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April 16, 2009
Community Animators provide hands-on support to ‘green’ our neighbourhoods
The greening of Toronto’s neighbourhoods is set to take a leap forward with the launch today of the City’s new Community Animator program. Community animators are the latest addition to the City’s Live Green Toronto program, which was launched in 2008 to help residents take action on climate change.

Starting today, community animators - people who have the expertise, knowledge and capacity in community animation to kick-start grassroots action - are available to help Toronto residents get organized and implement projects to green their neighbourhoods. Animators will help neighbourhood and community groups identify potential initiatives, organize their communities, identify potential funding sources, access expertise and partners, build capacity for future endeavours, and much more.

Two local community organizations will provide animation services under contract with the City:

• Citizen’s Environment Watch, in partnership with the Conservation Council of Ontario and the Centre for Social Innovation and;
• Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), in partnership with the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Animators will be available in each of the four community council districts of the City (north, south, east and west). ACORN’s animators will work exclusively in high-rise residential neighbourhoods.

“More than 25 per cent of the City's greenhouse gas emissions come from the residential sector, so it's important for residents and communities to take action,” said Mayor David Miller. “It's exciting to see the energy and enthusiasm residents are already showing in greening their lives. The community animators - people who will help residents turn their green ideas into action - will further drive that energy and help the City meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

The Community Animator program is the third major element of the City’s Live Green Toronto program to be launched. In addition to hands-on support from animators, Live Green Toronto offers residents a one-stop website ( with rebates, tools and resources to help them live green, and grants to help fund community-based projects. The grant program, which began in 2008, will be available through 2012 to help fund projects that reduce emissions such as green roofs, community gardens and renewable energy initiatives.

Today’s launch event took place on the green roof at the Hugh Garner Co-operative on Ontario Street. The green roof, a community-based initiative, is funded in part through the Live Green Toronto grants program.

Live Green Toronto provides resources, tools and grants to help residents implement and sustain climate change and clean air initiatives in their communities. Live Green Toronto is a component of the City’s Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan, which targets an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (based on 1990 levels). The plan was unanimously endorsed by City Council in July 2007.

For more information about Live Green Toronto and the Community Animator program, including their events and projects across the City, visit:

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. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Lawson Oates, Director, Toronto Environment Office, 416-392-9744,



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