Toronto Real Estate Agents | Julie Kinnear

Toronto real estate with personality. Detailed Toronto neighbourhoods guide with recommendations and pictures.

Toronto Real Estate Agents | Julie Kinnear
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Latest Entries Tagged as 'Green Lifestyle'

On-Street Parking rules – PLEASE READ – IMPORTANT

Residents who have on-street parking permits are being asked to delay moving their vehicles to the other side of the street for parking until Tuesday, April 15.

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Take a Seat and Enjoy the Ride: Comparing Positives in Toronto’s Public Transit


Generally, public transit in downtown Toronto is fantastically convenient. One of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in Canada, Toronto encourages many people to stay active with its welcoming vivacity. Still, many folks choose to drive their own cars.

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Shipping Container Homes: A Viable Housing Alternative?


Shipping containers started to travel around the globe in the 1960s, and cargo companies haven’t been able to replace them with any other means of goods transportation since then. They became the linchpin of global trade, carrying virtually any merchandise — from Chinese electronics and German cars to Canadian maple syrup.

(Shipping Container Homes: A Viable Housing Alternative? continued...)

Humber Bay Park: Condos and Cormorants

Humber Bay Park consists of over 300 acres of human-made peninsulas, ponds, and islands along the mouth of Etobicoke’s Mimico Creek (despite the park’s name, the mouth of the Humber River is a little to the east).

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Another Farm to Visit: Andrew Scenic Acres


This family business has operated the farm since 1980. Andrew Scenic Acres now proudly grows 165 acres of luscious fruits and vegetables. Their slogan was “Growing Berries is our Business” when Lauraine and Bert Andrews purchased the land with the intention of creating a berry farm.

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Rosetta McClain Gardens: A Park on the Edge


Placed precariously on the very edge of the Scarborough Bluffs, the Rosetta McClain garden is fairly small by Toronto garden park standards, with only 23 acres. Formerly the property of Rosetta and Robert McClain, the land was donated to the city by Robert after Rosetta’s death in 1940. Although lacking the vastness and floral variety of such places as Edwards Gardens, Rosetta McClain compensates for its lack of bulk with a grand view of the lake and a surprising diversity of birds.

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Pick Your Own Fruit at Cherry Avenue Farms!


There are many farms around Ontario that offer this kind of experience, and we visited some of them and tasted their fruit. Cherry Avenue Farm is located in the beautiful Niagara Peninsula and has been owned and operated by the Moyer family since 1799. Today, the seventh generation of the family takes care of 126 acres of orchards of more than 18,000 trees and vines with many varieties and types of fruit. Now that’s what we call a nice family tradition!

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Change the World by Making Your Home Green


The decision to “go green” is growing in popularity as we progress further into the 21st century. More and more of us want to reduce our individual and collective carbon footprints. Luckily, there are now many green innovations that any homeowner can undertake at little cost and with great ease.

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Toronto Botanical Garden: A Green Oasis

Nearly four acres of land at 777 Lawrence Avenue East deserve your attention. Formerly known as the Toronto Civic Garden Centre, it opened as the city’s botanical garden and a gardening education and information centre at the same time in 2003. Toronto Botanical Garden lies in Edwards Gardens, which is a public park, owned and administered by the City of Toronto.

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RC Harris Water Treatment Plant: The Palace of Purification


Have you ever wondered where the water you drink, cook with, or shower in comes from? Well, if you’re living in Toronto, you should know that you’re drinking from Lake Ontario.

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Toronto’s Underpass Park: A Fun Playground Beneath an Asphalt Road


As a slightly belated celebration of summer, I’m going out to explore some of Toronto’s larger, odder, and more spectacular parks, starting with one of the newest additions to their ranks — a park that has the distinction of being mostly paved. It also has a roof. With cars on it.

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Two Sides of Toronto Summer Festivals Photo Essay


Every summer, Toronto comes alive with a huge number of street festivals that attract large crowds and that are full of colours, new tastes, and good music right on the street corners. Torontonians enjoy spending a day out like this and can’t wait for the festival season to start.

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Lower Your Waste at Home


The natives of a tiny Himalayan kingdom, Mustang, don’t really know what garbage is. They use and reuse all the food and material they have and never throw anything away. On the contrary, the average Canadian produces 777 kilograms of garbage every year according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada. But don’t worry — the aim of this article isn’t to make you feel guilty.

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Toronto Woofstock 2013 Photo Essay

Celebrating our best friends, Toronto surely knows how to show some doggie love! Since its launch in 2003 in the hip Distillery District, Woofstock has become the largest free outdoor festival for dogs and their owners, and an amazing experience for everyone who’s thinking about getting a puppy. Over the weekend of June 8 and 9, Woofstock celebrated its tenth annual canine street fest, and we were there!

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Top 10 Solar-Powered Gadgets


Solar energy is becoming more accessible, and solar panels are being integrated into much more sophisticated gadgets than calculators. The use of this non-polluting and renewable energy is growing at a rate of 35 per cent a year internationally, according to the Canadian Solar Industry Association.

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Ontario Place Photo Essay


Ontario Place is a cultural, leisure, and entertainment parkland located on the shores of Lake Ontario (conveniently just 4 kilometres from Downtown Toronto) that was opened in 1971 and consists of three man-made islands. It has been an extremely popular family destination with emphasis on kids-friendly activities for years. Here’s a great photo essay by Roland Shainidze!

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Cycling Events in Toronto in 2013


Did you know that people who commute by bicycle are so healthy that they are 39 per cent less likely to die (of any cause) than those who don’t ride bicycles? And that if you cycle on a daily basis, you will look ten years younger?

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How Housing Conditions Influence Your Health


Health professionals widely recognize how housing can affect our health, and with very good reason. Poor housing conditions lead to a variety of health problems. Some of the most frequent complications in Canada are asthma, respiratory infections, injuries, and last but not least mental disorders associated mainly with unstable households.

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Trees Across Toronto Photo Essay

Trees Across Toronto Event Panorama
Trees Across Toronto 2013

Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the Lightbox Gallery.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Carlos Bolivar!

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Forest Gardening in Toronto


My garden is like heaven for me, as you might have noticed from a couple of my previous posts. In one of my last articles, I introduced some of the gardening concepts of the future. This article aims to present a fascinating gardening idea as well — one that is very much a part of our past, present, and future: the ever-trendy forest gardening.

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Park and Ride Toronto


Cars can take us anywhere we want, any time we want, comfortably, quickly, and reliably. It’s easy to get in and go, and travelling with luggage is also very convenient. A working mass transit system must figure out how to bring these mentioned qualities to trains, subways, and buses — and they are one step closer to closing the deal with drivers. Park-and-ride schemes are a great way to solve the alarming traffic problems in big cities like Toronto.

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Terracyle – Waste Collection – Very cool program peeps!!!


TerraCycle is on a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. We do this by creating waste collection programs for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from recycled park benches to upcycled backpacks.

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Toronto’s New City Hall Photo Essay

New City Hall towers
The impressive design of Toronto's New City Hall

Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the Lightbox Gallery.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Roland Shainidze!

(Toronto's New City Hall Photo Essay continued...)

Guilt-free Dining at Rawlicious Yorkville

The two hardworking entrepreneurs are firmly dedicated to serving their guests only what can truly be called “real food.” You won’t find any additives or preservatives here. There’s also no meat, gluten, dairy or refined sugar allowed. But what there is, is an abundance of healthy, creative and vibrant dishes.

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Volunteers Needed! Friends of High Park Zoo


This is a great community activity and we have a great deal of fun. Since February 2012 we have collected over $140,000.00 through our activities to operate the High park Zoo, please join us.

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Fresh From the Farm

It’s common and easy to think of businesses as amoral profit-seeking ventures, and the news brings us almost daily reports to confirm this. Why go into business, after all, if you don’t want to make a profit? There are, however, a few businesses that either go out of their way to adhere to moral principles, or who actually have them built in, so to speak. One such business is a little grocery store called Fresh From the Farm.

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Off The Grid Homes [INFOGRAPHIC]


Living off the grid is becoming more and more popular, especially here in Ontario. We’ve become an unofficial Mecca of off-the-grid living. More and more people come here to purchase a piece of land and start a new life.

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Shrink your next hydro bill!

