Our mission is to make Toronto greener, healthier, and more sustainable

WHO WE ARE

Green Neighbours Network is a grassroots community network of people and groups helping to make neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto and GTA greener, healthier, and more sustainable. We recognize the urgency for global climate action, and our personal roles in it. We support initiatives that promote a fair and just transition to a low carbon future.

VISION

We aim for a fully sustainable city of diverse, walkable neighbourhoods enjoying equal access to abundant, ecologically-rich green spaces and the benefits of a vibrant, local, circular economy.

MISSION

We build relationships with our members by supporting, connecting and celebrating their work, both individually and through collaborative projects. We also seek alliances with other organizations merging environmental, economic and social benefits.

VALUES

In addition to embracing the values of integrity, transparency and accountability, we place a special importance on “neighbourly” values – cooperation, respect for differences, friendliness and having fun together. Thus, we aim for a consensual approach to decision making.

Find our Code of Conduct & Ethics here

The Power of the Network

Green Neighbours Network of Toronto (GNN) is a network of individuals and independent community groups working together with a common goal: to help make Toronto greener, healthier, and more sustainable. We envision a city of vibrant neighbourhoods, a city that leads in the worldwide urban movement against climate change.

As Network members, we can each do more by:

  • Sharing ideas, information and resources
  • Incubating and mentoring new groups
  • Learning and promoting effective civic engagement
  • Building relationships with diverse groups for the common benefit of all

Together we can do more to address the environmental challenges of our time. There’s lots to do! Why not sign up, join us, and get involved?

Our Team

Paul Antze

Senior Advisor

Lee Adamson

Chair

Tom Daly

Treasurer

Mark Simmons

Steering Committee Member

Colin Love

Steering Committee Member

Dominik Haake

Steering Committee Member

Francesco Manduca

Steering Committee Member

Aarthi Varadarajan

Steering Committee Member

Zenaida Yi Sanchez

Steering Committee Member

Our History

The idea for a network connecting grassroots community green groups and like-minded residents across Toronto gained momentum in 2017, when people from about a dozen local and citywide green groups began meeting to consider how we could work together to achieve our goals more easily, effectively, and enjoyably.

We discovered that we all share a common goal: to create a city that is healthier, friendlier, and more resilient and sustainable. We wanted to achieve it by engaging with our neighbours in productive and enjoyable ways that would build community.

So we decided to do it – Green Neighbours Network launched informally on April 16 2018, and was incorporated as Green Neighbours Network of Toronto, a federal not-for-profit, in May 2020.

Recent Events and Activities

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How GNN began: from dream to reality – in 5 steps

Step 1

Nov 2016 – 6 people from 3 green groups met over lunch

The dream: A network of ward-based green groups across the city

The vision:

  • Neighbourhood groups will drive the Network; grassroots up
  • Network is for linkage; groups will do their own thing
  • Network will ask groups, what do you need? How can the Network help?

Next step: A party with an agenda.

Step 2

Jan 2017 – 16 people from 9 green groups met at a potluck party with an agenda

The agenda: Do you feel that your group, or new emerging groups, could be more successful with the support of a broader network of ward-based groups?

The answer – yes!

Step 3

May 2017 – 15 people from 12 green groups met over dinner

To consider the risks/benefits of a Network …

  • Things that hinder, things that help green groups
  • How can linkage with other groups help groups?
  • How can we make it happen?
  • A Transitional Team was formed to plan a neighbourhood green group network, and present the plan in the fall


Step 4

October 2017 – 23 people from 16 green groups met over dinner

To hear the Transitional Team present their plan for the network …

  • purpose & mandate
  • leadership structure & core teams
  • website plan – with a map of member groups
  • outreach trials – one-on-one meetings and interactive “dotmocracy” activity
  • show of hands – unanimous support!

Next step – Recruit member groups, launch the network!

Step 5

STEP 5: April 2018 – 40 people from 30 green groups met over dinner

And we launched Green Neighbours Network of Toronto. From dream to reality in 5 steps! GNN was incorporated as a federal not-for-profit in May 2020.

