As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post, Toronto has nearly 300 KM of laneways (that’s nearly the distance to North Bay). If you are in Bloor West, there’s a good chance you back on to one.

The Laneway Project in Toronto has published this great resource to assist you in getting the most from your unique property. It’s worth having a look and will likely offer you great information and insights you hadn’t thought of.

And, possibly put money in your pocket.

On Energy Efficiency Day, Reflecting on Why I Chose a Career in Energy  Efficiency! - DNV GL Blog - Energy in Transition

BetterHomesTO was created by the City to help homeowners take steps to improve the comfort and efficiency of their homes and reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change.

Why is that important? Because improving the energy efficiency of their homes may be the biggest thing residents can do to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Homes and buildings generate about half of the GHG emissions in Toronto today.

BetterHomesTO offers a one-stop website (BetterHomesTO.ca) that makes it easy for residents to find information, tips and resources to help them take action.

It begins with a girl named Abbey. Abbey was a strong, brave, and tenacious 9-year old girl whose life was cut far too short in 2018 by a rare blood disorder. In her memory, Abbey’s family and friends created a charitable organization called Abbey’s Goal; click here to read more about Abbey and her amazing legacy.

In response to COVID-19, Abbey’s family started a rainbow revolution. They are making rainbow tree kits, which you can use to decorate a tree (or anything, really) in your front yard to show appreciation for essential workers and health heroes. If you would like to order a kit, you can text: 647-278-5140 and donate online at www.abbeysgoal.com.

Abbey’s Goal is suggesting a donation of $20 for this kit, which is home-made. All proceeds from the rainbow kits go to the Stop (thestop.org), an organization focused on increasing access to healthy food.

Doug Ford on Twitter: "I want to thank Abbey's Goal for this ...

Let’s join neighborhoods across the GTA with a nightly thank you celebration at 7:30 pm from our front doorsteps and porches and from a safe distance, so the health care workers will hear our gratitude ringing from the rafters as part of #TogetherWeCanDoIt.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. local time and every evening going forward, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is asking everyone to cheer on the millions of health providers, social service and other essential front-line workers in Ontario, Canada and around the world who are tackling #COVID19.

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With few exceptions (see this map), the City no longer does mechanical leaf collection (not to be confused with paper bagged leaf collection with garbage – that continues). That means any leaves on the street and gutters stay there, clogging drains when early winter arrives. You can do your part by raking and bagging your leaves and not raking or blowing them on the street.

Last week, the Toronto Foundation and Environics released the Toronto Social Capital Study, a benchmarking report assessing the city’s social capital levels. The study employs social capital concepts (such as social trust and civic connections) to provide a useful lens on the quality of personal and community life in Toronto. The study is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in understanding how social capital varies across the population in terms of socio-demographic and geographical strata.

As outlined in the study “Social capital” is the term used to describe the vibrancy of social networks and the extent to which there is trust and reciprocity within a community and among individuals. It is the essential “lubricant” that makes it possible for societies to function, and for people to get along peacefully even when they have little in common. There is ample empirical evidence showing that high levels of such reciprocity, trust and connection are not simply “feel good” notions, but key ingredients to making communities productive, healthy and safe. “

 

 

The Social Capital Study surveyed just over 3,200 residents and measured responses on four dimensions: 

  • Social Trust, the sense of trust Torontonians have in one another and city institutions; 
  • Social Networks, the strength of residents’ informal and formal relationships; 
  • Civic Connection, the extent to which people are civically engaged; and 
  • Neighbourhood Support, how citizens see their neighbourhoods as supporting the type of life and environment they want for themselves.

The study results provide insight into social capital as experienced by residents across 26 neighbourhood clusters.

How is Toronto doing on social capital?  

We might be richer than we think. Overall, the social capital level of people and communities in Toronto appears positive but this is not uniform: “Toronto, as a whole, shows relatively high levels of social capital in terms of social trust, social networks, civic connection and neighbourhood support.” The study shows that the majority of people surveyed trust other people (including those different from themselves), have a sense of belonging to their community, have family and friends they can rely on, give back to the community, and are interested in politics. An article by the Toronto Star’s social justice reporter, Laurie Monsebraaten, provides a good overview of the study and its main findings.

What are the social capital levels in our neighbourhood?

The study mapped the distribution of social capital levels across the city in 26 neighbourhood areas. Bloor West Village and several neighbourhoods east of the Humber River were grouped into one clustered neighbourhood area referred to as High Park-West-Junction-Parkdale. The High Park-West-Junction-Parkdale neighbourhood area showed social capital levels well above the city-wide average for the social capital dimensions of Civic Connection and Social Trust.  This area was near the average on social capital levels for Social Networks and Neighbourhood Support.