Media Release: Two Toronto neighbourhoods on quest to become Canada's first urban carbon neutral communities

published in Media Release

Almost two thousand households in Riverdale and the Junction officially began their pursuit of carbon neutrality this Saturday. Project Neutral, led by a group of rising civic leaders, selected the two neighbourhoods to participate in the pilot which aims to convert the communities to carbon neutrality. Today, they are one step closer to achieving this goal.


The team of volunteers behind Project Neutral recognized the vast and largely untapped potential for positive environmental impact that exists in Canada's established neighbourhoods. Through a combination of household surveys, neighbourhood summits and tailored reduction strategies, Riverdale and the Junction will be equipped with the tools and information to move to transform their communities into the first carbon neutral urban neighbourhoods in Canada.


"Twenty-five million Canadians reside in established urban neighbourhoods, such as Riverdale and the Junction. In most cities, these residential areas are responsible for 25 per cent of the city's carbon footprint," said Karen Nasmith, Co-Chair of Project Neutral. "Reductions up to 50 per cent for the average household can be made with minimal effort, so this project represents significant potential to address one of the most challenging issues currently facing humanity."


"After receiving over 20 applications from neighbourhoods interested in taking part in Project Neutral, it became clear that Torontonians are excited about making a difference in their environment," said Julie Dzerowicz, Co-Chair of Project Neutral.  "We felt it was important to select the neighbourhoods that best demonstrated the strength of leadership, motivation and overall enthusiasm required to make this pilot project a success. We think Riverdale and the Junction have what it takes, and the success will lie within the communities."


Project Neutral is a volunteer initiative led by members of CivicAction's Emerging Leader's Network. For more information, please visit


The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is a group of 380 engaged civic leaders who mobilize action and are laying the groundwork for the city region of tomorrow. ELN is an initiative of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.  For more information, visit


The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance is a multi-sectoral coalition of thousands of civic leaders working collectively to tackle tough issues and big opportunities in the Toronto region. CivicAction's Greater Toronto Summits bring leaders from all walks of life together to assess the region's strengths and challenges and to identify priority areas for attention. In between Summits, CivicAction incubates innovative initiatives designed to galvanize action in these priority areas. Current initiatives include Greening Greater Toronto, DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership project and the Emerging Leaders Network. For more information, please visit


For further information:
For further information or to arrange an interview:
Tamara Balan
Project Director, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance
Tel: 416-309-4480 x533
Julie Dzerowicz
Co-Chair, Project Neutral
Tel: 416-834-8643