Climate change affects our ravines
Kristyn Wong-Tam Ward 27 Councillor
Climate change is having a profound impact here in Toronto as well as around the world.
Significant damage to the natural environment is happening right in our own backyards. Some of the negative impacts have been partially caused by human activity such as uncontrolled storm water discharge and poor maintenance.
However, more often now, extreme weather conditions, such as flash floods and heavy rains, are causing accelerating soil erosion in the Moore Park and Rosedale ravines. The dramatic deterioration of Mud Creek and Yellow Creek are furthering the degradation of aquatic habitat.
This month Toronto City Council’s climate change plan, TransformTO, was unanimously approved. Yet zero dollars have been committed to the actual implementation. The 23 strategies contained in the plan must be implemented entirely to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is a report with 23 interdependent strategies that, when implemented together, will get us to our 2050 goal.
Also due out in September will be the long-awaited Toronto Ravine Strategy. It creates a vision for Toronto’s ravine system with a set of principles to guide planning and priorities for investments.
As with TransformTO, it’s essential that the ravine strategy be adopted not just in principle only, but with a full commitment to fund the plan in the 2018 budget. City council must be reminded that symbolic gestures of adopting climate-positive and ravine strategies without real investments render them ultimately worthless.
The Vale of Avoca is suffering from significant erosion