Recognizing that carbon emissions are not bound by municipal boundaries, last year the Province of Ontario provided TAF with a new, $17 million endowment. With this additional funding for climate action projects, TAF will expand its emissions reduction work to communities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Since then, the TAF team has worked with Dunsky Energy Consulting and the Clean Air Partnership to understand how we can support the region’s climate goals as effectively as possible. Our year-long research initiative has consisted of several phases. First, we assessed leading regional initiatives, including low-carbon initiatives, from around the world. Then we canvassed over 30 thought leaders from across the GTHA regarding what they see as the most promising opportunities to advance climate work within the region.

Map of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton (GTHA) area

Over the past month, we ran focus groups across the region as the third research phase. We traveled to Burlington, Vaughan, and Pickering to hear from local practitioners who are working hard to advance low-carbon solutions in their own communities. Our diverse focus group participants have come from all parts of the GTHA outside Toronto: the City of Hamilton and the Regions of Halton, Peel, Durham, and York. They represent municipalities, non-profits, industry associations, businesses, and public institutions. These on-the-ground experts helped validate and enrich our research regarding:

  • What existing emissions reduction initiatives;
  • How to leverage wider community priorities to advance these low-carbon initiatives;
  • Which forms of support organizations most need to implement further climate projects:
  • How TAF should effectively communicate with potential grant seekers in the region; and Which other organizations we should engage to advance regional climate action.

While a first set of GTHA stakeholders recently submitted exciting grant proposals, the results of our research will inform a comprehensive granting strategy that will respond to our regional partners’ needs in the years to come. Stay tuned for more updates about our grants program in 2018.

Focus Group session at the Pickering Public Library

In the meantime, we’re grateful to all focus group participants for contributing their insights and ideas for advancing climate action in the GTHA. Feel free to contact us if you have further ideas to share! Learn more about our grants program here or email Diana at dyoon@taf.ca.