Ontario Chapter

The Sierra Club is a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization, with most of our key work accomplished by member-volunteers. Sierra Club Canada has active chapters in every region of Canada, with offices in Ottawa, Victoria, Sydney, Corner Brook, Halifax, Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.

Our Mission is to protect and restore the health of the natural environment, including human communities by empowering Sierra Club members and the citizenry through education, advocacy, action and outdoor adventures.

Rouge Park deserves better protection

Rouge Park has been getting a lot of press coverage recently. The proposed federal legislation for Rouge Park is not good enough, and the remarkable ecological values of the park deserve more protection.  A letter signed by 7 environmental groups outlining the objections to the legislation for establishing the future urban park can be found here
 

Read more:

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/4820598-ontario-set-to-deny-transfer-of-land-to-rouge-national-urban-park/ - (EDC) Ontario set to deny transfer of land to Rouge National Urban Park
 

Ajax Paradise Beach Bioswale Tree Planting

Come plant with Sierra Club in Ajax to help improve the air and water quality in the community!  

When:  Saturday, September 20th 

Time:  1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Where:  2973 Lakeview Blvd.  (Between Pickering Beach Road S. and Shoal Point Road S.) 
Meet at "Paradise Beach" sign across from Paradise Park 

To participate, please register here.  

For more information, please contact Alyssa at paradise.beach@sierraclub.ca, or Kristina at 647-346-8744.    

Norval Quarry Decision Time; Natural Heritage Policy Applied with Unprecedented Rigour

By Janet Kuzniar

The City of Brampton Council will be presented a Recommendation Report by their Planning staff on Monday September 8, 7:00 pm, Brampton Council Chambers, Brampton City Hall.

The Report, based on peer reviews, recommends NOT supporting the Norval Quarry rezoning from agricultural to industrial extractive. There is a strong ecological component to this report, as the subject lands are dominated by key ecological features such as mature woodlands, watercourses, and provincially protected wetlands. This is the first time that the recently mapped  Natural Heritage System in Peel has had a quarry application, and a rigorous analysis by the City of Brampton has shown that the Norval Quarry fails the policy test. 

Brampton Tree Planting - September 6, 2014

Trees improve air and water quality, and mitigate climate change.  Help green our communities!  No experience necessary, there will be demonstrations on site.  Gloves, shovels, and light refreshments will be provided.  Students are eligible for volunteer hours. 

Where:  McLaughlin Valley (see map on flyer).  Major intersection is McLaughlin Road N. and Williams Parkway. 

When:  Saturday, September 6, 2014

Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Who:  Everyone is welcome!  Bring your friends and family! 

Toledo's toxic faucets

By Shaima Al-Khalili

It finally happened…what scientists and enviros have been trying to get citizens and governments to see finally became undeniable.  Twenty days ago today, eutrophication in Lake Erie finally entered the consciousness of the everyday citizen…through their drinking water.

Citizens of Toledo, Ohio and surrounding areas were feeling the wrath of Erie first hand. Approximately 400,000 people rushed to stock up on their water supply in supermarkets, corner stores and anywhere else they could get their hands on that liquid gold…including neighbouring states! Why not just boil it? Why the drama? Well…you CANNOT boil the toxins out of the water. So drink at your own risk, you know, if you have a thing for diarrhea, nausea and a whole other array of ailments.

Save David Dunlap Forest

Walk  To Save Southern Ontario’s Vanishing Forests.

By John Bacher

Today we have a bizarre situation where hard wrested environmental progress is being turned back. This is the shrinking of Southern Ontario’s forests, in the fertile agricultural area south of  the Canadian Shield.

Following the invasion of what was called Upper Canada there was a rampant destruction through burning of the forests of the land which, after Confederation, became called Ontario. Most of these forests were used to produce ashes, to manufacture soap and other products manufactured in Europe. It took sixty large maple trees to produce a single barrel of potash to be shipped across the sea.

Guided Bird Nature Walk July 26 - Heart Lake Conservation Area

Ever wonder who is tweeting at you?  (No not on twitter)  Come find out with us on Saturday, July 26! 

Discover the trails at Heart Lake Conservation Area, and learn about birds and other features in the area with avid naturalist and birder, Bob Noble.   

Date:  Saturday July 26, 2014

Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Location:  Heart Lake Conservation Area
10818 Heart Lake Road, Brampton

Event is free, however, we ask that you RSVP so we can notify park staff and prepare for the event. 

