Ontario Chapter

Claremont residents on two sides of possible development

Kristen Calis
Pickering News Advertiser
Date published: 
Wed, 06/03/2015

DURHAM -- More than 200 residents in Claremont want to see a piece of the Oak Ridges Moraine remain protected in the hamlet.

The Claremont Conservation Group is not pleased with the City’s recommendation that the Province allow opportunities for minor expansions of hamlets into the Greenbelt or the Oak Ridges Moraine. They believe this change could pave the way for a development on the northeast quadrant of Claremont that’s been discussed for decades, but hasn’t budged due to provincial land use restrictions......

Peter Rodrigues, a Whitevale resident and former councillor, felt recommendations by Ajax, which is also providing comment for the review, were in line with his thoughts.

“I’m mostly concerned with including more land into the Greenbelt, particularly the headwaters of the Carruthers Creek,” said Mr. Rodrigues.

Pollinator Progress at Heart Lake Conservation Area

Earlier this June we partnered with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to host a Pollinator Party at Heart Lake Conservation Area. The weather was great and we were thankful to have the 19 volunteers from Peel region who helped with light gardening and maintenance at the Medicine Wheel Garden and meadow plots.

Before we began work on the gardens the Four Colors Drumming Circle hosted an Aboriginal Drumming Ceremony and storytelling session to welcome spring and educate people on the features of the Medicine Wheel Garden (Gitigaan Mashkiki). It was a really neat experience which engaged everyone and connected us to the work we were about to do.

Our Natural Capital Program has a NEW Promo Video!

Check out our cool new promo video on our YouTube Chanel!!

For more information on our Natural Capital Program click here.

Thank you to Community Foundation Mississauga for funding video production.


Grow the Greenbelt - We've Submitted Comments on the 2015 Coordinated Review!

The commenting period for the 2015 Coordinated Review is now closed but Sierra Club of Canada Foundation has made a submission in support of Greenbelt growth and expansion.  Below is a summary of the submission.  

Moratorium on Expansion of Urban Development

At this opportunity to review the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Sierra Club asks the Province to consider a 10-year moratorium on expansion of urban development boundaries, in order to direct growth into increased density and cease the paving over of our fertile agriculture lands and treasured natural areas.


Urban River Valley Designation

Grow the Greenbelt: Add Carruthers Headwaters Protection


Sierra Club of Canada Foundation is working with Peter Rodrigues (former Pickering Regional Councillor, Ward 3) to protect the Carruthers Creek Headwaters which run through Pickering. The letter below was submitted to Richard Stromberg from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and reflects the work being done to rally support for the protection of the Carruthers Creek Headwaters.

GROW THE GREENBELT IN DURHAM -- Protect Carruthers Creek Headwaters

Heartlake Pollinator Party - June 6, 2015!

Come join us at Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton on Saturday, June 6th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m!

Learn about the Conservation Area, pollinator plants, and the Gitigaan Mashkiki Medicine Wheel Garden!

Help remove invasive plant species and plant native wildflowers.  Activities also include a guided nature walk and Aboriginal teachings.


For more information or to RSVP please contact our staff at ontariochapter@sierraclub.ca

Digging Into Spring!

This past weekend we had a great time planting trees and shrubs in an area of Erindale Park in Mississauga as a part of our Natural Capital Program. Following a quick planting demonstration by Credit Valley Conservation, around 50 enthusiastic participants worked for over three hours (in glorious sunny weather) to get 250 plants in the ground.

Calling all Waterfront Lovers

Since its creation in 1992 the Waterfront Trail strives to connect urban and rural areas, and reconnect people to their communities and Great Lakes Waterfront. The Waterfront Trail serves as the linkage between over 405 parks and natural areas including wetlands, forests and beaches and stretches across 1400 km of shoreline from the eastern border of Ontario to the northwest (2). Over the years the trail has become a local favorite for leisure and recreation and is a place where people can go to reconnect with nature.

Locally, Toronto and Durham Region have made (and continue to make) a number of improvements for enhanced accessibility along their portions of the Waterfront Trail. A lot of work has gone into creating and enhancing trail segments, and now many neighboring communities are working collaboratively to link their sections for increased functionality.

Mississauga Urban Greenbelt Open House

On Wednesday, May 27th the City of Mississauga will be hosting an Open House in the Living Arts Centre. The night will showcase what Mississauga has planned to expand the Urban Greenbelt down the Credit River to the lake. Sierra Club has been following this project closely for many months and encourages its promotion.


- Hope to see you there!

Natural Capital Project Update: Planting in Paradise

Our bioswale project was created in response to water quality issues affecting residents and visitors to the Ajax waterfront.  In recent years, as a result of contaminated run-off, the Town of Ajax and its residents have had limited access to swimmable water and beaches and the bioswales are a perfect solution!