Turning off your lights is the number one thing you can do to conserve electricity

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Earthship Green Homes: Life Without Bills?

No electrical bills, no food bills, no water bills. What’s even better, they’re easy to build, so you can construct them yourself or have someone build them for you. Sounds like a utopia?

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Is It Difficult to Go Vegan in Toronto?

In this article, I don’t want to convince anyone to go vegan. It’s a decision of us has to make because it’s not just about a diet but also about lifestyle. Lately I’ve noticed how many Toronto citizens don’t know anything about veganism and about vegan diets. There are still many people who consider vegans to be freaks who just eat soy all the time. But the reality is very different. There are plenty of food choices anyone can make. Indian food, Chinese food, and typical American hamburgers are available for vegans too. So why do not try some?

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Graffiti in Toronto Photo Essay

Let’s have a look at these colourful and expressive wall paintings from the other point of view than the angry citizen, from the side of the artists.

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The Lost Rivers of Toronto

Over the course of its history, Toronto and its suburbs have diverted, dried up, and paved over at least a dozen little waterways, many of which were tributaries of the Don River. A few creeks and streams have survived in the ravines, carving green grooves though the city and offering havens to wildlife and joggers, but many have, in fact, been lost.

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Review: Best Teas at DAVIDs TEA

StumbleUpon 2704 Like 13 Share 8 Retweet 18

If you aren’t much of a tea drinker you might be inclined to think there are just a few basic options to choose from. But you’ll be in for an exciting surprise if you stop into David’s Tea.

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Myths about Urban Farming: The Truth

In the past few years, blogs, newspaper articles, and TV shows have been expressing their concerns over the direction modern agriculture is taking. Maurice J. Hladik, disappointed by this fact, decided to write a book to show the world that there is a lot to feel good about in the way modern agriculture is shaping up and that much of the criticism lacks any factual basis.

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Best Toronto Artist-Run Galleries

Let’s have a look at some of Toronto’s finest artist-run galleries!

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Phones for Food

Phones for Food – the Phones for Food program generates money for the food bank community across Canada and diverts wireless devices from landfills.

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The Beautiful Casa Loma Photo Essay

Casa Loma takes the visitors back in time allowing them to wander around its vast corridors and fully furnished 98 rooms.

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Things to do in Toronto: City Passes

Toronto is a vibrant and lovable city. In order to fully soak in all it has to offer, make use of some of these budget-friendly secrets.

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Top Plastic No No’s for Toronto Recycling

The City of Toronto is working hard to recycle as many materials as possible. There are some items, however, that can not go into recycling.

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1001 Uses for White Vinegar

Vinegar is your household must-have, here are few cleaning tips and then please click on the link for hundreds more!

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Review: Soup On! Kenzo Ramen Noodle House

For those who have not yet experienced the deliciousness that is ramen, it is a Japanese noodle dish consisting of Chinese-style wheat noodles with your choice of basic toppings like pork, vegetables, egg and bean sprouts.

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5 Autumn Superfoods!

5 fall superfoods that can puch up your diet! How good they are for you and how to prepare them as well!

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Eco Friendly Drive Ways

Eco Friendly Drive Ways

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Internet Data Centre Sucks More Energy Than a Small City

There are thousands upon thousands of data centers from all the search engines and internet providers WASTING power and energy.

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Gardening of the Future

In this article I want to show you a couple of super-modern concepts that we will be seeing in more and more gardens in the future.

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Have you heard of Bag2School? This has really stuck with me…

Need $$ for your school? Bag2School is your FREE fundraising solution! And it promotes the environmentally friendly Reduce, Re-use, Recyle.

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5 Great Toronto Fabric Stores

Whether you’ve recently moved here, are new to sewing or have recently had your favorite fabric store close down, Toronto has some great shops to help you get going.

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Lots to See and Taste at the 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival

This past weekend Toronto was treated to a delicious and informative event: The 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival. It took place down at the Harbourfront Centre on Queen’s Quay West and admission was completely free!

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Guerrilla Gardening – A New Trend Rising

Guerrilla Gardening
Guerrilla Gardening

Have you ever walked through the city and thought to yourself, "Wouldn't this place be so much nicer if someone took care of it?" Chances are you have since there are too many wasted spaces in each of our towns and cities. Fortunately, there is a group of people who can't stand the sight of neglected, barren, or overgrown public spaces, and they're known as "guerrilla gardeners."

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The Most Beautiful Parks in Toronto Photo Essay

High park maple leaf shaped flower bed
The famous maple leaf-shaped flower bed

Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the Lightbox Gallery.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Viera Prievozníková!

(The Most Beautiful Parks in Toronto Photo Essay continued...)

Taste of Danforth Festival Photo Essay

Corn Snack Pilaros Street Greek Festival
It seemed that everyone just loved corn at the Pilaros Taste of Danforth

Click individual photos to enlarge and enter the Lightbox Gallery.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, meet the Torontonians! This time, let's have a look at Toronto through the lens of Carlos Bolivar!

(Taste of Danforth Festival Photo Essay continued...)

The CNE’s Green Thumb

For an event that bills itself as “the largest flower and vegetable growing competition in Canada” on its website, the CNE Garden Show looks quite modest at first. This is because – like an iceberg – what you see on display is never more than a small fraction of the whole.

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Interview: City Seed Farms

Its mission is not only the production of the freshest, healthiest, and best tasting sustainable food but also fostering social and environmental change through the production of local food and both teaching and inspiring people to grow their own.

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The Allan Gardens Conservatory Photo Essay

Founded in 1858, this remarkable green oasis of Allan Botanical Gardens in Toronto belongs to one of its oldest parks.

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Collaborative Consumption on the Rise

Collaborative consumption entails a rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies at a scale and in ways never possible before.

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Sharing Backyard: More Than Just a Good Idea

Land sharing is one of the possible land-use strategy options that could help to improve environmental protection as well as food security.

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Green Roof Initiative in Toronto

Not that long ago, the term ‘green roof’ generally referred to a house’s paint job. Now, however, with environmental conservation wearily shouldering its way into people’s awareness, a green roof is something that you plant.

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National Parks Summer Guide: St. Lawrence Islands

Just a few hours of ride from Toronto you can find the rocky islands, windswept pines, and refreshing waters which are just a perfect place for vacation with the flavour of the northern wilderness.

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DIY Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens can improve air quality, purify polluted water, and reduce temperatures of a building during the day by absorbing sunlight.

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The Victorian Cabbagetown Photo Essay

Cabbagetown belongs to Toronto’s most picturesque neighbourhoods. See for yourself, walking past beautiful Victorian houses with nice gardens.

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How to Keep Your Pool Eco-friendly

The concept of the ecological pool is derived from the idea of balance and self-regulatory mechanisms often seen in nature. How to make one?

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National Parks Summer Guide: Pukaskwa

Had you decided a long time ago to brave the Canadian wilderness but never actually did? Then read further, get to know about Pukaskwa NP.

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Park People Toronto

Park People is the city park voice for better parks in Toronto. Founded early in 2011, its mission is to preserve, update, and augment recreational areas in the City of Toronto, which include more than 1,600 parks and natural spaces.

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National Parks Summer Guide: Point Pelee

One of Canada’s smallest yet excitingly unusual national parks impresses with 20 square kilometres of marshes, savanna grasslands, wild beachfront, and Carolinian forest, which looks almost like a jungle at some places.

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National Parks Summer Guide: Georgian Bay Islands

Georgian Bay Islands National Park, made up of picturesque islands and a small mainland area, was founded in 1929 when petitions from locals persuaded the government to establish the national park and preserve its pristine beauty.

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Summer Tips for Green Living

These are all the things you can do on your own using very little resources and have a lot of fun with it. Here are some of the top green tips of this summer.

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The Evergreen Brickworks

Evergreen, a non-profit environmental group devoted to bringing nature into urban environments, started planting trees at the site in 1991, and wildflowers in 1998. Eventually, Evergreen leased the Brickworks from the city and the TRCA, and began official reconstruction of the buildings in 2008.

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Artscape Wychwood Barns

Even now, over one hundred years after its beginning, Wychwood Park consists of only sixty houses, and it was the first residential neighbourhood in Toronto to be named a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act.

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Famous Movie Houses

What can be considered the most famous movie house? You may have a different opinion, but I believe it is the one featured in the 1960 classic, Psycho.

