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September 17, 2009
Residents urged to park in celebration of International Car Free Day
  
On Tuesday, September 22, Mayor Miller will officially proclaim Car Free Day in the City of Toronto. Residents are encouraged to leave their car at home, and find alternate means of transportation to recognize Toronto's involvement in this International event.

Car Free Day is celebrated by 100 million people on every continent and is supported by the Government of Canada and United Nations, as well as leaders of 1,500 cities around the world. Toronto was the first Canadian and North American city to officially host a Car Free Day in 2001. This year's event is co-presented with Sierra Club Ontario, a volunteer group committed to environmental advocacy and public education.

"I'm proud of the commitment we as Torontonians have to the environment," says Toronto Mayor David Miller. "Given that the average car emits approximately five tonnes of air pollutants and greenhouse gases annually, leaving the car at home even for one day will make a real difference in the fight against climate change. Perhaps it will inspire people to make every day car-free."

In addition to negatively impacting the environment, vehicle-caused pollution is linked to a host of health-related issues. According to a 2007 study released by Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, vehicle-borne pollution contributes to an estimated 440 premature deaths in Toronto, and costs the city's economy $2.2 billion every year.

"Recently there has been extensive media coverage and public debate about how we share our streets and get around Toronto," says Sierra Club Ontario Chapter Director Dan McDermott. "Car Free Day is a showcase for alternatives to using cars, and the healthier lifestyle that results from biking, walking, and using public transportation."

To recognize Car Free Day, the City of Toronto and Sierra Club Ontario will be hosting a celebration in Yonge Dundas Square between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The event will be hosted by Candice Batista, star of A Greener Toronto, and will feature a range of musical guests, as well as exhibits and attractions focusing on car-free transportation.

Toronto Mayor David Miller will proclaim Car Free Day, and update residents on the city's achievements in sustainable transportation in a speech at 1 p.m.

Sierra Club Ontario is a grass-roots chapter of Sierra Club Canada, a volunteer-driven group committed to advancing the preservation and protection of the natural environment by empowering its members and citizens through education, action and outdoor adventures.

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 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.


Media contact:
City of Toronto: Kristina Hausmanis, Senior Environmental Planner, Toronto Environment Office, (416) 397-0311, khausma@toronto.ca
Sierra Club Ontario Chapter: Emma Cane, Coordinator, 416-960-9606, emmac@sierraclub.ca
Dan McDermott, Chapter Director, 416-960-6075, dmcd@sierraclub.ca


 

 

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