For more information and to RSVP, visit the event page:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/guided-bird-nature-walk-heart-lake-conservation-area-tickets-12194579315

Visit TRCA website for applicable park fees:

Green Bins Critical to Mitigating Climate Change (Video)

Sierra Club's Waste Diversion Expert, Rob Muir, continues to emphasize the necessity of waste diversion to combat climate change.  Local government has an important role in making it happen, however, the key is developing sustainable consumer behaviour.  We need to be more conscious of how resources are used, the products we consume, and how we deal with our waste. 

Watch Rob's video on Ottawa's Green Bin Program here

Visit Sierra Club Ontario Waste Diversion to learn about this critical step towards creating a sustainable future, and mitigating climate change. 

Rob Muir's Profile.

Recap of Our Natural Capital Volunteer Workshop in Brampton!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Natural Capital Volunteer Training Workshop on June 25th, 2014!  We were lucky  the looming storm clouds cleared just in time for the evening.  

Most of our important work are accomplished with help of volunteers, and we were happy to see some new faces join us.    
Volunteers were given a presentation on the Natural Capital concept, introduction to Sierra Club's outing style and things to be aware of when guiding a nature walk.  Then we went for a stroll along Etobicoke Creek Trail behind the Brampton Four Corners Library to highlight how to run an outing.

One of our main goals for this workshop was to discuss ideas about potential outreach activities to expand the Natural Capital project.  We came up with some great ideas and are looking forward to planning and new collaborations to bring an event-filled summer in the Peel Region!  

Brampton's Natural Capital

Natural Capital refers to the stock of natural resources and environmental assets, and how they contribute to building healthy communities. The Natural Capital perspective is a way of placing a monetary value on the ecological goods and services to quantify these benefits.  

Brampton's ecosystems contain many natural areas and urban green spaces that provide the city with ecological goods and services, which translates to valuable Natural Capital.  

Thanks to support from Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Mississauga Community Fund, we are expanding the project by doing walkshops and natural area restoration work throughout Brampton and Mississauga in summer of 2014.  Our goal is to educate and engage the community to raise awareness and appreciation for these natural areas.  

Fixed utility rates will provide no incentive for conserving energy consumption

The Star published an article Energy board proposal for fixed hydro rates called “Robin Hood in Reverse” in the Business section on Tuesday. In a recent draft report, the Ontario Energy Board proposes a fixed monthly rate for utilities rather than charging households by how much power is consumed. Sierra Club Canada is a founding member of the Green Energy Coalition (GEC). “It is Robin Hood in reverse,” argues a letter from the GEC.

Ajax beach will be swale once culverts removed

Author: 
Keith Gilligan
Source: 
Metroland Media
Date published: 
Thu, 06/12/2014

On June 6th, 2014, Sierra Club Canada Foundation was presented with a $60,000 grant from the RBC Royal Bank Blue Water Leadership Grant.  SCCF is proud to partner with the Town of Ajax and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in a project to construct bioswales along the Ajax waterfront.  The native wetland plants of these bioswales will capture and filter the untreated stormwater before discharging into Lake Ontario.  This grant will also contribute towards a community awareness program. 

Veteran Sierra Club Ontario Volunteer Larry Allan Caldwell Dies at 45

The recent passing of Sierra Club Ontario, Niagara Region Group Chair Larry Caldwell was sudden and unexpected. Larry was just 45. He had lived with diabetes for many years, but the disease did little to limit Larry’s work on behalf of Mother Earth and his enthusiastic long term commitment to Sierra Club’s environmental mission. When I became SCO Chapter Director in 2000, Larry was already an active Club volunteer in the Niagara Region.

Heart Lake Pollinator Party in Brampton on June 7th

Come join us at Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton on Saturday, June 7th 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, contact Kristina Jackson at ontariochapter@sierraclub.ca, or at 647-346-8744. 

Save Niagara’s Green Lifeline

By John Bacher

From the raging torrents of the Niagara River to the placid Welland Canal one can walk for ten miles through the wooded forest gardens of the Niagara Escarpment. Here in some patches, old growth giant oaks and maples soar above wild ginger and may apple. This shady glen has spectacular lookouts over the Niagara Fruit Belt to Lake Ontario, such as Queenston Heights and the Woodend Conservation area. These wilds overwhelm relics of 19th century assaults on nature, such as lime kilns, a “haunted” “ghost” tunnel under which the Bruce Trail travel and the stone ruins of the abandoned Third Welland Canal.