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Living with Allergies: Allergy-free Home

Decreasing the exposure to environmental allergens at your place can lead to the significant improvement of your health when you don’t suffer from any of indoor allergies.

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Living with Allergies: Pets at Home

Although allergists claim the best remedy is to remove the pet from the home, you might be surprised by the number of people who have learnt to live with their pets in harmony even if they have pet allergies.

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Guide to Sustainable Flooring

Ceramic Tile by Mtneer man
Ceramic Tile by Mtneer man

One of the most effective ways to make your home more environmentally friendly is to use sustainable flooring. Switching to "green" floors also benefits anyone with health concerns such as allergies and asthma, as well as people looking to save some money long-term (and who isn't?).

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Celebrate Black History Month in Toronto

black history month
Black History Month
in Toronto Public Library

Toronto celebrates Black History Month every February to honour Canadians of African descent. Despite decades of racial discrimination, black Canadians have contributed immensely to social, economic, cultural, and political life in Toronto. Learn more about the history of African Canadians and enjoy artistic celebrations live and on screen with the scheduled events this month in the city.

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Top 10 Environmental Movies of 2011

Environmental Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival

Environmental movies are among the most effective ways of drawing attention to the sensitive issue of environmental degradation. They usually cover a wide range of genres, and the format is not limited to the documentary. Some of them are far from the Hollywood style, while others are rather mainstream films. Their overall annual production reaches high numbers. If you are lost in the rich offer or hesitant about which to pick up, you might find an inspiration from the best movies of EFFY 2011, the Environmental Film Festival at Yale, as well as in the offer of highlights of the 2012 DC Environmental Film Festival, which will take place in March 2012.

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Most Controversial Diets – Fruitarianism

Fruit by Stephen Best
Fruit by Stephen Best

Today, we will introduce another controversial diet that got especially famous after being featured in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy, Notting Hill. Do you remember Hugh Grant's date who claimed to only be comfortable eating fruit that has fallen from the tree or bush and added that otherwise she would consider it murder? I bet you guessed right; today's post will be all about fruitarianism. Although real fruitarianism is rarely that crazy and doesn't require fruit to fall before being collected, this subset of raw veganism is still considered to be one of the most restrictive diets.

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Most Controversial Diets – Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten Sources by Wikimedia Commons
Gluten Sources
by Wikimedia Commons

Once considered to be the sad necessity for those suffering from celiac disease, over the past few years, the gluten-free diet has become one of the popular for anyone. Its followers have decided to exclude gluten from their menus, which is a protein found in most cereals, such as wheat, barley, and rye.

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Most Controversial Diets – Atkins Diet

Atkins meal by Wikimedia Commons
Atkins meal by
Wikimedia Commons

After introducing you to the raw food diet in the opening article from our new Most Controversial Diets series, today's post will deal with another rather specific diet: the Atkins diet. Just to make you more interested in learning about this diet type, did you know that Jennifer Aniston, Gerri Halliwell, are Robbie Williams are its keen supporters?

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What Are Green Building Certificates?

Humber College by Wikimedia Commons
Humber College
by Wikimedia Commons

While for some people, the entire green movement is just a phrase and a cool way to advertise their social/environmental consciousness, quite a few architects took the craving for sustainability seriously. There are amazing structures created almost every day, but when it comes to buildings, it's not always easy to distinguish the passive green building from an ordinary skyscraper or home producing tons of CO2. Walking through your local downtown, always keep in mind that many of the structures that seem normal from the outside might be champions in water and energy conservation.

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Most Controversial Diets – Raw Food Diet

Vegetable stand by Michael Cannon
Vegetable stand
by Michael Cannon

It is getting more and more difficult to find Canadians who never went wild dieting to get shaped up or just to show how caring about their own bodies they are. In our youth- and beauty-oriented society, great looks became a must and a prerequisite of success in life, and people push the borders by inventing new and more innovative diets — up to the point where they become a bit… unusual.

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Organic Waste Management in Toronto

Fallen Leaves by Knehcsg
Fallen Leaves by Knehcsg

Autumn in the garden always comes along with heaps of fallen trees and dead flowers that need to be removed somehow… The question is what the best options for Torontonians are when it comes to dealing with organic waste. As Canada boasts one of the best environmental protection measures in the world, the City of Toronto follows the national trend and offers its residents considerable aid with the processing of their bio waste by supporting two major programs: the Green Bin Program and the Mechanical Leaf Collection Program.

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Keystone XL Pipeline

Pipeline by Ray Bodden
Pipeline by Ray Bodden

Imagine a pipeline carrying oil from northern Canada all the way through the United States down to the Gulf Coast Refinery Hub in Texas. Sounds like a particularly boring science-fiction? Well, it's not. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has recently announced the government's decision to build a huge transnational pipeline exporting raw bitumen to a petrochemical plant in the south of the U.S. Here, the unprocessed material will be turned into finished fuel, chemicals, or plastics.

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Strangest Meals Worldwide

Hakarl near Bjarnahfn in Iceland
Hakarl in Iceland
by Wikimedia Commons

We all hear stories from friends returning from Asian or African countries about varieties of deep fried insects or roasted rats sold on the streets of lively cities. We even realize that knowing everything about production processes of our supermarket food and all the chemicals used during its preparation could easily prevent us from eating virtually anything for quite a while. However, today's post will show you that there is always a way to push what we call food beyond the boundaries most of us would tolerate… Check out the strangest meals of the world!

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Weirdest Houseplants

Purple Passion by Clyde Robinson
Purple Passion
by Clyde Robinson

Bored of ordinary petunias and cacti around your apartment? Why not try houseplants of a more peculiar nature that will most certainly astonish your guests? Check out some of the weirdest and most interesting houseplants we've chosen for you and hit up the local florist's store to step up your home decor!

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The Most Frugal Ideas Out There

Frugality by Matthew Hunt
Frugality by Matthew Hunt

English Wiktionary defines the word "frugal" as follows:

frugal: from Latin frugalis "virtuous, thrifty" 1. Avoiding unnecessary expenditure either of money or of anything else which is to be used or consumed; avoiding waste.


In other words, a frugal lifestyle is one of sparseness and thrift, focusing on getting the most value from your resources. Frugality is avoiding waste and misuse of money, time, food, and really any personal assets. It is the opposite of lavishness and usually aims to achieve a certain goal.

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Flying Kites In Toronto

Colourful Kites by John Vetterli
Colourful Kites
by John Vetterli

Flying a kite is a great and easy outdoor activity for the whole family. All you need is a kite, a little practice, and a mild breeze and you can launch your kite to the sky. Kite flying has become very popular recently and parks are full of kiting enthusiasts who use their kites not only for flying but also for various different activities and stunts. Such activities are often potentially dangerous and therefore there are numerous restrictions regulating kite flying in Toronto.

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Experimental Designs by Amron

Amron Exptl
Amron Exptl

Since 2007, Amron Experimental, a New-York-based engineering atelier, has been producing cool and innovative designs for households and everyday lives. Scott Amron, founding principal and spiritual father of the Amron Exptl, electrical engineer, designer, and conceptual artist, is only 31 years old and yet has succeeded in building a hip company capable of stirring attention. The company has been gathering awards and praise all around, as function, green thinking, and art have never been so intertwined. Amron is nicknamed "indie inventor." Check out three of his coolest designs!

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Air Pollution in Toronto

Pollution by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Pollution by
NASA Goddard Center

Even though Canada boasts some of the strictest and most elaborate environmental protection laws in the world, it is not immune to the environmental threats that trouble all the industrialized countries. Big cities themselves pose a risk to natural balance, as it is almost impossible to control the amount waste produced by factories and households and to keep all the pollutants away from people. Today's article will be predominantly focused on the state of air pollution in the city of Toronto.

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Where To Buy Bio Meat In Toronto

Grazing cows by Alex Thomson
Grazing cows
by Alex Thomson

Animal treatment in mass farms and slaughter houses is often highly questionable not only from the moral point of view of animals' suffering, but also considering the health effects it has on their meat and products, and consequently on our health. In the country, it may be possible to find a local farmer who eschews growth hormones and lets her animals out to graze, but in the city, different strategies must be pursued if you want to eat high-quality, healthy meat.

