evergreen Brickworks. Though you probably know it as an event space, their team has been consistently hustling to solve the problem of urban sustainability for all of us.

 

We believe we can solve even the most pressing urban environmental issues by bringing diverse people together, inspiring them with possibilities and engaging them in identifying solutions and taking action. The need has never been more urgent. – Evergreen Brickworks

 

Though all of Evergreen’s initiatives strive for the greater good, they focus their efforts in four key areas.

CityWorks

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This arm of Evergreen focuses on creating sustainable, liveable cities. It’s estimated that in ten years, the population of the GTA and Hamilton will be over 9 million. In the intervening years, we’ll have to build new housing and infrastructure capable of supporting our booming population. CityWorks is a think tank and lobby group that creates alternatives to traditional city planning and brings awareness to them. If urban planning solutions and transportation interests you, check out We Are Cities, their nationwide idea-generating campaign writing the next chapter of Canadian cities.

With aging infrastructure and a booming population, transportation has quickly become an issue every Torontonian has an opinion on – and for good reason! Harnessing the power of conversation has made public transit and gridlock front-burner issues in City Hall – but Evergreen believes conversation can help create a solution, not just highlight a problem. Enter Move The GTHA, a conversation hub for public and private organizations interested in solving this problem together. Check out their work or pledge your support!

Children

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Evergreen’s childrens programs aim to bring the great outdoors to urban kids. With the belief that understanding nature will create more confident and empathetic people, Evergreen encourages the greenification of playgrounds, creating new projects like the Watershed Champions for kids to participate in, and holding affordable day camps so every kid can get a taste of the outdoors. Urban greenspace is definitely in short supply, so if you believe Toronto’s kids should get outside a bit more often, see how you can help.

Greenspace

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The great outdoors doesn’t just benefit kids – everyone in a city benefits when there’s more fresh air and open space. Part of the magic of Evergreen Brickworks is experiencing the almost undisturbed nature in the middle of a city – and we agree that recreating this experience all over Toronto can only mean good things for all of us. Evergreen uses a variety of programs to encourage this, including urban gardening, farmer’s markets, and larger initiatives like the Lower Don Project.

More than 250,000 people live in the Don Watershed, and it’s growing more quickly than ever. They’ve added new and enhanced trails, revitalized neglected green spaces, added public art, gateways and access routes, as well as creating an educational program to reintroduce people to Toronto’s expansive ravine system.

Food

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Ontarians are lucky to live in a naturally fertile region – local produce and meat abounds most of the year. However, with faster and cheaper foreign options flooding our market, it’s more important than ever to support local farmers and keep our food production right here at home. Evergreen Brickworks’ Toronto farmer’s market is year round, and has added more than $3.5 million to our economy, all of which goes back into supporting Ontario’s farmers. They also offer classes on growing your own food and how to cook with local groceries, which makes fresh and affordable eating accessible to even more people. If you have a passion for local and sustainable eating, check out their food programs for meaningful ways to get involved.

Evergreen Brickworks may serve the GTA exclusively, but Evergreen’s initiatives have outposts all across Canada. This network has the ability to affect change in many areas of our lives and wellbeing, which makes Evergreen a crown jewel in Toronto’s plan for a greener tomorrow.

Are you part of a green initiative we should know about? Tell us on Twitter!

Title image credit. 

Moving Cities: Transit VS Driving

City-dwellers: are you a public transit commuter or a car enthusiast? With cities getting bigger and more populated, it seems like there is less room for driving and an almost dire need for more transit. We take a look at reasons you might choose driving over public transit, or the other way around. Continue reading

Feeling the Need for High Speed in California

California High Speed Rail

The year started off with a bang in California, thanks to the groundbreaking of the much-delayed high speed rail line which would allow a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours.

Yes, you read that right. Travelling at a speed of over 200 mph, the long trip usually takes about 12 hours, but will soon take a fraction of the time. The project, which was approved six years ago, is expected to cost $68-billion (gulp) and take about 15 years to complete. Continue reading

Update at the Eglinton Crosstown LRT

It’s been a while since we updated you with the progress of Eglinton’s newest transit route, the Eglinton LRT, and we just want to tell you that a lot has happened since our last look at it. You may have heard rumblings about the traffic backups in the area, especially during rush hour,  but as they say, “no pain, no gain.” Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT?

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We like to keep you posted on what’s happening with transit in Toronto, especially because of E Condos’ direct access to the Yonge subway line and the Eglinton LRT. Construction began on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT this time last year, and there’s been tons of progress. Let’s see what’s happened in the past 12 months.

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The next chapter in the Scarborough transit saga

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A few months ago, we briefly summarized the Scarborough transit debate, which dates back to 1975 when the conversation about extending transit into Scarborough first began. We’ve been following it closely because we believe transit is essential to the growth and survival of any city, and in this case, Toronto. Extending rapid transit will connect the city with the community in Scarborough, where thousands commute into downtown Toronto every day. It will make our city grow and become more sustainable for generations to come. This is a big step for Toronto, and it’s much needed.

Most recently, the proposed deadline for the provincial and federal government to commit to the subway extension passed. Here’s a brief backgrounder on the latest developments:

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced yesterday that the federal government will commit to $600 million in order to build the subway extension in Scarborough – which is the exact amount the city had requested. Minister Flaherty announced that it was a “done deal” when he addressed the media and public next to Kennedy Station. The $600 million is added to the already $1.48 billion promised by the province, but this project is estimated to cost about $3 billion.

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The TTC released a report emphasizing that although the new route as proposed by Transportation Minister Glen Murray (the subway ending at Scarborough Town Centre) appears to be a good idea, there is “no clear advantage.” And in actuality, it comes with “many disadvantages” including the fact that the existing SRT will have to be shut down during construction.

On Wednesday, the TTC’s political leaders voted in favour of the city-sanctioned subway route in Toronto’s east end (running under McCowan Road to Sheppard Avenue) as opposed to the LRT, and the province-backed subway line from Kennedy to Scarborough City Centre.

Now the ball is in city council’s court, as we wait for them to meet in October for the council meeting. They will be presented with a TTC report and then will have to decide if they’re going to raise taxes in order to support the city-approved subway plan, go with the provincially-backed subway route, or maybe even stick to the LRT.

Both the subway projects would start construction in 2014 and be completed in 2023. It’s now just a matter of agreeing on a route and all the levels of government cooperating with one another to ensure Scarborough is given the long-promised transit solution.

Follow us on Twitter as we keep you updated on Scarborough’s subway talks.