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September 25, 2007
Toronto takes top honours at 2007 Communities in Bloom
The City of Toronto took centre stage at the 13th Edition of Communities in Bloom this past weekend in Moncton, N.B., winning the prestigious national award in the large city category.

“I’m incredibly pleased and proud to be recognized by the Communities in Bloom judges for our efforts in creating a city that we can all be proud of,” said Mayor David Miller. “This award reminds us of the importance of building a clean and beautiful city together.”

The City’s submission to the Communities in Bloom competition highlighted a series of innovative programs and initiatives, including:

  • Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan: Toronto’s new action plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, clean the air and create a sustainable energy future
  • Solid waste initiatives and programs to achieve the goal of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2010
  • Increased presence of garbage and recycling bins and anti-litter programs across the city that create a sense of ownership and pride amongst communities
  • Eye-popping floral displays and beautifully-manicured landscapes that have significantly upgraded displays in parks and other public spaces, and have inspired corporate and commercial sites to reflect the same bold style.

Toronto also received special mention, recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship for its Ellis Avenue and Colborne Lodge Drive Storm Water Management Project. Started in 2006, the project is designed to remove nearly 90 per cent of the sediment load in storm water as it moves through the watershed. Now almost complete, these treatment facilities will significantly improve the quality of water flowing into Lake Ontario, near Sunnyside Beach.

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, the lead Division in the City’s submission, has made notable progress in the implementation of its 15-year strategic plan, adopted by Council in 2004. The plan, called Our Common Grounds, places renewed emphasis on the importance and value of City parks and open spaces.

“I am particularly proud of our parks staff whose talent and efforts have engaged residents, community groups and private sector organizations to contribute to the beautification of our city, which clearly impressed the Communities in Bloom judges,” said Brenda Librecz, General Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “The incredible work of our parks staff is admired throughout the city and has a positive impact on the quality of life for all Torontonians.”

Staff from Divisions across the City, including Solid Waste Management Services, Transportation Services, and Toronto Water made significant contributions to the City’s submission to the Communities in Bloom competition.

Communities in Bloom is a non-profit Canadian organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of friendly competition. The judges evaluate municipalities according to eight criteria: tidiness; environmental awareness; community involvement; natural and cultural heritage conservation; tree/urban forest management; landscaped areas; floral displays; and turf and ground covers.

In addition to being responsible for the stewardship of 7,390 hectares of green space and 1,473 named parks, City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation provides a wide range of programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. The Division strives to ensure all Torontonians enjoy active, healthy lifestyles and a high quality of life, supported by leisure and recreation programs, services and facilities, provided in partnership with the community.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline, 416-560-8726



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