Toronto is one of the fastest growing, most diverse, and safest cities in the world. But like other global cities, Toronto’s success is paired with significant challenges, like growing inequality and a changing climate that is bringing more extreme weather. We need strategies to support our communities as they deal with these challenges and to help make our city more resilient.
Toronto’s Resilience Office has a two-year mandate to develop our city’s first ever Resilience Strategy. By drawing on the strengths of our diverse communities, we will work together to prepare Torontonians for whatever changes the future may have in store for us. With the support of 100 Resilient Cities (pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation), we are building a city-wide Resilience Strategy to ensure Toronto is inclusive, liveable and prosperous for many years to come.
Resilience is the ability to survive, adapt and thrive in the face of any challenge.
Our job at ResilientTO is to help prepare the people, communities, businesses, and institutions of Toronto to be resilient in the face of key challenges facing our city, through the development of Toronto’s first ever Resilience Strategy.
In Toronto, we experience two kinds of challenges:
- acute, climate-related shocks, which are sudden, sharp events that threaten the immediate well-being of our city
- chronic stresses, or daily challenges that weaken the fabric of the city and impact its ability to bounce back in response to a shock
Learn more about these challenges and neighbourhood resilience, towers and climate resilience.
As part of the first phase we of the Resilience Strategy, we undertook a Preliminary Resilience Assessment through extensive stakeholder conversations to identify the specific challenges to resilience that we face in Toronto.
Initiate (Spring 2016 – Fall 2017)
Toronto is selected as a member of the 100 Resilient Cities network and the process to understand Toronto’s resilience challenges gets underway with the development of the Preliminary Resilience Assessment.
Develop (January – November 2018)
Launch of the public process to build Torontonians’ understanding about resilience, as well as the Resilient Stories campaign. Development of the vision, principles, and emerging directions of the Strategy.
Finalize (December 2018 – March 2019)
Development of the final Resilience Strategy and consideration by City Council.
The City of Toronto is supporting a new pilot program – the Toronto Home Resilience Program.
From July through September 2018, up to 200 residents can participate in the Toronto Home Resilience Program to receive emergency preparedness resources and a 50-point flood risk assessment that identifies priority actions to reduce basement flood risk.
Subsidized home assessments are available on a first come, first served basis for Toronto homeowners for a fee of $95 (full value $450).
The Home Resilience Program is developed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, is delivered by AET Group, and is available in Toronto thanks to funding support provided by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Additional program support is generously provided by the City of Toronto, Intact Financial Corporation, and the Province of Ontario.
What you can expect
A Home Flood Protection Assessment takes 60 to 90 minutes and includes:
- Emergency preparedness resources for Toronto residents
- 50-point visual inspection of flood risks inside and outside your home by a trained assessor
- Confidential report that identifies top actions you can take to reduce your risk of flooding
- Optional follow-up phone call with your inspector to discuss the report
- Optional seasonal maintenance reminders sent to you via email
How to participate
Free web resources
Free web resources are also available to all Toronto residents, and include:
- Self-help checklists
- How-to videos
- Tips for finding qualified contractors
- Questions to ask insurance providers
- Information about how to reduce your flood insurance premiums
Visit the Intact Centre for Climate Adaption website for more information.
The Toronto Home Resilience Program is a Toronto-based update to the University of Waterloo’s innovative Home Flood Protection Program. Visit www.homefloodprotect.ca or call 1-877-876-9235 to learn more. This project receives support from the sponsors listed above. Such support does not constitute endorsement of the contents.
There are four ways to get involved in the development of Toronto’s first ever Resilience Strategy. You can:
As a member of the 100 Resilient Cities Network (100RC), a global community of cities working together to build urban resilience, the City is working to improve our resilience to the physical, social, and economic challenges of the 21st century.
Through 100RC, the City will have the facility to share resilience knowledge and best practices, and foster relationships and partnerships with other leading cities. In addition, the City is receiving funding and resources to:
- hire a Chief Resilience Officer to coordinate, oversee, and prioritize resilience-building activities
- support the development of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for Toronto
- collaborate with the 100RC Platform of Partners to support the implementation of Toronto’s Resilience Strategy, including solutions that integrate big data, analytics, technology, resilience land-use planning, infrastructure design, innovative financing supports, and insurance products
Hired in June 2017, Toronto’s Chief Resilience Officer, Elliott Cappell, is leading the city-wide resilience-building efforts and overseeing the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy. The position is fully funded by 100 RC.