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New Green Parking Lot in the GTA to Improve Local Eco-System

Oct 12, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Distribution

 

New Green Parking Lot in the GTA to Improve Local Eco-System

- Mississauga's First Pervious Concrete Green Parking Lot Installed -

(TORONTO - October 12) A major challenge for urban developers is finding cost-effective eco-friendly solutions and according to Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), the easiest place for businesses to make a change that will generate cost-savings and make a positive impact for the environment is - the parking lot. Typical parking lots are made of impervious materials that alter the property's natural hydrologic cycle. The changes in surface reduce infiltration of rainwater and dramatically increase surface run off, resulting in erosion of stream channels and increased potential for downstream flooding. The run-offs carry with them a variety of pollutants collected from parking lots and roads, which ultimately degrade river eco-systems and contaminate swimming areas.

Recently Mississauga's first green parking lot made with pervious concrete, allowing the rainwater to filter directly through the underlying aggregate layer and native soil, was officially be opened at Toronto Pearson International Airport in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone. The new green parking lot will serve to set an example of green parking design options that local companies can incorporate in order to improve local water quality and biodiversity by reducing the amount of run-off going into our waters, providing improved protection of downstream aquatic habitat, property and swimming areas.

"In Mississauga, we strive to live green in all that we do," said Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. "This means introducing new and innovative ways of doing things; this green parking lot is a great example of business and government working together to integrate leading edge technology into City projects."

The parking lot's permeable concrete surface will allow rainwater to slowly infiltrate through the surface into the soil below.  The site's native landscaping of trees and plants will reduce costs for irrigation and maintenance, and bio-retention swales (planted depressions) will collect rainwater run-off from the parking lot and allow it to infiltrate into the soil and irrigate landscaping. The site also includes curb-cuts to receive rainwater and direct it towards grassed or landscaped areas.  Other benefits of a green parking lot include: Improved pedestrian safety, enhanced facility aesthetics, improved stormwater retention with reduced treatment costs, reduced pollutant loading in receiving watercourses, improved air quality through native landscaping and shading.

"The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is proud to partner with the City of Mississauga, TRCA, and private sector partners on a truly environmentally friendly and next generation green parking lot.  Providing an eco-friendly parking option to our passengers, staff and others is a fantastic initiative that makes business and environmental sense," said Toby Lennox, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, GTAA.  "Environmental considerations are a cornerstone of our approach to development and operation of Toronto Pearson and as the first airport in North America to achieve and maintain the ISO 14001 certification, the GTAA places increasing importance on environmental stewardship and sustainability." 

Installation of the parking was undertaken by the City of Mississauga on behalf of the project partners, including TRCA, GTAA, Region of Peel, the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario, Holcim (Canada) Inc., and TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment.  The parking lot is part of the 20 kilometre Etobicoke Creek Trail, which runs from Lake Ontario to Steeles Avenue in Brampton, the GTAA has designated 3.7 kilometres of trail on airport property to be used as a multi-purpose recreational trail.

About Partners in Project Green

Partners in Project Green, an initiative led by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, is a growing community of businesses working together to green their bottom line by creating an internationally-recognized eco-business zone around Toronto Pearson.  Through new forms of business-to-business collaboration, Partners in Project Green delivers programming that helps businesses reduce energy and resource costs, uncover new business opportunities, and address everyday operational challenges in a green and cost-effective manner.

 

For more information, visit www.partnersinprojectgreen.com

 

To learn more about the benefits of green parking lots visit Toronto and Region Conservation's Sustainable Technologies website at www.sustainabletechnologies.ca

 

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Media contacts for information and registration:

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation

Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5632, Mobile: 416-358-3446 E-mail: rcalpito@trca.on.ca          

 

Scott Armstrong, Manager, Media and Communications, Greater Toronto Airports Authority 

GTAA Media Office 416-776-3709

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Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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