Archive for the 'Greening Toronto' Category
It may seem like spring is taking its time to arrive this year, but I am sure there are some spring surprises just around the corner. In fact, one of my favourites happens each year in High Park with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Once the cherry blossoms are in full bloom we know that spring has officially arrived.
The Sakura or cherry blossom trees as they are probably more commonly known were a gift to Canada and Toronto from the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in 1959, and they have been a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike ever since. Amateur and professional photographers alike flock to High Park when the trees are blooming just to catch a glimpse of the beautiful pink flowers and the crowds seem to increase on a yearly basis. Because of this Our Home Toronto has a couple tips to get the best view of the cherry blossoms once they finally bloom.
1) Head to High Park to see the cherry blossoms after work on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds.
2) Take public transit. There is limited parking in High Park.
3) Be prepared to walk. The trees are beautiful and most are located around Hillside Gardens. Here is a good map to guide you.
According to www.highparktoronto.com the trees have not bloomed yet, and are not expected to bloom until late April. Typically, the blooming lasts for a week to a week and a half if the weather is good.
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Have you been searching for some green to incorporate into your city lifestyle? It may be hard to believe but there are a number of green initiatives taking place right in downtown Toronto. From government buildings to historic sites more and more builders and planners are realizing the importance of green buildings. With the help of a publication from the Canada Green Building Council and www.greenroofs.com, Our Home Toronto has put together a list of five of the great green building projects happening all around the city.
1) The Fairmont Royal York: The Fairmont Royal York boasts a well known rooftop garden which started in 1998. According to greenroofs.com the 4000 sq. foot space grows herbs and tomatoes that are used in 6000 meals per day. Tours of the rooftop garden can be arranged for visitors and residents of Toronto when they attend afternoon tea at the Fairmont Royal York.
2) 401 Richmond: Home to “140 artists, cultural producers and micro-enterprises” (Toronto Focus: Canada Green Building Council), 401 Richmond Street offers visitors and tenants use of there 6,500 sq. foot green roof free of charge. The space offers not only a multitude of plants but also a “downtown view that includes the CN Tower.” (401richmond.net/gardens)
3) Toronto City Hall: Toronto City Hall’s Green Roof is part of the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square. In order for the green roof to be constructed “3,250m sq of concrete was converted to vegetation” (Toronto Focus: Canada Green Building Council).
4) Minto Roehampton: According to the Canada Green Building Council, this is Canada’s first LEED Gold multi-unit residential building. Highlights of the green initiatives the building offers residents include: automatic turnoff of overhead lights and ventilation systems, dual flush toilets which reduce water consumption and individually monitored heat and electricity.
5) The Evergreen Brickworks: The green projects taking place at the Evergreen Brick Works are quite extensive. According to The Canadian Green Building Council just a few of the improvements to the well-known event space include: a computerized network that controls lighting, ventilation, heating and A/C. Other major projects include a green roof as well as attainment of LEED status.
As you can see, Toronto has many green projects. Whether you are already a Toronto resident, moving to Toronto, or just visiting be sure to visit some of these great green projects in the heart of the city.
100 Applefield Dr is an exquisite home that offers truly unbelievable value. The home features a gourmet chef’s kitchen with 7 premium appliances as well as a spectacular pool oasis with direct access to Birkdale Park. This 2,296 sq. foot home also features an amazing wood burning fireplace,pepper maple hardwood floors a heated salt-water pool, and 5 patio areas with perennial gardens. Visit OurHomeToronto.com for many more fabulous home listings or contact me directly at 416-931-4161.
SOLD … Large Luxury Skyy-Line Condo … South, East, West, Lake Exposure
Suite 2302-1048 Broadview is a one of a kind 1599 sq ft corner home in the Skyy … with 2 bedrooms, 2 en-suites, a powder room, den, very large living / dining room with surround floor to ceiling windows, upgraded kitchen with island, granite & designer cupboards … includes a huge panorama south view balcony. This suite also includes an owned prime parking space and locker. Spectacular Condo & Value!
If every car in North America got the same fuel efficiency as my Toyota Prius there’d be no need to import any oil into North America and there’d be no need to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic!
More than a century ago, Henry Ford’s original Model T got 25 mile per gallon (mpg). Fast forwarding through a 100 years of head spinning, relentless technological progress and today the average SUV in North America gets 17 mpg. So we’ve been going aggressively backwards into the future!
