The Living City® Report Card: Grading the GTA’s Environmental Health

How is the Toronto region doing when it comes to environmental health and sustainability? Are we making progress toward our goals, or falling short?

The Living City® Report Card 2016, unveiled today, is TRCA’s effort to provide comprehensive answers to these questions.

The Living City Report CardA detailed progress report on sustainability in the GTA, it focuses on six themes that represent key measures of a flourishing living city: carbon, air quality, water, waste, land use and biodiversity.

TRCA issued the first Living City® Report Card in 2011. The 2016 edition shows what headway the region has made over the last five years — and highlights those areas where there is need to improve.

Change since the first report card is mixed: the GTA has made important gains on some fronts, maintained past progress on others, and seen a number of indicators decline. Overall, the progress toward sustainability has been slow.

READ: Greening the GTA: Collaboration is Key

Notable Findings: The Good

  • Our green building industry is the largest and fastest growing in Canada.
  • The rate of land consumption for urban development has decreased significantly over the past two decades.
  • Most of the commonly measured contaminants in our waterways are stable or decreasing.
  • We have planted more than a million native trees, shrubs and aquatic plants since the first report card.

Notable Findings: The Not-So-Good

  • More than half of our urban areas do not have modern stormwater control.
  • The amount of chloride from salt is increasing in our waterways.
  • Grass Carp, a species of invasive Asian Carp, have been captured several times in Lake Ontario.
  • The amount of farmland in the GTA continues to shrink.
  • We are seeing marked changes in the quality of plants and animals across the region.

The 2016 report card calls for collective action on the part of local governments, businesses, organizations and citizens: “It is clear that we will only achieve environmental sustainability and its benefits to our health and prosperity if we think and act as a region.”

• VIEW THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LIVING CITY® REPORT CARD ONLINE

• DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE 96-PAGE LIVING CITY® REPORT CARD