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Better Drivers Save Fuel and Reduce Emmissions

How you drive your car is important in saving fuel and reducing emmissions. Here are 10 ways the help:

1. Keep to the speed limit. Slowing from 120 to 100 km/hr reduces fuel consumption by 20%.

2. Keep calm. Screeching starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by 40%.

3. Look ahead. Anticipate stops so you slow down gradually.

4. Use cruise control... except in hilly terrain.

5. Empty the junk. Remove excess weight from your car, as well as exterior racks that can prevent aerodynamics.

6. Turn off the engine. Idling for more thatn 10 seconds consumes more fuel than a restart does.

7. Service your car regularly. A poorly tuned engine consumes up to 50% more fuel.

8. Check the cap. To reduce evaporation.

9. Use air conditioning sparingly. Except on the highway, keeping your windows ajar is often the better option.

10. Plan ahead. Combine trips to reduce the distance you drive...

 *excerpt from the Toronto Star

Before You Get A Dog: A Beginner’s Guide

Soulmates by Lali Masriera
Soulmates by Lali Masriera

What if dogs could talk? Well, humans would have probably lost their best friends, as some people say while smirking maliciously. Luckily for us, dogs haven't mastered the skill of speaking human language yet, and they still make great companions. But this does not only apply to reclusive people. Many families with children often make a choice to extend their "pack" after moving into a big house by adopting a four-legged buddy to live with them. Maybe you have similar thoughts; but have you truly considered all the pros and cons?

(Before You Get A Dog: A Beginner’s Guide continued...)

Recycling Does and Don’ts

It can be very confusing trying to figure out what goes into the blue box and what doesn't. I didn't realize that the plastic containers that your eggs or cherry tomatoes come in CAN NOT be put in recycling. Takeout containers and the moulded plastic trays that muffins and tarts come in are not to be put in the blue bin either. The thing is, if we don't recycle properly, the City can't recycle properly either.

For more information on what you can recycle, use WASTE WIZARD ( or Call 311 - the City of Toronto's hotline for information!!

Toronto Witch-hunt: Is Raw Milk Dangerous?

Got Milk by Vengel Crimson
Got Milk by Vengel Crimson

Recently, news spread through the media that a dairy farmer living just north of Toronto has been selling raw milk to his customers, earning him a criminal trial.

(Toronto Witch-hunt: Is Raw Milk Dangerous? continued...)

How to Become a Volunteer

photo by vastateparksstaff 1
by vastateparksstaff

We're living in a very fast age. Our lives are fast, the world around us is changing fast — and sometimes it's very hard to pay attention to issues other than the ones we face ourselves. Nevertheless, there are some of us who are still able to find some time to do something to make this world a better place. Even if their contribution is small — even if there's nothing to gain except the warm feeling of inner satisfaction you get from putting a smile on somebody's face. What about you? Have you ever considered becoming a volunteer?

(How to Become a Volunteer continued...)

Spot a Grow-Op & Protect Your Money

Grow Op 1

Grow operations, also dubbed grow-ops, are illegal endeavours of more-or-less organized groups who grow drugs in family houses and residences. These operations then grow, harvest, and refine hallucinogenic and/or addictive substances for subsequent distribution to drug users. The most common illegal activity is growing marijuana.

(Spot a Grow-Op & Protect Your Money continued...)

Riverdale Hub Grows with the Neighbourhood

Riverdale Hub 1
Riverdale Hub - Office Space

Gerrard Street is a ten-kilometre-long street in Toronto, running from University Avenue eastward to Clonmore Avenue. It's one of the most diverse streets in Toronto, spanning several neighbourhoods and countless cultures.

(Riverdale Hub Grows with the Neighbourhood continued...)

Timeshare Backyards – A Great Idea From New York

Backyard by Ben Babcock
Backyard by Ben Babcock

In these modern times, overpopulated cities are not uncommon. Combined with a lack of space and a green green grass, it can sometimes seem like you're living in a concrete jungle with nothing green around. While public parks can do the trick, you're a lucky one if you can find one next to your office or condo. Most of us have no private place to sit with friends and just relax under the sky!

(Timeshare Backyards - A Great Idea From New York continued...)

Urban Agriculture in Toronto

Urban Agriculture by Qtea
Urban Agriculture by Qtea

If you think about "urban agriculture", it sounds like an oxymoron; how often does agricultural land fall victim to the ever-spreading jungle of concrete? But if you think again, you might begin to see things from a different point of view. Urban agriculture provides a great way to reclaim a more natural, more traditional, more ecological, and much healthier way of life in the middle of all the urban chaos. And what does urban agriculture look like in the biggest city in Canada?

(Urban Agriculture in Toronto continued...)

Interview: Sustainable Food With Food Forward

Food Forward Logo
Food Forward Logo

Food Forward is a non-profit organization in Toronto that reaches out to citizens, politicians, and the food sector to improve the current food system. Here's an interview with Darcy Higgins, Executive Director of Food Forward, that introduces the organization, explains what its goals are, and explains why Torontonians should get involved.

(Interview: Sustainable Food With Food Forward continued...)

Save Water Effortlessly

Water Splash by dr relling
Water Splash by dr_relling

The media has lately abounded with information about famine and droughts, water shortages, and other adverse effects of climate change. If you can read between the lines, or are acquainted with the topic, you'll know that these phenomena are closely related and even interconnected. Read how "Local Warming Goes Global" in my other article on this topic if you're interested in further details.

(Save Water Effortlessly continued...)

Local Warming Goes Global

Water Faucet by Dottie Mae
Water Faucet by Dottie Mae

We should all know by now that water is a precious resource. It's not only the source and support of all life, but it gives us pleasure and helps us the produce goods and services that we depend on and enjoy.

(Local Warming Goes Global continued...)

Solar Energy – Is It Worth It?

Solar Panel Construction by Wayne National Forest
Solar Panel Construction
by Wayne National Forest

When you're on a quest to erase your ecologic footprint, the installation of solar panels may be a great step towards living greener. Or it may be a completely uneconomical solution with real efficiency closing towards zero. Why? Well, nothing is as simple as it seems and this topic cannot be reduced to a simple debate of using solar energy vs. not using it. That's why we're going to take a deeper look at the problem.

(Solar Energy – Is It Worth It? continued...)

Cloud Gardens: A Sanctuary in the Heart of Toronto

Cloud Gardens by Patrick B
Cloud Gardens by Patrick B

If you aren't looking for it, you will walk right past it! The "Bay Adelaide Gardens and the Cloud Forest Conservatory" – or Cloud Gardens – is a small park in the heart of downtown Toronto. Located on Richmond Street just east of Bay Street, this elaborate park sits on only half an acre of land and yet, is an attraction all Torontonians should visit! In the midst of a vibrant, busy, and sometimes overwhelming city, Cloud Gardens provides a wonderful haven.

(Cloud Gardens: A Sanctuary in the Heart of Toronto continued...)

Brighten Up

Yellow Lamp by Matt MacGillivray
Yellow Lamp
by Matt MacGillivray

The phrase 'energy-efficient' is one of the loudest buzz words of our time. More than ever before, people want to make efficient use of their resources. Firstly, wasteful behaviour costs a lot of money, and secondly, we tend to care more about our environment lately. Whatever your motivation, there are several things that you can do to improve your home and lessen your ecological footprint at the same time. Let me share with you some of the 'brightest' ideas of today.

(Brighten Up continued...)

Toronto Neighbourhoods compete to be Carbon Neutral

Photo by Philippe Put
Photo by Philippe Put

The Toronto Star had a fascinating story about how both The Junction in Toronto’s West End, and Riverdale in Toronto’s East End are both vying for community supremacy for enviro friendly idea – to become the first carbon – neutral urban community on earth.

(Toronto Neighbourhoods compete to be Carbon Neutral continued...)

Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways To Save Water: Part III

Photo by Jos Eduardo Deboni
Photo by
Jose Eduardo Deboni

In the last article of the series, we're going to take a look at some simple but uncommon ways to save water outdoors.

(Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways To Save Water: Part III continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: May

Photo by Tony Hammond
Photo by Tony Hammond

Sometimes even small measures can result in a great change, and that's why we bring you yet another handful of small, instant tips for making your life a little bit greener!