The structure of these bioswales resembles a rain garden and is designed to control storm water, reducing the amount overflowing onto the beaches. The bioswale mimics wetland processes by providing a planted area of trees and shrubs which will absorb and filter storm water as it is slowed by the soil and root systems of the plants—for free! This is a great way to enhance the waterfront and naturally filter contaminants like automotive run-off and road salts, while restoring the environment.

Protecting Niagara’s Waters By Expanding Ontario’s Greenbelt Protection Area

This article posted in Niagara At Large was written by John Bacher, who works with Greenbelt Program team at Sierra Club of Canada Foundation. The article depicts the darker side of urban sprawl and pollution on watershed quality, and how stopping urban sprawl is an imperative step in protecting our waters. Read the article here.


The provincial government is hosting a series of public consultations for the review of the province’s land use plans.  So if you love the Greenbelt and want to protect our waters, now is the time to attend a Town Hall near your to voice your opinions.

For more information on the review process please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

Join us for a spring garbage cleanup!

Join us at Paradise Park in Ajax on May 2nd for a spring garbage clean-up (See map for details)! This is a great opportunity to enhance your community and waterways, care for the environment and see some of the great restoration work being done at Paradise Beach.

High-school students earn volunteer hours- must bring your own form!!


***To participate, please register here***


Positive Caledon Review Follow-up


Below is a cheery update following the Caledon Review meeting last Thursday night on March 26th. 


"Hello Sierra friends and supporters,

The Greenbelt Review event on Thursday night, March 26th, in Caledon was crowded, maybe 300 there, with many provincial representatives, councillors, and also members of the Advisory Panel that will process the information from all 16 town Halls across the Golden Horseshoe. 

We sat at tables of 10, debating 6 topics - protecting land - creating jobs - liveable communities - climate change - moving people - and realigning the plans. Debates were lively and interesting, and support for strengthening and realigning Greenbelt legislation was overwhelming.

Biodiversity Benefits Human Health

With the link between biodiversity and human health strongly documented it is welcomed that an extensive and complex report, prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is highlighting the need for sustainable development policy to reflect this relationship.

The full report can be found here: http://www.cbd.int/en/health/stateofknowledge

Biodiversity Benefits Human Health

With the link between biodiversity and human health strongly documented it is welcomed that an extensive and complex report, prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is highlighting the need for sustainable development policy to reflect this relationship.

The full report can be found here: http://www.cbd.int/en/health/stateofknowledge

Natural Capital Events in Peel

As a part of our Natural Capital Campaign, Sierra Club has also been active in Peel Region!  There will be a couple of events offered in Peel, after receiving funding from TD- Friends of the Environment  and Community Foundation Mississauga Grants.

April 25th – One Million Trees Celebration and Earth Market

Hosted by the City of Mississauga, we will have volunteers at the morning tree planting and a table at the Earth Market. Come out and visit us to say Hi! There will be information booths, vendors, live music, prizes, a food truck, kids’ activities and workshops.

Spring Activities in Ajax

Last year with funding from RBC's Blue Water Grants, Sierra Club Ontario joined Town of Ajax, and Toronto Regional Conservation Authority to remove stormwater outflow pipes along Ajax’s beaches and replace them with bioswales to help improve water quality. Bioswales are human-created wetland features which slow the flow of stormwater, allowing nutrients and contaminants to be absorbed and filtered by the plants and soil, before the water reaches the beaches.

Last spring we had a successful tree planting at the Paradise Beach bioswale, and will be hosting another Tree planting and additional workshops and events this spring. List of events and volunteer opportunities below:

March 4th – Annual Waterfront Open House

We've Commented on Bill 66- The Proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015

The commenting period for the Proposed Great Lakes Protection Act (GLPA) is now closed but Sierra Club of Canada Foundation made a submission last week during the public hearings before the Standing Committee on General Government. Submission below:


Bill 66 (proposed Great Lakes Protection Act)

Submission to the Standing Committee on General Government

23 September 2015


Grant Crack, Chair

Standing Committee on General Government

99 Wellesley Street West, Room 1405

Whitney Block, Queen's Park

Toronto, ON

M7A 1A2


Sylwia Przezdziecki, Clerk

Tel: 416-325-3515

Fax: 416-325-3505



Living on tree-lined streets has health benefits, study finds

Geoffrey Vendeville Staff Reporter, Pub
The Toronto Star
Date published: 
Mon, 07/13/2015
By comparing satellite imagery of Toronto, an inventory of trees on public land and general health surveys, the team, led by University of Chicago psychologist Marc Berman, found that people who live on a tree-lined block are less likely to report conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease or diabetes.

Harper Goes Far Too Slow – Says All But ‘No’ – To Sound Plan For Canada’s Energy Future

John Bacher
Niagara At Large
Date published: 
Mon, 07/06/2015

An obscure regulation will come into effect this July as a result of an initiative of the Conservative government of Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper. It prohibits the construction of any new coal burning electrical plant in Canada and will phase out those currently operating by the year 2061.....

......While provinces have the power to follow Ontario’s lead and shut down coal burning plants, the federal government has the opportunity to offer incentives to do so.


To read the entire article click here.