Milestones and Activities, 2018 – 2023

April 2018-19

  • Internal Launch of Green Neighbours Network, April 2018
  • Founded GNN’s Zero Waste Team, April 2018
  • Hosted outreach tables at:
    • EcoFair at the Barns, Nov 2018
    • Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair, March 2019
  • GNN partnered with Climatefast and Toronto Green Community on a Low Carbon Neighbourhood grant funded by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) called “Our Community Futures – Sustainable Neighbourhoods grant” to promote environmental engagement in Scarborough and Etobicoke, Jan-June 2019

April 2019-20

  • First birthday after launch, held Spring Party to celebrate, June 2019
  • Hosted Volunteer Coordinator training workshop, June 2019
  • Promoted participation of GNN members in GreenPAC’s 100Debates for the Environment, Aug-Sep 2019
  • Launched Climate Crafts outreach activity
  • Hosted outreach tables at:
    • TRCA Humber by Canoe, Sept 2019
    • Long Branch Tree Fest, Sept 2019
    • Salmon Festival at Highland Creek, Oct 2019
    • EcoFair at the Barns, Nov 2019
  • Created GNN’s bylaws, recruited first Board of Directors, Jan-Mar 2020

April 2020-21

  • Incorporated federally as a not-for-profit, May 2020
  • Participated in the “Community Sewing Face Mask Project” organized by TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization, Mar – Jan 2020
  • Created GNN’s first Mix’n Mingle online event, Aug 2020
  • Hosted an outreach table with Etobicoke Climate Action in-life at Long Branch Tree Fest, Sept 2020
  • Awarded first Canada Summer Jobs project; GNN intern created 28 EcoFair exhibitor and 3 GNN member group videos, and surveyed GNN’s 41 member groups to evaluate GNN’s performance and future plans, Sept 2020-Jan 2021
  • Co-hosted EcoFair Toronto with Transition Toronto, 16 online events involving over 1000 attendees and 76 environmental organizations and eco-businesses, Oct 15 – Nov 8, 2020
  • Piloted $1000 micro-grant program; supported ten GNN member groups using a donation from Vancity Community Investment Bank, Dec 2020 – Mar 2021
  • Founded GNN’s Retrofits Team; community groups and individuals learned, discussed, helped develop and promote projects, and worked together to reduce carbon emissions in their homes and neighbourhoods, 13 meetings Feb – Dec 2021

April 2021-22

  • First Annual General Meeting & online GNN Member Celebration event, May 2021
  • Launched member group renewal drive with 98% renewing their membership
  • Co-hosted EcoFair Toronto with Transition Toronto, 4-day online event plus in-life bike tour, Nov 4-7 2021, 426 attendees and 24 participating eco-exhibitors
  • Awarded three Canada Summer Jobs interns to work on social media, the new GNN website, and to upgrade the GNN database with integrations and automations, Aug 2021 to Jan 2022
  • Led a collaborative effort by five neighbourhood groups; Pocket Change, PHP4CA, Green13, Harbord Village Net Zero Committee, and Etobicoke Climate Action to apply for four Canada Summer Jobs grants, Dec 2021-Jan 2022
  • Founded GNN’s Political Engagement Team, Jan 2022
  • Launched new logo and new GNN website gnntoronto.ca, spring 2022
  • Began manual for GNN “Standard Operating Procedures”, 2022

April 2022 – 23

  • Launched the “Greener Toronto Fund”, a project of the Small Change Fund, donations support aspiring environmental champions and grassroots projects to make Toronto and the GTA greener, healthier, and more sustainable, July 2022
  • Partnered with WalkRollMap.org to bring their crowd-sourced mapping tool to Toronto neighbourhoods to improve sidewalk safety and promote active transportation, May – Nov 2022
  • Awarded four Canada Summer Jobs projects in collaboration with five neighbourhood member groups; Pocket Change, PHP4CA, Green13, Harbord Village Net Zero Committee, and Etobicoke Climate Action
  • Hired eight Canada Summer Jobs interns for 8-weeks to survey people in four neighbourhoods about “What’s Next” after gas at home and on the move
  • Participated in outreach activities with:
    • Green11 at “Bike with Mike” May 2022
    • Climatefast at St Matthew’s United Church, Doors Open Toronto, May 2022
    • PHP4CA and Green13 at “Test-ride electric bicycles and scooters” event, June 2022
    • Etobicoke Climate Action at the Long Branch Tree Fest, September 2022
    • Environment Council with MP Majid Jowhari, Richmond Hill, November 2022
  • Co-hosted EcoFair Toronto with Transition Toronto at Artscape Wychwood Barns with 1022 attendees showcasing 44 eco-organizations and businesses on Nov 6 2022