(5 Instant Green Changes: May continued...)

Activism vs. Slacktivism

To the Red Ribbon Day by Seema K K
To the Red Ribbon Day
by Seema K K

It seems as though a brand new era of heroes has been ushered in by the Internet. They help to save the world everyday – by signing online petitions, copying special facebook statuses, and sometimes even changing their profile pictures! If you feel like now is the right time to ask "whats going on here?!", you're probably right. Well, welcome to the age of slacktivism!

(Activism vs. Slacktivism continued...)

Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways to Save Water: Part II

Photo by discoodoni
Photo by discoodoni

Some time has passed since we published our first article on the subject of water-saving; therefore, we think it's about time to present you with another handful of useful tips!

Last time, we wrote mostly about changes that require some kind of special effort, or maybe even investment. Nonetheless, there are some ways to save water that require only a minor change of your habits. For example, you can simply:

(Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways to Save Water: Part II continued...)

Recycled Island – An Unrealistic Concept Or Hope For The Future?

First Impression Prototype Recycled Island
First Impression Prototype
Recycled Island

It's great when someone takes something ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary — but when someone finds a way to turn waste into something useful again, it's truly amazing. So, consider this idea: let's take all the plastic waste floating around in the Pacific Ocean and build a fully habitable, sustainable island from it! Sound crazy? Believe it or not, the project called Recycled Island is very real — at least on paper.

(Recycled Island – An Unrealistic Concept Or Hope For The Future? continued...)

5 Tips For Big Spring Cleaning – Be Green & Efficient

Photo by mooste
Photo by mooste

Have you ever wondered why spring is the traditional big cleaning time of the year? For one of the most likely explanations, we'll have to turn back time and return to the days before people started using electricity. After the winter, everything in the house was usually covered with soot from the candles, fireplaces, kerosene, and lamp oils used to keep people's homes warm and bright during the winter. So, when the spring came, every bit of the house had to be cleaned to get rid of the layer of soot.

(5 Tips For Big Spring Cleaning – Be Green & Efficient continued...)

Discover the Savings of a Natural Gas Dryer

Spring is a time for wet clothes and wet towels-which means your dryer definitely gets a workout! Studies show that only 3 percent of dryers in Canada are natural gas-which means that 97 percent of Canadians are missing out on significant savings.

Natural gas dryers offer faster drying times, and can save you money on your energy bills over electric dryers. Lifetime appliance cost estimates indicate that, even if you have an existing electric dryer, replacing it with a gas dryer is likely an economical option. (Check out Natural Resources Canada's handy savings charts.)

(Discover the Savings of a Natural Gas Dryer continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: April

Once again, we bring you 5 simple ideas to make your life a little bit greener today!

Photo by tai viinikka
Photo by tai viinikka
  1. Collect rainwater in a barrel. You don't have to pay for all the water you use – get a few barrels and start storing rainwater in them! Rainwater can be used in many ways. First of all, it's much better for gardening then the water from your plumbing. You can also use it for washing your car, mopping the floors, or even flushing the toilet. Have a look around the shops to see what tubes they offer. Eventually, if you'd like to be even more eco-friendly, go ahead and make one yourself!
  2. (5 Instant Green Changes: April continued...)

5 Things You Probably Never Thought Of Reusing

Photo by Pulpolux
Photo by Pulpolux

Have you ever found yourself thinking about what possible purpose some random piece of junk from your home could serve before throwing it out? There are many things we're used to throwing into the trash without hesitation. Nevertheless, some of them can be reused in quite original ways — all you need is a bit of creative thinking. Let's take a look at some interesting, simple recycling ideas!

(5 Things You Probably Never Thought Of Reusing continued...)

A Dairy Question: Cartons Or Jugs? Try Glass Bottles!

Photo by Anastacia Haddon
Photo by Anastacia Haddon

Fluid milk is one of the most popular and common beverages in the world. In 2006, Canada made it to the top ten per capita consumers of cow's milk and cow's milk product. The consumption of fluid milk alone reached 81.28 litres per capita in 2009. Unfortunately, this number doesn't only represent a lot of milk — it also represents a huge amount of waste. How can we contribute to reducing dairy product related waste?

(A Dairy Question: Cartons Or Jugs? Try Glass Bottles! continued...)

Green Living Show 2011: Business Forum Speakers Announced

Photo by Meredith Rendall Photography
Photo by
Meredith Rendall Photography

Canada's largest green consumer show has announced its first names for participants in the Green Business Forum. If you're eager to join the discussion concerning the topic of "Greening Of Canada's Resource-Based Economy," go ahead and take a little sneak-peak at the participating speakers.

(Green Living Show 2011: Business Forum Speakers Announced continued...)

Recycling facts – where does a recycled can go?

When you throw that soup can into recycling, does it just become another can? Yes, but it doesn't stop there! Thanks to recycling, steel can be transformed into concrete reinforcing bars, chains, pipes, and car parts. This greatly reduces costs, pollution and energy used - reusing steel cans alone reduces energy use by 74%! Every tonne of recycled steel cans saves 1.36 tonnes of iron ore. Think of that next time you have soup for lunch!

Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways To Save Water: Part I

Photo by C Lansley
Photo by C Lansley

It is a well-known fact that Canada is one of the most water-consuming countries in the world. Most of the consumption can be attributed to our highly demanding industry, but common households share in the responsibility.

However, saving water is not difficult. In fact, there are many little things you can do that make a big difference. While some might seem obvious, other will surprise you. Today, we begin a short series of articles dedicated to decreasing water usage at home. Get inspired to make a difference!

(Easy, Yet Often-Overlooked Ways To Save Water: Part I continued...)

3 Ways To Handle Indoor Air Pollution Naturally

Photo by Paul Sapiano
Photo by Paul Sapiano

"Do you think it's clean air you're breathing?" is not just a paraphrased quote from the famous Matrix dojo fight scene, but also a serious question about the air quality in your home. Most people are unaware of an important fact: the air we breathe inside our houses, apartments, schools and offices may be highly polluted. This might sound disturbing, but don't panic – there are many simple ways to clean the air in your home.

(3 Ways To Handle Indoor Air Pollution Naturally continued...)

What Does Your Recycling Become?

Photo by Peter Kaminski
Photo by Peter Kaminski

Ever wonder what becomes of all those newspapers you recycle? Repulped newspaper can become roof shingles. But that’s not all, that’s just one of many products. Others include new newsprint, boxboard for cereal and shoe boxes), wallboard, ceiling tiles, egg cartons, animal bedding and mulching material.

Recycle one tonne of old newpaper and save 19 trees. Toronto typically recycles 100,000 tonnes of newspaper annually – that’s giving more than two million trees a tomorrow. And that’s totally worth it!!

(What Does Your Recycling Become? continued...)

The Green Living Show Is Coming Soon!

Green Living Show 2011
Green Living Show 2011

Canada's largest green consumer show dedicated to educating the public about easy and workable solutions for leading a sustainable lifestyle is happening in less than a month (April 15-17). Why should you visit Toronto's Direct Energy Centre to attend this year? Read on!

(The Green Living Show Is Coming Soon! continued...)

Ethical Ocean

Photo by Chris Bgle
Photo by Chris Bogle

Check out one the season finalists on Dragons Den. Ethical Ocean is an online ethical marketplace aiming to increase the awareness and consumption of ethical products and services in North America. Our goal is to transform the market by connecting buyers and sellers through one easily-navigated website that amasses every type of ethical product imaginable.

(Ethical Ocean continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: March

Spring is slowly knocking on the door and we will experience the beautiful time of Nature's awaking once again. As usually, we bring you the monthly round of instant green changes, to feel a bit greener during this period of time!

(5 Instant Green Changes: March continued...)

Reducing Starts with Reusing

It's simple enough, but worth remembering! When you leave the house, bring a refillable container for water or coffee. Going shopping? Bring reusable bags, and look for items with less packaging. Think more, about using less!

5 Instant Green Changes: February

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov
Photo by
Leonid Mamchenkov

February selection of Instant Green Changes is ready. Don’t hesitate to make a little step daily to preserve our environment, improve your health and save money. It takes virtually no time, so enjoy and tell your friends!

(5 Instant Green Changes: February continued...)

