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May 3, 2007
Toronto launches Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines
Toronto now has a two-winged approach to help save the lives of birds.

The Lights Out Toronto campaign, launched last year, calls on Torontonians to turn out unnecessary lighting at night so that birds that become disoriented by city lights will be less likely to collide with buildings.

Today, the City of Toronto officially launched the publication of its new Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines. As well as ways to reduce light pollution, the new guidelines recommend design-based development strategies, such as using non-reflective glass, incorporating visual markers, muting reflections, redesigning ventilation grates and placing internal greenery away from windows.

Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina) thanked the many participants who helped write the guidelines. These included architects, development corporations, property management corporations, bird advocacy groups and City staff, in addition to the Canadian Wildlife Service, which provided scientific, logistical and financial support for the Lights Out Toronto campaign and the Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines. The Deputy Mayor also said; “The final product is a very attractive and informative document that will greatly assist in mitigating the dangers the urban environment poses to migrating birds.”

Toronto Hydro Corporation is a strong supporter of the City’s efforts to protect birds, particularly during migration season, and reduce light pollution. “There are multiple winners when you turn off unnecessary lights - your wallet, the Toronto Hydro electricity system and our fine feathered friends,” said Joyce McLean, Director of Strategic Issues, Toronto Hydro Corporation.

Architect John Robert Carley, one of the participants, believes; “Our cities are massive obstacles to migrating birds. The implementation of the Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines starts a process to make that migration journey less perilous. Toronto leads the way, and sets a strong precedent for other North American cities to follow.”

The guidelines are available online at

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 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Kelly Snow, Environmental Policy Planner, City Planning, 416- 392-4787



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