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May 3, 2006
Groundbreaking celebration takes place for Humber Arboretum’s Centre for Urban Ecology
Mayor David Miller took part in the groundbreaking celebration for the Humber Arboretum’s Centre for Urban Ecology today, a joint venture between Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation, and Toronto and Region Conservation.

Replacing the existing Nature Centre, the new facility will provide a first-rate venue for education and research on urban ecology and an up-to-date example of environmental sustainability. The centre will demonstrate energy efficiency, environmentally-friendly building materials, solar power, wind power, onsite waste management, a living roof and many other green building techniques.

“The Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology demonstrates the kind of environmental leadership that Toronto needs to ensure a green and healthy environment for today’s youth and for future generations of Torontonians,” said Mayor David Miller. “The centre is a leading example of how we can bring partners together in innovative and dynamic ways to create a cleaner and more beautiful Toronto.”

In keeping with the sustainability focus of the project, the original facility was taken apart systematically so that most of the materials could be reused or recycled. “Humber’s Centre for Urban Ecology will leave virtually no environmental impact from the point of view of energy use and waste and will teach by example how we can all help reduce green house gas emissions, clean up our rivers, and work towards a healthy sustainable environment in our own urban spaces,” said John A. Macintyre, chair, Humber Arboretum Management Committee. “It will be a tangible and enjoyable way for people to get engaged in improving their environment and their own health.”

The centre was made possible with generous gifts from various partners and supporters. “To date we have raised over $3.6 million toward our target of $4 million. We have also aligned ourselves with public and private partners to obtain funding from the Ontario Innovation Trust to build the centre as research infrastructure to evaluate the performance of the green technologies in urban settings,” said Dr. Robert A Gordon, president of Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning.

“The Humber Arboretum Centre for Urban Ecology will be an important educational tool to further the goals of Toronto and Region Conservation’s mandate in environmental education, and will support our vision for The Living City,” said Dick O'Brien, chair, Toronto and Region Conservation.

The design of the centre is a joint venture between Taylor/Hazell Architects and architectsAlliance. The projected date of completion is November 2006.

The Humber Arboretum, located on the West Humber River at Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning’s North Campus, encompasses 100 hectares of gardens and natural areas. A leader in environmental education, the Arboretum provides thousands of youth with the opportunity to experience nature in the city. It is also a learning ground for Humber students in programs including Horticulture and Environmental Technologies.

Media contacts:

Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Media Hotline

Ilena Aldini-Messina
Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
416-675-6622 ext. 5479



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