Protected Bike Lanes In Downtown Toronto Coming!

bicycle by JMC Photos
bicycle by JMC Photos

Toronto bikers get ready! After months of the bike vs. car war, we are approaching peaceful resolution. Toronto downtown should experience the first separate bike lane network soon.

(Protected Bike Lanes In Downtown Toronto Coming! continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: January

It's January and we bring you another part of our 5 monthly tips for an instant green change in your lifestyle. They cost you close to no time, save you money, improve your health and you'll be doing something good for the environment! Just don't be put off by the "One person can't make a change" argument.

(5 Instant Green Changes: January continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: December

Our series of 5 Instant Green Changes continues with December set of tips. Enjoy and be inspired!

(5 Instant Green Changes: December continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: October

Our Green Lifestyle section offers 5 great tips every month, which will help you to do small green step immediately. You can contribute too - we welcome your own idea in the comments and will include them in the next month's list.

Click on full article for October's amazing Tips!

(5 Instant Green Changes: October continued...)

BIXI Bike Sharing in Toronto Ready To Roll

Photo by William Murphy
Photo by William Murphy

After months of delays (the first launch was scheduled in Spring 2010) the bike sharing program BIXI proved to be on its best way to reach the new target – launch in May 2011. The number of subscribers climbed over the 1,000 line (ironically also thanks to the 100 subscriptions bought at AutoShare party on this Monday) and the main condition set by the City was met.

(BIXI Bike Sharing in Toronto Ready To Roll continued...)

7 Key Green Events Of The Decade

Climate Change Conference by CIAT
Climate Change Conference

Environmental movement emerged back in sixties, when first disastrous predictions and reports were made, and for the first time the whole society began to think about the future of our planet. However, the last decade is the period, when the most challenging green chapters have been opened.

(7 Key Green Events Of The Decade continued...)

Top 5 Canadian Green Blogs

Photo by Stonethestone
Photo by Stonethestone

Besides our lovely homes we keep feeding you with, we are known (or at least we try hard) to be known as the ‘green’ realtors. Our green life section offers you green news, tips and solutions for you and your household.

Where did we learn all these exciting information? Browsing some great green blogs! We are proud to say, there are several very interesting green webs prepared by Canadian authors. We have prepared our personal top five chart, (with one bonus), and we encourage you to recommend any other great Canadian green blog in comments. We hope to encourage the young Canadian green blogosphere and establish a tradition of selecting the best blogs every year and following their virtual life.

(Top 5 Canadian Green Blogs continued...)

5 Instant Green Changes: September

Photo by Olof S
Photo by Olof S

As a part of our Green Lifestyle initiative, we decided to bring you every month five instant tips, how to make your life more environmentally friendly. Most of the actions can be done virtually instantly and with minimal cost – all you need is to decide right now!

You can contribute too – we welcome your own idea in the comments and will include them in the next month’s list.

(5 Instant Green Changes: September continued...)

Ice Energy For Greener Buildings

Photo by Juan Vidal Daz
Photo by Juan Vidal Daz

One of the latest innovations on the field of green technologies is slowly spreading in Toronto. The Toronto Zoo installed first three units if Ice Bear power demand management units, and nine more will be deployed in Ontario in following months. If it is proven working well in southern Ontario’s climate, we can expect it meets growing demand from commercial and residential sector.

(Ice Energy For Greener Buildings continued...)

Pet Shelter Reopened


Toronto Humane Society’s River St. shelter was finally reopened this Monday, thanks to the new board of directors.

The shelter was closed on April 12 this year after shocking accusation of animal cruelty from Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Former president Mr. Trow and five senior managers were previously arrested on animal cruelty charges.

(Pet Shelter Reopened continued...)

Community Environmental Days

Recycling is green is love by Jon Wilson
Recycling is green is love by Jon Wilson

Check out the locations for July to drop off unwanted household items!

(Community Environmental Days continued...)

Eco-City Ranking: Toronto Needs More Effort

Photo by Christopher Woo
Photo by Christopher Woo

For the first time, Mercer consulting published its annual Quality if Living city ranking with a new brand new chart included called Eco-City Ranking. While Toronto placed on solid 16th place in the world and on the third place in North America in terms of general quality of living, our position in the Eco-City chart is not so optimistic.

(Eco-City Ranking: Toronto Needs More Effort continued...)

Will Kevin Costner Save The Gulf?

oil spill by NASA 1
Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico May 17th
by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

One of the greatest environmental disasters of the last years keeps killing thousands of animals and endangers beaches of the Mexican Gulf. BP has been trying number of methods how to tackle the oil spill, including burning the oil and application of highly poisonous dispersant.

(Will Kevin Costner Save The Gulf? continued...)

The Globe&Mail: West Toronto Railpath Extension

When finished, the corridor could function as a bike commuters’ superhighway.

(The Globe&Mail: West Toronto Railpath Extension continued...)

Community Environmental Days are Here!

live green toronto
live green toronto

Reuse, Recycle and Safely Dispose!

Take used and unwanted household items to any Community Environment Day events. For a full list of event dates and what you can bring, visit the website: or call 311.

Top Green Innovators Known

Green innovation by Huge Johnson
Green innovation by Huge Johnson

Green Innovation Awards competition knows its three winners. Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss announced the top green innovators on April 23 during the Green Living Show at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. Each of them received prestigious Green Toronto Award and they will share a $50,000 prize.

(Top Green Innovators Known continued...)

Green Ideas to Share $50,000

Green Ideas by Micky Aldridge
Green Ideas by Micky Aldridge

As a part of the Green Living Show n Toronto, the top three green ideas, selected from ten finalists Green Innovation Awards will share $50,000 Toronto Community Foundation’s fund holders. Winners will be announced this evening.

Top ten finalists have been selected from 127 submissions. The finalist already faced their judges (the fund holders) on April 13 in a competition similar to well known TV show Dragon’s Den (just without cameras). Now we will be announced the results.

Only top three can get the money, but attention should be attracted to all of them, since most of the ideas are pretty original and fresh. Let me introduce the top ten briefly:

(Green Ideas to Share $50,000 continued...)

Ontario Looking For Options after ecoEnergy Retrofit Homes Program Cut

On March 31, 2010, the federal government announced funding cuts to the ecoEnergy Retrofit Homes Program.

Effective immediately, the federal program is not accepting new bookings for pre-retrofit evaluations.

Only the homeowners who have already booked or completed a pre-retrofit evaluation remain eligible to apply for a federal retrofit grant..

Click here for more information.

homeenergyontario en

Anti Smoking Laws Bring Less Hospitalizations

No Smoking by risingsunset7890
No Smoking by "risingsunset"

Toronto City anti-smoking laws, despite being opposed (and hated) by tobacco lovers, seem to bring tangible results. A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found out that the rate of hospitalization in Toronto significantly dropped.

The anti-smoking laws had three phases, which started being implemented since 1999 (the last phase took effective in 2004). The researchers Alisa Naiman, Richard Glazier and Rahim Moineddin from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences focused on the period 1996 (three years before the laws appeared) to 2006 (after the last phase), to find out, if there was any change in the rate of admissions to hospitals because of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.

(Anti Smoking Laws Bring Less Hospitalizations continued...)

Generating Solar Energy on Your Rooftop!

Have you ever wondered about generating solar energy on your rooftop?

The Our Power Project is one of the great projects of the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative, which helps people through the solar decision making process. They offer an online evaluation of your roof potential and access to a list of reliable solar system vendors for a one-time fee of $25 that will be refunded if you purchase within a year.

For a Check out their website for tons of useful information:

Earth Hour – March 27 at 8:30pm

Earth Hour is happening again on March 27! Starting at 8:30pm hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for an hour to demand action on climate change. Check out the Earth Hour Website to find out more about it, how you can participate and other ways to make a difference.

Green is Good for Business

You’re likely doing everything you can at home to reduce, recycle and reuse, but what about at work? With these simple measures your business could do a lot to protect the environment…

(Green is Good for Business continued...)

Appraisals Hold Back Green Homes

Green Roof by Ryan Somma
Green Roof by Ryan Somma

Green housing projects are mushrooming, but not as fast as developers would like them to. While environmentally friendly technologies are rapidly advancing, there is one aspect which still has not fully kept pace with the emergence of green housing on the property market—the issue of appraisals.

