Peterborough, ON, 4 October, 2023: Increasing heat events are threatening the safety and well-being of Canadians. Accessible and thriving green spaces can help make our cities better places to live. 

Green Communities Canada (GCC) is excited to support the creation of 28 new green spaces in cities and towns across seven provinces through our Living Cities Canada Fund. The community-led and equity-focused projects will take place in fall 2023 and spring/summer 2024. 

Projects supported by the Living Cities Canada Fund will offer nature-based solutions to help Canadian communities become more resilient and healthier places to live; reducing urban heat island effect, managing stormwater better, mitigating flood risks, improving local air quality, and supporting the physical and mental well-being of residents. 

“By providing support to grassroots partners across the country, our Living Cities Canada Fund enables communities to take direct climate action, implementing projects in the areas of greatest need and engaging those who are most vulnerable,” says Brianna Salmon, Executive Director of GCC. “We know that abundant, thriving, and equitable green infrastructure is essential for a climate-resilient future and we’re committed to advancing locally led solutions.  

The Fund supports community-based local partner organizations to create green infrastructure, including planting mini forests, rain gardens and pollinator gardens, ‘depaving’ spaces, and re-naturalizing areas after wildfires. In total, the projects will create 5,000 m2 (equivalent to the size of 10 basketball courts) of new green spaces across Canada! 

Focusing on climate justice, the projects will engage volunteers from different demographics within the site communities. The new green spaces will be created at diverse locations including community centres, Indigenous communities and cultural sites, social housing complexes, faith buildings, schools, and more.   

“GCC is proud to support these projects, particularly in areas of greatest social need. We have prioritized supporting community-led green infrastructure projects this year that will establish greenspaces in equity deserving communities, where environmental vulnerabilities are highest. These new sites will increase local resilience to climate change and offer tangible benefits to mental and physical health,” says Emily Amon, Director of Green Infrastructure at GCC. 

The Living Cities Canada Fund is made possible through funding from the Definity Insurance Foundation and TD Ready Challenge, with additional support from the Greenbelt Foundation, All One Fund, and Balsam Foundation.