When oil hit $US147 a barrel in 2008, the US was transferring $700 billion a year to the Middle East for oil imports, the greatest voluntary, unnecessary transfer of wealth in human history.
2. Oil Subsidies Globally total $US700 Billion a year
$700 billion a year is spent subsidizing oil and gas companies worldwide. Of the top 20 most profitable companies worldwide in 2009, seven were oil companies and their cumulative profit was equal to the profit of the other 13 companies combined.
Why are government subsiding the most profitable industry in the world? The most profitable companies in the world? With the global debt crisis, why are governments still handing out oil and gas subsidies?
The $700 billion a year of oil subsidies does not include the $100 billion a year the US spends defending Persian Gulf shipping lanes to ensure the flow of oil to the US, nor the cost of the Iraq war, which Nobel economist Joesph Stiglitz estimates to be $US2.7 to $6 trillion in total (not an annual figure).
3. Cutting Carbon is Profitable
A study by McKinsey & Company shows that cutting carbon is highly profitable: 40% of North American carbon cuts required to meet the Kyoto Protocol targets would generate a profit and, if that profit was reinvested in the next least-cost options, we’d get all the way to the Kyoto goals at no cost to society.
Business leaders should take note, this isn’t a radical environmental group, it’s the pre-eminent management consulting firm worldwide. This categorically dispels the myth that going green is expensive because cutting emissions increases the efficiency of businesses, of homes and society as a whole thus providing a huge economic benefit to the economy. The study shows that there’s no single silver bullet; instead there’s silver buckshot – made up of very highly profitable energy efficiency solutions.
Investing $2 trillion from now till 2020 – would provide an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 17%, according to The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity, a separate McKinsey & Co study. This rate of return is better than the historical return for investing in property and stock market over the long term!
4. Efficiency of North American electricity generation could be tripled
A staggering two-thirds of the energy from coal, gas and nuclear power generation in North America is wasted in the form of heat that’s vented up smoke stacks and cooling towers. By contrast, combined heat and power (CHP) or co-generation, increases the system efficiency from 33% to 90% by using the “waste” heat used to heat buildings, homes or stored at high temperature underground. Denmark obtains 55% of its energy from cogeneration and waste heat recovery, the highest installation of CHP worldwide.
5. Going Green Great for the Bottom Line
GE launched its ecomagination initiative in 2005 and by 2011 had sold $70 billion of green products and services; $25 billion of that in 2010 alone. GE has committed to doubling its investment in its green offerings to $2 billion a year for the next five years.
Walmart is investing aggressively in energy and fuel efficiency. The $500 million it’s investing in sustainability projects have a payback of four years or less and has become an incredible profit engine for the corporation. Walmart embarked on this initiative in 2005 and is now saving more than $500 million a year – all of which is driven to the bottom line.
Walmart works on 3% net profits so to make another $500 million of profit the corporation would have to sell an additional $16.7 billion in goods! Even for the largest retailer in the world in the midst of a recession, this would be a challenge.
6. Turning PCs off at night saving Dell $1.8M/year
A staggering 50% of North America’s 108 million corporate PCs and monitors are left on overnight and on weekends wasting up to $4 billion of electricity a year. Many IT departments instruct users to leave PCs on 24 hours so that patches and upgrades can be pushed out overnight. But new power management software from companies like 1E, Verdiem and Faronics allows IT departments to put PCs to sleep at the end of the day or when they’re unused. IT professionals can easily wake up computers at 3 am to centrally push out patches, upgrades and new virus definitions, then put all computers back to sleep before waking them up again at 7 am before employees arrive. Dell Computers is now saving $1,8 million a year having implemented this for its’ 50,000 computers. This approach offers paybacks on average of six to 12 months.
Going Green is highly profitable
Going green is highly profitable for three reasons: it cuts costs, reduces risk against rising energy and electricity prices and can increase revenue because a large segment of consumers want to buy products and services from green companies.
Jim Harris is an internationally renowned business speaker and environmental speaker. He is the author of Blindsided, a #1 international bestseller published in 80 countries worldwide. He speaks at 40 conferences a year around the world. You can reach him through Linkedin.com or follow him on Twitter @jimharris