(Appraisals Hold Back Green Homes continued...)

Top Ten Environmental Movies of 2009

Green Leaf by Mathias Erhart
Green Leaf by Mathias Erhart

Environmental documentaries have been increasing in popularity over the last decade, and continue to do so. There are more and more high-quality movies created to inspire you, shock you, or present a story from a different angle. According to Mother Nature Network, the following flicks made their 2009 top-ten list of environmental documentaries. Having seen most of them, I can’t but agree.

(Top Ten Environmental Movies of 2009 continued...)

Cleaning Without Chemicals I.

Your House Needs To Clean by Cristina Chirtes
Your House Needs Cleaning
by Cristina Chirtes

Christmas and New Year parties are gone and your home needs general cleaning – again… What can you do, if you want to avoid traditional chemical detergents, which are harmful to you, your kids, your pets and to environment generally (not to mention their prices)?

Fourth part of the Toronto Homeowner Tips serie called "Cleaning Without Chemicals I." will help you to clean your Kitchen Stove, Fridge or Microwave without toxic weapons.

(Cleaning Without Chemicals I. continued...)

Upcoming UN Climate Change Conference

Copenhagen by Zuzana
Copenhagen by Zuzana

The United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place in the Denmark capital during the first half of December. Participants hope to reach important decisions, especially around a new framework for climate change mitigation beyond the year 2012. However, we shouldn’t see this conference as a symposium of climate change activists. The movement is anything but united.

(Upcoming UN Climate Change Conference continued...)

JKT Pumpkin Patch

Heather Pumpkin
Pumpkins In The Dark

JKT Pumpkin Patch – This year we decided to have a Pumpkin Patch and spent the afternoon giving out pumpkins to our clients as a Thank you for the support we get from them each year. Everyone showed up in the Halloween spirit!

Here are some photos of the carved creations. It was a ton of fun and we look forward to doing it again next year!

(JKT Pumpkin Patch continued...)

Getting Rid of Black Mold: White Vinegar Is Your Friend

White Vinegar Against Black Mold by Mark Hardie
Vinegar Against Mold by Mark Hardie

With the ants long gone to their winter residence and the fallen leaves taken care of, it is just about time to make a stand against the one unwelcome guest that has been stubbornly visiting you against your will over and over every fall: black mold.

Find the solution in the third part of our Toronto Homeowner Tips guide.

(Getting Rid of Black Mold: White Vinegar Is Your Friend continued...)

IFAW’s Animal Rescue Blog

Animal Rescue by Szlivka Robert
Animal Rescue
by Robert Szlivka

In the Spring Jen Palacios on our team had the opportunity to travel to Northern Quebec to assist with IFAW’s Northern Dog Program’s Spay/Neuter clinics. Attention animal lovers – check out the fascinating blog from the team at IFAW!

By the way – Jen has now adopted 2 beautiful dogs from these Cree communities.

(IFAW’s Animal Rescue Blog continued...)

How to get rid of leaves

Autumn leaves by Vladimir Agafonkin
Autumn leaves by Vladimir Agafonkin

It is the same every year: the summer ends, the children go back to school and again you realize that while the summer is a really cool part of the year with the sun and vacations and all the rest of it, deep down in your heart you know you are an autumn person. Whether you are driving to work or just walking down the street minding your own business, you cannot take your eyes away from all that beauty covering everything in sight, silencing your steps.

(How to get rid of leaves continued...)

New Solar Water Heater Savings Program

Why not learn about and take advantage of Enbridge’s New Solar Water Heater Savings Program. Enbridge Gas Distribution has teamed up with Bullfrog Power, EnerWorks and Natural Resources Canada to offer homeowners significant savings on a solar water heater.

(New Solar Water Heater Savings Program continued...)


Human Train

Saturday September 26 8:30 AM – 4 PM


  • Starts in Weston
  • Ends on Queen Street West
  • Main Rally at Sorauren Park, 1 PM

Plan now to hop on board the Human Train to send a message to Premier McGuinty that he must act now to scrap plans to run hundreds of polluting diesel trains a day through our neighbourhoods, and direct Metrolinx to use only clean, quiet electric trains for any expansion of rail traffic along the Georgetown corridor.

(Hop On Board the HUMAN TRAIN THIS WEEKEND! continued...)

Pay It Backward?

On September 30, 2009, The Second Cup wants to "Pay It Backward". Every person that buys a cup of coffee for the person behind them in line, they will donate 5.00 to the SickKids Hospital.

Its a random act of kindness that will help alot of children! Now that will be a good cup of coffee.

Hannah and her hair

Hannah Monette is the 8 year old daughter of our clients Heather MacEachern & Chris Monette.

Terry Fox
Terry Fox

Hannah chose not have her hair cut in 1 1/2 years, and will have 15" of her beautiful thick black hair cut off to donate to kids with cancer at her Terry Fox Assembly.

Hannah set a goal to raise $500.00. What a wonderful cause and what is more wonderful is that at such a young age is being encouraged to help others in need. If you would like to donate you can do so at

Way to go Hannah! You inspire us all!

Will oil produced by algae save the planet?

Toronto Road by Alex
Toronto Road by Alex

In our green real estate section we usually try to focus on environmentally friendly ideas for our homes. But oil is an essential part of our everyday lives. Half the adult population in the developed world has a car. Some of the biggest car users are realtors. We have to drive around their neighbourhoods on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we all know the two main problems related to driving: unsure oil supplies driving prices up and down and the environmental damage caused by fuel burning and the related carbon dioxide emissions.

Craig Venter is an American biologist and also a successful businessman who founded The Institute for Genomic Research. He mainly deals with genetic engineering and his latest project has caused a great deal of heated debate.

Algae are known for creating natural oil, which is already part of several experiments with biofuels. Venter wants to go further. He is trying to change the genomic make-up of algae in order to produce oil, which is almost identical to traditional crude oil. This option is so much better, as you can use existing oil industry infrastructure like refineries, and even produce plastics in the same way as from crude oil refining using the same production plants that are currently being used. It is no wonder that Exxon Mobile, one of the largest oil producing companies on the planet, gave him a $600 million subsidy to further his research.

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Asbestos: Hidden Danger

Until not too long ago, asbestos used to be applauded for its unique characteristics: being resistant to heat, fire, chemicals and wear made it a very desirable material. For decades it was used in making thousands of products, from building material to clothes and toys, until about 50 years ago when it became obvious that it was also poisonous.

What is asbestos poisoning?

The blessings and curse of asbestos at the same time is its durability, which has been exploited in numerous industries. On the other hand, when present in human bodies, the body has no means of disposing of it. As long as asbestos stays compound in the material it is part of, then it is harmless. It only becomes dangerous when the tiny needle-like fibers become airborne, which makes them likely to be inhaled.

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The Great Refrigerator RoundUp

Log onto Ontario Power Authority website for a great service that will get that old fridge out of your basement (or anywhere else it may be).

They will take it out of the basement and drive it away, at no cost to you!!!

Hot New Client Blog

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Green Building Festival

Green Building Festival website

When: September 23 - 24, 2009
Where: Direct Energy Centre, Toronto

Green Building Festival, Canada's premier event on the business and design of green building since 2005, will be returning to Toronto again. This year GBF is forming a strategic partnership with IIDEX/NeoCon, Canada's largest exposition and conference for the design, construction and management of the built environment. Exhibitions will include major project case-studies from around the world, technical analysis of all the different technologies and material available for green building and also innovative business solutions that allows you to make your green building projects a reality.

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Solar panels grants

In January we let you know what to expect if you decide to go through a home energy audit. Today we'll have a look at what grants there are available should you choose to install a home solar power system.

Why solar energy?

The ultimate advantage of solar energy is of course its nature-friendliness. With more solar energy, less energy produced the conventional (dirty) way will have to be made. Another really cool aspect of the solar energy today is that it is very popular and widely subsidized by most of the developed countries' energy policies and Canada is no exception. So if you ever though of installing a few solar panels on your roof, right now would be a good time.


Before we have a look at the grants themselves, don't forget that in order to qualify for both federal and provincial government grants, you have to go through the home energy audit. What does that means?

