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Award Winners Recognized for their Outstanding Contribution to The Living City©

Nov 04, 2011


For Immediate Distribution 

(TORONTO - November 4) At the Charles Sauriol Environmental Dinner for The Living City© on November 3rd,  awards were presented to organizations exemplifying  Toronto and Region Conservation's (TRCA) vision for The Living City, "where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity" . The three awards represented each of the Living City objectives for healthy rivers and shorelines, regional biodiversity and sustainable communities. 

Nominations were submitted by TRCA staff then evaluated and selected by TRCA Directors.  

The Charles Sauriol Greenspace award, presented by the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) was also awarded to recognize the significant contribution by a private landowner to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Charles Sauriol Greenspace Award is named after the late Charles Sauriol, whose hard work and undeniable love of the land helped ensure that the natural beauty of our precious land would continue. 

The 2011 Living City and Charles Sauriol Greenspace Award Recipients are:

The Living City Award 2011: Healthy Rivers and Shorelines

Awarded to RBC Foundation for "The Blue Water Project"

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide ranging, 10-year program to help foster a culture of water stewardship around the globe and right here in the GTA.  Through the RBC's $50 million commitment to provide charitable grants to not-for-profit organizations, the project promotes responsible and sustainable water uses, technologies, leadership and collaboration to help protect fresh water. 

RBC has supported a number of projects in the GTA including the Swim Guide smartphone app, Earth Rangers Children's Water Festival Outreach Project, Citizen Science monitoring, Uxbridge Watershed Advisory Committee stewardship, University of Toronto HYDROCity, and Rouge Valley Conservation Foundation monitoring.  The Blue Water Project also supports the work of TRCA and other conservation authorities in the management of watersheds in the GTA and beyond.

The Living City Award 2011: Regional Biodiversity

Awarded to Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation for the "Caring for the Moraine Project"

The Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, established in 2002, received an initial grant of $15 million from the Provincial Government to support stewardship, education, research, land securement and trail projects across the Moraine. Between 2002 and 2008 the ORMF distributed in excess of $14 million in grants and leveraged, in collaboration with Moraine partners, an additional $35.8 in funding for 177 projects.

Among the Foundation's many efforts is "Caring for the Moraine" - a landowner contact and stewardship program created and managed by the Foundation.  Through this project, the Foundation worked with over 30 stakeholders across the Moraine who undertook direct landowner contact, workshops and on-the-ground stewardship projects to deliver environmental services to landowners through a 'one stop shop' approach.  From 2005-2009 partners offered landowners technical advice and access to various resources including financial assistance to undertake projects on their properties that help protect and restore the Oak Ridges Moraine.  It was through this project that we were able to restore more than 1,000 acres of significant land on the Oak Ridges Moraine for improved biodiversity and educate more than 85,500 people of its importance.

The Living City Award 2011: Sustainable Communities

Awarded to Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance for their leadership in Greening Greater Toronto

Since its founding as the Toronto City Summit Alliance in 2002, now known as The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, or 'CivicAction', this organization has made a significant mark on all aspects of sustainability as they convened civic leaders to improve the GTA's social, economic and environmental future.

One of the recent initiatives of CivicAction has been Greening Greater Toronto - a unique partnership of individuals and organizations across the GTA committed to the vision for a region that flourishes economically, socially and environmentally through environmental action and innovation by its leaders and diverse communities.

Greening Greater Toronto has targeted 6 main areas including greenhouse gas emissions, clean air, clean water, reduced waste, improved waste management and more sustainable land use.  CivicAction has initiated action to address several of these areas:  Commercial Building Energy Initiative, Greening Canada Fund and the Green Procurement Project.

While CivicAction is being awarded for their work on Greening Greater Toronto, they have also led a number of other initiatives to build strong neighbourhoods, address poverty, celebrate arts and culture, and encourage diversity. 


Charles Sauriol Greenspace Awards:

 Natural Linkages in Land Donation: Greenspace Award to Heather and John Emery

A simple donation of 10.57 acres in Richmond Hill by Heather Emery gives pause to think about 'linkages'.  Heather is the daughter of James and Ann McLeod who donated land in Aurora in 2006, there are links by birth. Links on the ground include the property within the White Rose/Preston Lake Provincially Significant Wetland Complex and as headwaters of the Rouge River. Water falling here links many people and activities all the way to Scarborough and Pickering at Lake Ontario. The property is designated Natural Linkage Area under the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and is part of an important narrow corridor of green space, linking east to west, through a quickly intensifying area. And then, there is the Bobolink, a COSEWIC threatened species, known to have been present in the open hay field coverage of the property in 2002.

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is pleased to now link Heather and her husband John together with other Green Space Award recipients and extend sincere thanks for their contribution.

 It's a Breeze: Greenspace Award to Gwynneth Rooke

When you stand at the top of a knoll on Gwynneth Rooke's donated 18.9 acres in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville on a hot, humid day you will understand why green, open spaces are so important to cooling the climate. The forest cover on the property shades an important water recharge area. Rather than running south toward Bloomington Road, where trucks can be heard rumbling by, waters here slowly flow through a wetland complex and eventually find their way to Lake Simcoe.  This height of land has seen a number of Red-shoulder hawks and other species of birds and now, with generous forethought, will continue to provide home and water for many species. When you stand on a sidewalk in Toronto and feel a cooled, fresh breeze flowing your way from the Oak Ridges Moraine, thank Gwynneth.

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is honoured to add Gwynneth to our list of thoughtful and generous land donors.

With more than 50 years of experience, TRCA helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. TRCA's vision is for The Living City - where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at

In just 10 years, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, a charitable non-profit citizen run organization, has protected 3,317 acres of the Oak Ridges Moraine, where all rivers running through Toronto begin. Learn more at




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