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February 21, 2000
Toronto Wins Prestigious Environmental Management Award City awarded 'Green Oscar' in international competition
  
Toronto has placed first in the category of cities with populations over one
million in the 1999 Nations in Bloom competition held in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Nations in Bloom is the world's only international environmental management
competition.

Following a rigorous selection process that required an initial written
presentation, followed by the submission of a video, an oral presentation and a
defence of the submission in the final stage, Toronto was awarded the so-called
'Green Oscar' award for its outstanding efforts and success in "greening" the
city. Other final contenders along with Toronto were Qing Dao City, China and
Salvador, Brazil.

"The Green Oscar is a symbol of international recognition that we're succeeding
in our efforts to make Toronto green," commented Mayor Mel Lastman. "It's a
credit to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who participate in tree
plantings, wildflower plantings - the people who participate in recycling
programs, and all the efforts of the citizens of Toronto who work at making
Toronto green and restoring and maintaining our open spaces."

One hundred cities from 28 countries entered Nations in Bloom. Submissions were
judged against the following criteria - enhancement of the landscape; heritage
management; environmentally sensitive practices; community involvement; and
planning for the future.

The City of Toronto's invitation to participate in Nations in Bloom was
approved by the Economic Development and Parks Committee in 1999. This was
Toronto's first participation in the Nations in Bloom competition. The former
municipalities of Etobicoke, Scarborough and Toronto had previously
participated in Communities in Bloom, a Canadian national competition that
promotes municipal beautification and environmental awareness through community
involvement.


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