October 15, 2018

Making Toronto Cleaner, Greener and More Sustainable


TORONTO – October 15th, 2018: Today, Toronto mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat announced her Green City Plan to make Toronto more resilient to a changing climate.

“Toronto will suffer more and more from the kinds of intense storms and flooding climate change brings,” said Keesmaat. “We can’t control the weather, but we can make different decisions about how we build out our infrastructure to minimize flooding and create a healthier, more liveable city for everyone.”

Keesmaat’s Green City Plan includes:

  • Creating 100 km of green streets every year: “About 100km of roads need to be resurfaced every year. Instead of just laying down concrete, we will capitalize on this opportunity to build green streets. Trees, gardens, and other green design features will be used to make these streets beautiful while all sucking up greenhouse gases and helping to store stormwater,” said Keesmaat.
  • Making road safety measures green by design: “I’ve already announced my plan to make 100 of Toronto’s most dangerous intersections and all school zones safe by design. As we make these parts of our community safer, we can also make them greener by choosing design features that do both.”
  • Expand green infrastructure projects city-wide: “Pilot projects like the Queensway Sustainable Sidewalk Project and the Rain Garden Parkette at Fairford and Coxwell demonstrate that green infrastructure is smart infrastructure, helping to manage our storm water while creating beautiful green spaces everyone loves. We will start building these types of projects city-wide, starting in neighbourhoods that suffer the most from flooding.”
  • Implement a stormwater management charge: “We must have a dedicated revenue source in order to pay for these improvements, and it makes sense to charge those businesses and properties that most contribute to the problem. John Tory refuses to be a leader on this issue by shirking the tough decisions that will make our city a better place to live. I am prepared to make that decision.”

“Cities around the world are taking similar approaches with incredible success. But in Toronto, under John Tory, we haven’t made any significant progress beyond a handful of pilot projects,” Keesmaat noted. “We need real leadership on this issue, and John Tory has shown that he is simply not up to the task. Families across Toronto continue to experience severe basement flooding every time there is a big rain storm, and they’re stuck with clean-up bills that run them tens of thousands of dollars. They can’t wait any longer for us to begin taking this issue seriously.”