The City of Toronto is the most sustainable large city in Canada, according to Corporate Knights Magazine, which released its 2011 Most Sustainable Cities Ranking today at the FCM Sustainable Cities Conference in Victoria, B.C. This is the second year that Toronto has received this honour.
To create the ranking, Corporate Knights assessed cities using 28 indicators in five categories: Ecological Integrity, Economic Security, Governance and Empowerment, Infrastructure and Built Environment, and Social Well-Being.
Toronto received top marks in governance and empowerment with its record turnout during the 2010 election. Toronto also scored high for its aggressive Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to reduce Toronto's greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Toronto was recognized for its leading Green Roof Bylaw, the first in North America to require and govern the construction of green roofs on all new development. Other programs of note include the City's strict household garbage limits and its commitment to recycling and composting.
Live Green Toronto was another key factor in Toronto's big city win. The outreach program involves a team of experts who work with residents to advance green initiatives at the neighbourhood level; an expansive website - livegreentoronto.ca - that offers environmentally-friendly tips, tools and resources; a network of 1,200 volunteers who commit over 5,500 hours to green projects and events; and several grant programs to inspire community action, create green jobs and help residents become more energy efficient.
The full results of the ranking can be found online at http://www.corporatenights.ca/cities