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April 15, 2010
Ten finalists vie for $50,000 in Green Innovation Awards competition
Ten finalists have been selected to compete for $50,000 in seed money available through Toronto’s newest environmental grant program - the Green Innovation Awards. The program, a partnership between Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto, is designed to help aspiring, Toronto-based entrepreneurs bring new and innovative green products and/or services to the Toronto marketplace. The seed money is provided by Toronto Community Foundation fundholders.

The finalists, who were selected from 127 nominations, faced the judges on April 13 in a format similar to the Dragon’s Den, minus the television cameras. The judges, all Toronto Community Foundation fundholders, interviewed the finalists to determine the winners and funding amounts.

Green Innovation Award winners will be announced at the Green Toronto Awards ceremony on April 23 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony, which begins at 7 p.m.

"We are delighted to partner with Toronto Community Foundation on this innovative program which gives Toronto-based entrepreneurs the boost they need to help make Toronto an even greener city," said Mayor David Miller. "We know that Torontonians are environmentalists and this program gives even more people an opportunity to demonstrate that."

“Toronto is at a pivotal point when the time for greater investment in green technologies, products and services is needed,” said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation. “At the Community Foundation, we are energized by the green success stories in action across the city highlighted in our Toronto’s Vital Signs® report and will continue working with our partners and fundholders to achieve greater impact. Collaborating for the Green Innovation Awards is a big step in the right direction.”

2010 Green Innovation Award finalists:

Submitted by Justin Nadeau
A mobile, off-the-grid greenhouse that combines alternative growing, energy and design to provide ideal conditions for year-round food production. Food will be grown using aquaponics, a closed-loop system where fish and plants are grown symbiotically. The Aquapod will act as a learning hub to engage residents and promote environmental change.

CISTA: Rain water harvesting system
Submitted by Carolyn Moss with Simona Sund, Lee Fletcher and Terence Woodside
CISTA is a vegetated rainwater harvesting system designed for urban environments. The system consists of a frame, tank, cover and vegetation. The frame is attached vertically to the side of a building. CISTA is the only system to combine, and improve on, the rain barrel/cistern and living 'green' wall concepts.

Submitted by Marvin Midwicki
CycleMiles is a unique rewards program that brings together cyclists and socially responsible companies to reduce CO2 emissions. The CycleMiles Pod is specifically designed to monitor and record bicycle usage, allowing the information to be uploaded to a host mobile device or personal computer. After logging on to, members will be able to view points earned and redeem merchandise at participating sponsors/partners.

Green Gym: Harvesting Energy from Exercise Equipment
Submitted by Olivier Trescases, Ph.D.
Standard exercise equipment will be modified using sophisticated electrical engineering techniques to harness the energy generated during workouts. Each machine will plug directly into an outlet and generate green energy for the grid. An interactive online interface will allow for outreach and education with gym users around energy conservation.

Environmental Impact Calculator
Submitted by Candida Paltiel
Green Screen Toronto Initiative and Planet in Focus: An original and user-friendly tool developed for the Green Screen Toronto Initiative by consultants Melissa Felder and Carla Weinberg together with those working in the film and television industry. The EIC is designed to directly measure and enhance the capacity of individuals working in the screen-based industry to engage in reducing overall waste as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Submitted by Sarah Lazarovic
GreenHouseTO is a highly searchable, multi-purpose web and mobile renovation application for homeowners, builders, contractors, researchers, architects and everyday Torontonians interested in collectively improving the sustainability of Toronto's built form.

Grow Tube Systems
Submitted by Sunny Lam
Grow tube systems offer an easy way for people to grow healthy fresh-cut salad greens using an innovative space-saving pulley system design. For people with mobility limitations, the system is a chance to grow their own food with ease. It is also a way to turn walls into cool, edible hanging gardens, outdoors or indoors.

Submitted by Joshua Sin
Morph is a wall treatment system improving insulation in homes. It is a smart surface that self-regulates thermal temperature, giving homeowners an ease of comfort, while saving heat. Acting as a second skin, Morph is placed along the walls where heat is lost -- mainly windows and ceilings.

My Green City
Submitted by Robert Kori Golding
A cross-platform game/application for the iPhone and Facebook that encourages Torontonians to engage in pro-environmental behaviour through a green rewards system. By completing simple real-world missions, such as attending green events, reducing waste, cycling to work, planting trees, changing light bulbs, installing water-efficient toilets, and so on, players will earn carbon credits they can use in the Facebook game to build their own Green Cities.

Soil Builder
Submitted by Glenn Munroe
This inexpensive solution is ideal for small-quantity generators of organic wastes, such as office lunchrooms and schools. Each climate-controlled, enclosed-ecosystem unit converts one to two kilograms a day (365 to 730 kg/year) of organic "wastes" on site into high-quality compost.

More information about the Green Innovation Awards is available at

More information about the Green Toronto Awards, the City of Toronto’s environmental awards of excellence, is available at

Toronto Community Foundation is one of Canada's largest charitable foundations. Community vitality has been our purpose, promise, and passion since 1981, when we started connecting donors to community needs and opportunities. Home to more than 300 funds, we help people invest in Toronto, making it the best place to live, work, learn and grow. We monitor the quality of life in our city through our Toronto's Vital Signs Report. We provide the leadership and guidance to bring people together from all parts of our community. We exist for Toronto - for now and for always.

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. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Valerie Cassells, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-8306,
Simone Dalton, Media Relations & Communications Officer, Toronto Community Foundation, 416-921-2035 ext. 218,



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