The Climate Action Fund supports community-led projects, activities and events that directly or indirectly (education/outreach) reduce the harmful emissions that contribute to climate change. Eligible projects will:

  • Increase awareness and engagement on climate action at the local level.
  • Strengthen the efforts and capacity of local community agencies, grassroots groups, and resident leaders
  • Activate resources for local COVID-19 recovery efforts, with a focus on engaging vulnerable residents, specifically on youth, isolated seniors and diverse linguistic communities in low-income areas of each cluster.
  • Foster collaboration and cooperation between various sectors.

Funding is available for each of TO Supports’ geographic or population level clusters.  The funding formula will model neighbourhood equity, allocating additional funds to Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, Emerging Neighbourhoods, and population based clusters.  Each cluster will receive base funding of $10,000 with an additional equitable allocation.

This funding initiative is a partnership between TransformTO and TO Supports‘ vision to activate resources and capacity building opportunities for community agencies and vulnerable community members.

 

 

Climate actions are any actions that achieve the co-benefits of a healthy, thriving, and equitable city, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our city. The major sources of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions in Toronto are from buildings, waste, and transportation. Examples of climate action are listed below in the Eligible Projects section.

Co-Benefits of Climate Action

Achieving our emission reduction targets will require transformational changes in how we live, work, commute, and build. TransformTO identifies the following added benefits (called ‘co-benefits’) of addressing climate change in Toronto:

  • Advancing social equity
  • Protecting low income residents
  • Improving affordability, especially for vulnerable populations
  • Supporting poverty reduction
  • Enhancing and strengthening the local economy
  • Maintaining and creating good local jobs
  • Improving public health
  • Creating resilient communities and infrastructure

The CAF will utilize a place-based approach to support Toronto’s most vulnerable and isolated residents and community members across all City of Toronto geographic and citywide clusters. All of the ten geographic and four population-level clusters are eligible for project funding. Each cluster will receive base funding of $10,000 with an additional equitable allocation.

Population-Level Clusters:

  • Newcomer Cluster
  • Black Resilience Cluster
  • Indigenous-Serving Cluster
  • Citywide Agencies Cluster

Geographic Clusters:

  • York Weston Pelham
  • Downtown West
  • Downtown East
  • South Etobicoke
  • North Etobicoke
  • North York
  • Black Creek Humber Summit
  • East York Don Valley
  • North Scarborough
  • South Scarborough

Each cluster will identify and prioritize local issues which can be addressed with the CAF resources, and develop a project plan with goals, objectives and performance measures (including greenhouse gas reductions) to coordinate their actions.

Clusters will self-determine their approach to decision-making and the projects recommended for funding. Clusters can recommend as many projects as they choose within the allocated budget.

Clusters are encouraged to use the provided project proposal and budget templates. Once a cluster has come to consensus on their local project(s), they will submit the completed proposal and budget to the CAF Lead Team for review. Clusters must identify a lead agency or an organization who can act as a trustee of the funds before submitting the chosen proposal(s).

Final approval for use of funds within each cluster will be decided by the CAF Lead Team comprised of staff from City of Toronto’s Environment & Energy Division (EED) and Social Development Finance & Administration (SDFA).

Eligible projects include projects that directly contribute to emission reduction and/or projects that include a climate change educational component. Projects can have both components or one. All projects must adhere to current Toronto Public Health guidelines.

Emission Reduction Projects

We need your help to address the sources of emissions in Toronto. Are you interested in:

  • Increasing the uptake of energy efficiency retrofits in homes?
  • Reducing the amount of waste directed to landfill?
  • Decreasing neighbourhood reliance on personal vehicles?
  • Increasing neighbourhood use of active transportation (walking/cycling) or public transportation?
  • Exploring neighbourhood renewable energy sources such as a formal neighbourhood study?

Examples of Emission Reduction Projects:

  • Repair-a-thon or swap events
  • Bike repair or cycling clinics
  • Feasibility study for neighbourhood renewable energy sources
  • Neighbourhood home energy retrofit events or audits (multiple homes)
  • Neighbourhood walking, cycling or carpooling challenge
  • Neighbourhood organized bike pool or walking school bus
  • Vehicle anti-idling school campaigns
  • Establishing sharing libraries (please speak to City staff if you are interested in this type of project)

 

Or:

Educational Initiatives:

We need your help to inspire others to take climate action. Are you interested in:

  • Hosting local climate focused workshops, information sessions or events?
  • Creating interpretive art, activities or signage that engage the public about climate change?
  • Leading citizen science projects and community research on climate action?
  • Developing a neighbourhood communications and engagement campaign to promote climate action?

