Green Communities Canada (GCC) is pleased to share the 2023 Living Cities Canada Impact Report, a testament to the transformative power of community-led urban green infrastructure (GI) projects. This report celebrates a significant milestone in our journey towards ‘Living Cities’, that foster equitable, abundant and thriving green infrastructure across the nation. 

Living Cities Canada Fund supported a diversity of projects in 2023, through strategic training, funding, and logistical support. The fund also enables local partner organizations to mobilize public support, influence local policy, and implement innovative green infrastructure projects tailored to their unique community needs. 

Getting into the Numbers

Remarkable progress has been made in the past year, with GCC supporting 17 GI projects via our ‘Demonstrate Stream’. These projects transformed over 4,000m2 of urban landscapes, and took place at a variety of sites that prioritized social and environmental need, including: revitalizing a decommissioned landfill, planting mini forests to beautify social housing sites, adding rain gardens to a Mosque, supporting replating within an Indigenous community that recently experienced forest fires, and more.

2023 also saw the launch of our ‘Mobilize’ and’ ‘Transform’ Streams, the latter of which will result in the implementation of 11+ large-scale green infrastructure projects in 2024. 

Thanks to the National Mini Forest Pilot, in collaboration with the Network of Nature, 16 Miyawaki mini forests were successfully planted, enhancing biodiversity and fostering urban green spaces. These projects resulted in the planting of more than 6,000 urban trees in 15 different cities across Canada. 

The impact of these initiatives transcends the numbers; it is evident in the tangible improvements witnessed nationwide. From transforming industrial landscapes, to improving watershed health,  each project represents a step towards greener Canadian communities.  

We are especially grateful to the more than 1,900 volunteers who gave of their time and energy to help these transformative green infrastructure projects roll out across the nation. Their collective passion and commitment have been instrumental in driving positive, lasting change. 

What’s next?

As we celebrate the successes documented in the 2023 Impact Report, we are also looking ahead to this year’s planting season. With more than 11 Transform Stream projects taking place this year, 1 Mobilize Stream project, and an estimated 20 Demonstration Stream projects for 2024, the Living Cities Canada Fund is continuing to grow it’s impact! 

We are currently soliciting proposals and actively on-boarding organizations to the Demonstration Stream of the Living Cities Canada Fund! Do you have a 2024 or 2025 green infrastructure proposal that you’d like to share with us? If so, complete this survey to be considered for funding.  

We recognize the ongoing challenges posed by climate change and urbanization. GCC remains steadfast in our commitment to reverse the decline in urban green space. By continuing to establish a robust, strategic, and scalable framework that supports communities to replace grey urban infrastructure with nature-based solutions and prioritize green infrastructure (GI), we forge ahead in our mission to grow nature-rich cities, increasing community resilience, health, and vitality for generations to come. 

We invite you to look at the Living Cities Canada Impact Report for 2023 and to join us in appreciating our shared accomplishments up to this point! 

None of this would be possible without the generous support of our funding partners. We are immensely appreciative of the support from the Definity Insurance Foundation, TD Ready Challenge, Natural Resources Canada, Greenbelt Foundation, All One Fund, and Balsam Foundation for making 2023 such a success.