Sustainability in Ontario

One of Ontario’s largest obstacles in the reduction of its footprint is the high temperatures it experiences every summer, requiring an excessive amount of air conditioning. They started small, with the Doors Closed campaign, which involved informing all businesses both large and small, that they need to keep their doors closed while using air conditioning. The awareness raised spurred the desire to stretch their minds further, and they installed a Deep Lake Water Cooling system into Toronto’s Metro Hall. Instead of using conventional air conditioning units, the building is now cooled using water from 83 metres below Lake Ontario.

They are also tackling their CO2 emissions by committing to the largest transit investment in Canadian history, with a 17.5 billion dollar plan called MoveOntario2020. It involves reducing bus engines in the Greater Toronto Area from eight to six cylinders, using biodiesel in all diesel vehicles, eventually running hybrid vehicles, and repairing or placing 902 kilometres of new or improved rapid transit lines.

The province has also passed the Greenbelt Act, which states that there will always be nature and open spaces in the most populated areas. The plan is to plant 50 million new trees in Southern Ontario by 2020. There is also the Community Go Green Fund (CGGF), which is a four year, 6.6 million dollar program providing funding for local projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ontario has big plans to reduce their emissions. They have set measureable goals, with the hope to have six percent fewer emissions than levels recorded in 1990, by the year 2014 (61 megatonnes), fifteen percent by 2020, and a whopping eighty percent by 2050.

Ecotourism by Province

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