Examples of Education Initiatives:

  • Interactive workshops, project / concept demonstrations, or neighbourhood education events
  • Lobby displays
  • Zero-waste neighbourhood events
  • Interpretive art that engages and informs the public about climate action
  • Toolkits, guides, interpretive signage, walking tours
  • Citizen science projects and community research
  • Home energy efficiency workshops or training

 

2020 CAF Projects:

  • Mask sewing and distribution
  • Repair clinics
  • Food waste prevention
  • Bike repair and education
  • Workshop series
  • Climate capacity building
  • Research on the intersection of climate change and anti-black racism
  • Sewing clinics
  • Youth mentorship
  • Food growing and climate change

What we can fund

Below are examples of fundable budget line items:

  • Virtual meeting software/hardware, permit fees, space rental, liability insurance for your event/activity
  • Workshop expenses
  • Communications and promotion (e.g. flyers, posters, printing)
  • Honoraria for volunteers
  • Volunteer recognition, volunteer food expenses at event/activity
  • Training and training expenses;
  • Local travel expenses, TTC tokens, taxi receipts, bus transportation
  • Equipment rentals
  • Small equipment purchases (any equipment purchased must remain within the community after the life of the project)
  • Interpretation and translation
  • Administrative partner (trustee) fees (up to 10% of the grant amount)
  • Consultant or staffing fees
  • Other expenses on a case-by-case basis

What we can’t fund

Below are examples of activities that are not fundable:

  • Activities that do not follow current Toronto Public Health guidelines
  • Ongoing program costs: costs to run your current programs/ services
  • Costs associated with the regular operation of your organization such as current staff salaries (unrelated to project) office rental, utilities, computer equipment, phones, fax, internet, accounting services, insurance, etc
  • Income-generating activities for staff, group members (unrelated to project)
  • Mass market advertising campaigns
  • Fees paid to project partners (except trustee fees)
  • Costs to maintain activities beyond the funding term
  • Award ceremonies, banquets, receptions, annual general meetings, sport tournaments
  • Religious activities/services
  • Political activities
  • Alcohol
  • Land acquisition, lease or rental
  • Purchase or rental of vehicles
  • Fundraising events, or donations to charitable causes
  • Postage and shipping costs
  • Lobbying or advocacy on behalf of for-profit entities
  • Disbursement of funds to provide additional grants to other parties
  • Conference registration and travel fees
  • Personal vehicles and parking
  • Travel outside of the city of Toronto
  • Reserve funds, debt repayment, deficit funding
  • Capital costs (i.e. building repairs, renovations, water service, etc)
  • Activities that extend beyond Toronto’s borders

 

Cluster project brainstorming and consensus building June to August 2021
Final project proposal and lead agency identification by September 30, 2021
Project implementation November 2021 to June 2022
Project completion and evaluation Summer 2022

 

Timeline is subject to change.

 

Clusters must select a lead agency for each project. If the cluster lead agency cannot fulfill the below organizational requirements, the cluster must also work with a trustee organization to receive funding.

The trustee organization should have knowledge about the issues the project addresses or experience in the community.

What is a Trustee Organization?

A trustee is an incorporated not-for-profit organization with audited financial statements and the financial systems in place to administer grant funds.
A trustee will distribute the funding according to the approved project budget. Trustees may also provide additional support to funded projects, such as project management and mentorship.

 

Who can be a Trustee Organization?

Trustee organizations must meet all of the following eligibility criteria and be approved by City staff to act as your trustee:

  • Be an incorporated not-for-profit organization with recent audited financial statements;
  • Demonstrate effective management and administrative capacity;
  • Be based in the city of Toronto (this means the organization’s head office must be located in Toronto and a majority of their programs and services take place in Toronto);
  • Be accountable to the community it serves through an elected Board of Directors or executive and must represent the community it serves;
  • 50% or more of Board members reside in the City of Toronto, or 50% or more of the organization budget is allocated to Toronto;
  • Have existed for at least one year;
  • Be in good standing with the City of Toronto (be up to date on all requirements for any City funds the organization may have received in the past);
  • Collaborate with other service providers and community groups;
  • Demonstrate a clear separation between religious and community service functions (if religious activities are provided by the organization);
  • Comply with the City of Toronto Anti-racism, Access and Equity Policy;
  • Have a service mandate related to the funded project;
  • Agree to take responsibility for the management of financial and project activities proposed by the applicant organization; and
  • Report on the use of grant funds to the City and maintain documentation for audit purposes.

What are the Roles & Expectations of the Lead Agency or Trustee?

The lead agency or trustee organization:

  • Holds financial authority and a position of trust and responsibility for the project grant funds;
  • The trustee provides support and guidance to the grant recipient’s project leadership throughout the project;
  • Maintains proper fiscal oversight including using their existing financial systems and policies when dispersing the grant funds to your group (i.e. petty cash disbursements, honoraria, invoice payment, expense reimbursements etc.);
  • Has overall legal responsibility for the grant funds;
  • Provides assurance that all funding received will be spent only for the purposes outlined in the Trustee Agreement and in the Letter of Understanding and according to the approved project budget;
  • Acts as the project’s financial and administrative manager for the duration of your project;
  • Ensures compliance with accountability and legislative requirements; and
  • Signs the Letter of Understanding issued by the City with the grant recipient group. The Letter of Understanding outlines the terms and conditions of the grant funding.

Lead Agency or Trustee Fees

Trustee organizations may charge fees for their services. The CAF program allocates funding for trustee fees of up to 10% of the project funding.

Please contact Megan.MacLean@toronto.ca to request any further support or resources.