  • Don't start the installation of the solar panel system before the auditor's first evaluation visit.
  • Finish all the necessary work within 18 months after the evaluation.
  • Keep all the technical documentation, receipts and even take photos of your progress so that you make sure you will be able to claim all the grants you are eligible for.
  • Book the follow-up appointment.

The first energy audit visit costs $341.25 (inc. GST), the follow-up visit $157.50 (inc. GST). The Government will refund you $150 toward the cost of the first evaluation.

Federal and provincial grants

Basically you are eligible to parliament grants for both solar photovoltaic system (solar energy is converted into electricity) and solar thermal system (solar energy is used for heating water). The federal government provides a grant of up to $500, but only if the system meets CAN/CSA standards. This grant is available until the end of March 2011. As for the Ontario government, they will match the federal government grant, so that's $1000 altogether. Also you can claim a refund of the 8% RST from the Ontario government. If you would like to take an advantage of this opportunity, you should hurry up since currently you can only claim it on equipment purchased up until the end of this year. The refund deadline has been already extended from the end of 2007 and might not be extended again.

This surely is a great opportunity for all those who are thinking of environmentally-friendly living while taking advantage of available government funding.

Confusion about the new Environmental Light Bulbs

Toronto home or condo dwellers are experiencing similar confusion about the new energy saving light bulbs. See our list of tips…

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Earth Hour 2009 March 28 8:30pm EST

Earth Hour 2009 by Hartwig HKD
Earth Hour 2009 by Hartwig HKD

Amazing how far it has come in just 3 years. What an incredible effort around the world.
Go to full story to see some amazing landmarks that will go dark this year… Post on our blog what unique ideas you have…

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Energy Audit for your Home

As we primarily work with clients in older homes, this is more important than ever to RRR. In this case reduce your eco-energy expenses – see info here…

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More and more households are choosing green power for their homes

Conventional electricity production is among the largest industrial sources of carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas that is linked to climate change. Bullfrog Power is a leading provider of 100% green electricity and is stirring up a little green competition for the greenest street in Toronto.

See who's in the lead for using Bullfrog green power...

nov08 green pover

Did You Know about Tankless hot water systems?

That 'tankless' or 'on demand' hot water systems have been used in Europe and Asia since the Second World War, but are only now coming into common use in North America.

According to Mike Holmes "they are super efficient, space-saving products that- when installed properly - will last almost forever, cut your energy bill and supply unlimited hot water to your home".

The Julie Kinnear Team Goes Green!

The latest Team effort to practice the 3 R’s is going to make a big difference to the forests of the world!

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Local, sustainable food in a great central location!

Natural, organic, sustainable local food is not only good for the environment, it tastes better and you can tell the loving care that went into producing these delicious foods! Attend workshops, cooking classes & tastings.

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Greenprint Renovation Forums

If you’re planning a reno and would like to embrace the future – valuable environmentally friendly solutions to your alterations and additions – attend one of these free forums and learn from the experts how it’s done!

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Earth Hour: Saturday, March 29, 8 pm to 9 pm

Turning off the lights for one hour in support of environmental action is just the beginning.

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Give trees a break!

Longing for a paperless society? Getting rid of your bulky phone books is a great place to start!

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Have you ever been called a little geek? It’s a compliment.

Help a child learn – on your old computer!

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Are you willing to give up your car?

One realtor did, to help save the environment and put more $ in his own pocket. Can you?

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New Addition to Movie Guide: Toronto in the movies

Saint Monica

You know that I am a huge movies fan. That’s why I’ve decided to write about some of the motion pictures that our city is in the focus of. Please check out Toronto in the movies, the latest addition to our Movie Guide.

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Get ready for the warm weather with peaksaver®!

This technology communicates with your AC unit to lower the amount of electricity it uses for brief periods of time.

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Disposing of Old Computers for a Good Cause

Our client Stephanie Pelton Hatcher told us about this great organization that will give your old computer to a child in need.

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How to make Realtors Greener by Heather MacEachern

How to be a green realtor. A lesson from Heather MacEachern.

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Smart Meters Are Coming Your Way

Smart Meters are one of the latest tools to help you record how much energy you use, when you use it, and how much it’s costing you. They’re mandatory…find out more about how they work and when they’re coming to YOUR home.

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4 Easy Ways to Winterize your Home

Improve your home’s energy efficiency & cut costs! Read Toronto realtor Julie Kinnearás four tips on how to winterize your home.

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Green Tips on Fires and Chimneys

How to burn more efficient fires and to protect unused chimneys.

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Winter Energy Savings – How to Save Money This Season

Let’s not forget about saving energy during wintertime! These few months provide an ideal oppurtinity to inspect all the interiors, reinsulate problematic parts and fix smaller issues that you’ve been putting off before. Read the article for a couple of very handy, season-specific tips on how to save precious energy – and money as well!

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Toronto Recycling – How to Recycle Unusual and Hazardous Materials

We, citizens of Toronto are lucky to have many options for safe recycling. However, there are some potentionally dangerous materials whose disposal is less easy and in some cases even requires professional assistance. Find out how to go about recycling less common items in Toronto by reading the rest of the entry – we’ve done all the research for you. So please, don’t forget to add “recycle more” on to your new years resolutions list!

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A Green New Year

2008 is almost here! If you are hoping to make a greener lifestyle part of the plan for the New Year, here are some fun ways to achieve your goals.

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The Cancer Continuum – from Prevention to Care

Based on current incidence rates, 39% of Canadian women and 44% of Canadian men will develop cancer during their lifetime. In an effort to stay well or to manage chronic diseases such as cancer, more and more Canadians are exploring a wide range of natural, complementary and alternative therapies. What is known about the efficacy of these products and therapies, and their potential role in the prevention and management of cancer?

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Leave the Lawnmower in the Garage!

Imagine spending a whole summer with a perfectly manicured lawn that you never have to cut. No its not astroturf, Its No-Mow Grass!

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Do ‘Green’ Appliances live up to their billing?

Environmentally Friendly Appliances – Are they worth the money? Which save the most energy? How can you get the most out of them?

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Find Out How Some of Our Clients are Going Green with Bullfrog Power!

Think emission-free electricity for your home is out of reach? Think again! Read-on to find out how Bullfrog Power can help you make your home more eco-friendly.

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Use less electricity & get a 10% credit from Toronto Hydro!

Toronto Hydro is offering a financial incentive to homeowners to save electricity! As if you needed a more compelling reason than helping to save the Earth!

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A Celebration Of Herbs

Ready for a delightful mix of all things herbal, from books to makeup? Exhibitors at “A Celebration of Herbs” range from some of Canada’s largest health food companies to small growers and cottage industries.

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Parkdale Gets its own Community Food Garden

There’s a new community garden in town – H.O.P.E. Garden, which stands for Healthy Organic Parkdale Edibles and aims to bring fresh organic produce to Parkdale residents.

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Local farmers’ spring harvest celebration!

Help continue a 7 year tradition of celebrating the anniversary of Cedarvale Park NOT being a Highway – and a celebration of Local Farmers’ spring harvest, with free music & food!

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Riverdale Initiative for Solar Energy Wins Green Toronto Award

Our clients Dave Ullrich & Helen Hawketts were instrumental in the RISE initiative, bringing solar power systems to neighbourhood homes. Their hard work paid off in the form of energy conservation – and winning a Green Toronto Award!

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Julie loves her Toto toilet

When needing to replace her old toilet at home in Roncesvalles Village, Julie approached her local hardward store Pollock’s for a recommendation. They raved about the Toto toilet – Drake model.

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Retreat Day in the City!

Interested in alternative medicine, health care, and the benefits of living a healthy ‘green’ lifestyle? On Sunday May 6, enjoy an amazing holistic retreat in the city while raising funds for natural health education & research! A day of learning and relaxation.

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Pictures from the 8th annual Friends of the Don East Spring Fling

Rennie Park Community Sale
Todmorden Wildflower
Preserve cleanup

Two weeks ago, the Julie Kinnear team went to help cleaning up the beautiful Tordmorden Wildflower Preserve. Check out the pictures!

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Come Join Us at the Friends of the Don Spring Fling!

Come join The Julie Kinnear Team at the 8th annual Friends of the Don East Spring Fling to help clean up the Don! It will be a morning in the beautiful Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve – a chance to give back to the community and enjoy fellowship, a BBQ and lovely wildflowers! We look forward to seeing you there.

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