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September 26, 2003
City-sponsored project awarded funding to study "breathing wall" indoor biofiltration system
Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), with support from Works and Emergency
Services and Toronto Public Health, was recently awarded a $53,700 grant from
the Green Municipal Funds (GMF). TRCA will use the funds to install and test an
indoor air biofiltration system, also known as a breathing wall, at the TRCA
head office.

Toronto City Councillor and TRCA board member Suzan Hall, TRCA Chair Dick
O'Brien, Alan Tonks, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and
Member of Parliament for York South - Weston, and Mayor Yves Ducharme,
President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), announced the
funding today.

"The City of Toronto is pleased to have sponsored TRCA's application," said
City Councillor Suzan Hall. "This project will help achieve the City's goal of
a cleaner, greener, healthier and more environmentally sustainable Toronto by
improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality".

"We are very pleased to work in partnership with the City of Toronto, the
Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the private sector to test this
exciting new technology," said Dick O'Brien, TRCA Chair. "The Living City,
TRCA's vision, is about making the Greater Toronto Area one of the most
sustainable, livable regions in the world and this project is a step in that

"Indoor air quality is becoming a major health concern because most people in
North America spend over 90 per cent of their time indoors," said Mr. Tonks.
"By determining the feasibility of an indoor air biofiltration system that
passes air over a biological surface, such as green plants, to breakdown air
contaminants, TRCA is advancing knowledge of an innovative technology that may
be replicated and marketed to other workplaces to improve the quality of both
natural and human-made environments."

"The breathing wall is an innovative alternative to improve air quality with
the potential to reduce energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions -
important goals of the Green Municipal Funds," said Mayor Yves Ducharme,
President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. "We look forward to the
results of this project and its potential to promote cleaner air."

The Government of Canada has endowed $250 million to the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities to establish and manage the Green Municipal Funds. The Green
Municipal Funds support partnerships and leveraging of both public and private
sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality and
climate protection. To date, 250 GMF projects have been approved for funding of
$41 million, leveraging more than $148 million in total spending to act on
cleaner air, water, soil and climate change.

Updates on the breathing wall project will be posted on TRCA's Web site at For more information about the City of Toronto's environmental
initiatives, visit, or FCM's Knowledge Network at

Media contacts:

Lisa King, Sustainability Specialist, Toronto and Region Conservation,
416-661-6600, ext. 5386
Morton Fine, Corporate Management and Policy Consultant, City of Toronto,



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