The City of Toronto is seeking local neighbourhood leaders to engage with community residents on environmental issues and inspire climate action. Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions will inspire, motivate, and encourage other residents to undertake community-focused actions to support the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy and reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Applications from community leaders and residents from communities experiencing social, economic and other barriers, including people of colour, newcomers, LGBTQ2S+ persons, women, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities / disabled will be given priority.

Participants will receive training through a series of webinars on climate change science, climate change communications, and climate action in Toronto. After the training, participants will receive a Neighborhood Climate Action Toolkit to help them engage their neighbours in discussions about climate change and develop innovative neighbourhood-focused climate action projects. The aim of the Toolkit is to identify specific TransformTO goals the neighbourhood should target and develop a plan to reach these goals.

Climate Action Champions are required to commit at least 50 hours per year (4-5 hrs per month) toward climate outreach and project development and execution.

Participants will meet with City staff on a monthly basis to discuss their neighbourhood projects and receive feedback and support, and will receive an honorarium of $500.

As a Neighbourhood Climate Action Champion you will:

  • Communicate and educate residents about environmental and climate related topics and issues. Lead constructive and interesting conversations about the challenges of climate change and potential solutions.
  • Collaborate with residents to develop neighbourhood-focused climate action projects that account for the diverse values and needs of the community.
  • Connect and inspire a broader group of neighbourhood residents to take part in climate action to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Contribute to advancing the City’s TransformTO strategy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our city.
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Live in Toronto
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Able to commit at least 4 to 5 hrs per month to climate outreach and attend monthly meetings with City staff
  • Able to work as part of a team and have strong leadership capacity
  • Currently engaged in climate action work; or
  • engaged in neighbourhood or local community work; or a
  • recent graduate interested in climate action
  • Existing connections with neighbourhood networks/groups is an asset
  • Fluency in non-English language is an asset
  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and able to provide proof in accordance with the COVID-19: Mandatory Vaccination Policy

Applications from community leaders and residents from communities experiencing social, economic and other barriers, including people of colour, newcomers, LGBTQ2S+ persons, women, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities / disabled will be given priority.

Applications open: September 27

Applications close: October 25 at 11:59 p.m.

Interviews & selection: Early November

Candidates notified: Mid / Late November

Training sessions: January – March 2022

Neighbourhood Climate Action Champions will begin engagement with neighbourhood residents after attending the training sessions.

Below are a list of projects our Climate Action Champions are implementing in their communities.

Ecobuddies

Ecobuddies will inspire and advance climate action in Toronto by establishing meaningful mentorship relationships. There are two main audiences for this initiative: people involved and knowledgeable about sustainability – “ecobuddies”, and people interested in living more sustainable lifestyles or getting more involved in sustainable initiatives, and needing some guidance to do so – “ecobudders”. Ecobudders and ecobuddies will be paired according to their areas of interest and a recommended framework for interactions will be provided to guide both parties. Ecobuddies hopes to leverage the existing knowledge and skills of individuals involved in sustainability to engage individuals who are eager to get involved but need some guidance to get going.

Engage, Learn, & Transform Woburn

The project will set up a sharing equipment library of outreach equipment for resident grassroots leaders to use in their outdoor community events. Prior to borrowing equipment, resident/community leaders must attend one virtual orientation session that will introduce Transform TO goals, climate action concepts, and give examples on how to incorporate a climate action lens in community engagement activities. The project will engage people not normally involved in climate action conversations and aims to cultivate community leaders to become climate action champions and re-model how they do their community events using a climate action lens.

Wild About Pollinators

The project involves both the creation of an example pollinator garden and educational how to and awareness events to encourage our community to create their own pollinator gardens. We want to increase the number of pollinator gardens in our community and increase the knowledge of the benefits of pollinators and how they can contribute to lowering carbon emissions. We hope to support and grow an increasing network of individuals, businesses, and community organizations to connect together and create a platform for additional climate action projects and programs.

Asphalt Painting

The project invites the community to come out to the park and paint on asphalt using eco-paint and learn about environmental stewardship. Community members will have to complete several climate action challenges and attend workshops in order to get more paint privileges and prizes. Residents will cultivate team spirit by working together on the challenges and by creating their art. The project will aim to create a more sustainable and connected community. Overall, we want climate action to be a fun endeavour for our community and to involve everyone regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status, and ethno-cultural background.

Agincourt Loves Cycling

This project aims to increase climate change awareness among residents in the Agincourt area and encourage them to cycle more to help reduce emissions in the city. Residents will be offered education workshops and a series of cycling-related events. Topics and events include: safe cycling 101, road rules and responsibilities, family biking, bike route planning, in-person cycling instruction, and bike repair hubs.

Pocket Change Mural and Sustainable Energy Education

Our vision is to transform the laneway that runs alongside Phin Park and Kapapamahchakwew – Wandering Spirit School into a dynamic space for environmental engagement, creative inspiration, and reconciliation through Indigenous and climate action murals. Our desired project outcomes are to provide an inspirational city space that acts as both a community corridor and public gathering space that promotes environmental action, cultural awareness and decolonization. We will also educate the community and provide community resources to facilitate the transition to sustainable energy in homes through community webinars.

Soupalicious in-the-Park

We will be celebrating the local harvest by hosting events in parks within the Davenport area. Community residents are invited to attend for free soup and information about individual ways that we can help slow down/stop climate change. We aim to highlight how soups can be made from leftovers to reduce food waste and how growing your own vegetables can reduce “food miles”.