Ontario Chapter

At Sierra Club Ontario, our work mainly focuses on protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, growing and protecting the Greenbelt, and promoting Green Energy adoption in Ontario. Sierra Club Ontario also works on very local issues, in coordination with smaller communities in Ontario.

Urban Sustainability Blog #4: Minimizing Waste In and Out of the Home

Our last post in the urban sustainability series saw us giving advice on how to take advantage of alternative modes of transport to help reduce single-occupancy vehicle commutes in Ontario. Now, we are switching gears to focus on another growing problem in societies of all shapes and sizes: waste. Waste accumulation is leading to pollution on a massive scale, leading to severe consequences for wildlife and humans alike.

Greenbelt: The LPAT Appeal To Rescue Thundering Waters Forest

At 9:46 AM, August 13, 2018, in the Niagara Falls Clerk’s Department, Dr. John Bacher filed a letter of appeal against Amendment 128 to the Niagara Falls Official Plan. The amendment aims to pave over 120 of the 500 acre Thundering Waters Forest. Most of the forest is considered provincially protected wetland barred from development. At the same time, much of the amended lands is known as the Riverfront Community consisting of an unusual savanna complex dominated by a native shrub species, the Dotted Hawthorn. (Photo: Martin Munoz)

Green Energy: A Letter to Ontario's New Premier Doug Ford

Ontarians across the province are experiencing a summer of record-breaking heat waves, floods, forest fires and heat-related human health crises. Most recently, Toronto experienced a torrential downpour event with over 100 millimeters of rain falling in just two hours, overwhelming the City’s green space and infrastructure. Like other countries and states around the world, Ontario is experiencing first-hand the uncertainty, expense and loss that result from a changing climate. 

Urban Sustainability Blog #3: How to Reduce City Carbon Footprint

As we have discussed so far, human beings have a profound impact on the environment. Throughout history, in different capacities, we have affected our natural surroundings in changing ways as technology evolved. As the world continues to become more urbanized, city-specific issues are some of the hot-button topics of the moment. (Photo: Ryan Searle)

Urban Sustainability Blog #2: Human-Environment Interaction in Ontario

Human activities have a profound effect on the environment. It is no secret that climate change, airborne pollution, the melting of the ice caps, plastic waste in the oceans, and various other disasters are advancing at alarming rates due to human operations in natural environments. With that said, plenty is being done to mitigate and reverse this damage; people are finding ways to embrace renewable energy, employ a circular economy model to reduce waste, and preserve wildlife all over the world, to name a few.  (Photo: Berkay Gumustekin)

Urban Sustainability Blog #1: Introduction and History of Urbanization in Ontario

The words “city life” tend to paint a certain picture in people’s minds. We think of public transportation, crowded streets, touristy places, and overall concrete jungles. There’s an exciting way of life that comes with living in cities, but this excitement could come at a cost by taking a bigger toll on the environment than one would imagine. Today, approximately 80% of Canada’s population (approximately 29 million people) lives in urban areas. Some 10 million of these people live here in Ontario, and about 6.9 million live in the Greater Toronto Area alone.

Greenbelt: Niagara Regional Official Plan Threatened by Skewed Science

(Niagara’s official plan policy consultant, David Heyworth. Photo: The St. Catharines Standard)

The Niagara Region has embarked on a new three-year process to develop a new Official Plan. What hinders this path, possibly to ruin, is that it is heavily influenced by a peculiar type of environmental stakeholder: consultants in the pay of developers.

Greenbelt: Reports Suppressed To Support Destruction of Thundering Waters Forest

(Acadian Flycatcher. Photo: Edward Plumer)

On May 8, 2018, the Niagara Falls City Council voted to approve what is now termed the Riverfront development. This would, if approved by the Ontario Land Use Planning Tribunal (LPAT), call for the destruction of 120 acres of diverse natural habitat, some of which is now protected wetlands.

Plastics: Shallow Politics. Deep Concerns.

Shallow Politics. Deep Concerns.

by Becky Bassick & Lino Grima

Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Ontario Chapter

Ontario's 42nd general election is scheduled for June of this year. Sierra Club Ontario (SCO) is working hard with a coalition of other environmental nonprofits to ensure that water is part of the political conversation. In addition, SCO is taking this opportunity to discuss fundamental questions regarding our election process.

Greenbelt: Celebrating Greenbelt Expansion in the Niagara Region

Despite enormous pressures from developers and municipalities in the Niagara Region, the provincial government denied all requests to shrink and dilute the Greenbelt. This was done in two locations. One was in Grimsby south of the Niagara Escarpment, in an area that is increasingly being used for tree fruit and grape crops. Another is in a corridor from Lake Ontario to Lake Gibson, along the Twelve Mile Creek. 

Province Proposes to Rescue Huronia Through Greenbelt Expansion

"Protecting Water for Future Generations" warns that increased storm water discharges created by urbanization "adds sediment to streams that can negatively impact fish and other aquatic species" and also "increase water temperature, affecting the survival of fish species such as brook trout that need cold water". It stresses that Brook Trout will not survive in warmer water created through the ecological degradation associated with urbanization.