10 years of Transition Toronto and we still need help with the EcoFair

10 years of Transition Toronto

Hi, it’s Andrew Knox, and I can’t help but indulge in a little self-reflection at our 10-year mark. It was 10 years ago when I was settling back in to Toronto, having been living in Devon, UK, when Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu set up a day in the park for me to talk about what I’d learned about Transition Towns.  That then turned into a presentation at a Post-Carbon Toronto meeting where the first members joined our first steering committee, and that started Transition Toronto.  10 years later, we have so many more members and partners, we have so many great projects under our belt, and we’re still going strong!  I’ve loved it, and it’s given no small measure of meaning to my life.  Thank you all for making Transition Toronto possible and for supporting what we all do together.  Thank you!

Help make the 2019 EcoFair Wonderful!

One thing that hasn’t changed in the past 10 years: We need help with the EcoFair! Right now there’s a specific job that badly needs doing: We need someone to send emails to an existing list of businesses to ask for items that we can sell in the silent auction. Emails would be sent from the Ecofair email account, and if you're able to send these emails you'd also need to monitor responses. If you can do it, please let me know by replying to this email! The silent auction is important to helping the EcoFair break even each year so we can keep running EcoFairs annually!

GO TO the ECOFAIR Nov. 3!

Even if you can’t volunteer for the EcoFair at the Barns, you should go to it!  It’s Sunday Nov. 3rd, there’s food, and it’s always fun. 

The EcoFair at the Barns is a free, family-friendly event that informs and inspires greener choices in our homes and communities. At the EcoFair we showcase the exciting programs, products and services of over 40 environmental not-for-profit organizations and eco-friendly businesses. It is a chance to celebrate the great things that people are doing locally for the environment. It’s inspiring!

TreeMobile was great

TreeMobile always leaves us a little too exhausted to brag so we haven’t said anything about it in the months since we planted hundreds of food-bearing plants in April and May, but, seriously, it was great this year, just like it is every year! If you want to join the TreeMobile team, just hit reply and let us know (we could use the help). It’s about time to start organizing another awesome season! Thanks to our partners in Hamilton for helping us expand into their great city for the first time!

Ways you can help promote TreeMobile

TreeMobile is Transition Toronto's (and Transition Guelph's) not-for-profit and volunteer-powered project to supply people with food-bearing trees and shrubs.  The project is closing for the season on April 16th, with all plants for Toronto customers to be delivered in the last weekend of April or first weekend of May.  

If you want to help promote this project, you can use the following sample tweets.  Many of them have room for you to add your favourite (relevant) handles, or attach appropriate pictures.  There is also a sample facebook post you can use, and if you're not into social media, you can print our flyer and post that IRL.

Sample Tweet 1

Apple lover? TreeMobile has 6 kinds of apple trees for sale. They delivery and plant for you, too! bit.ly/1PxSlST #TreeMob2018 #foodsecurity #organicfood #torontolocalfood #torontotrees

Sample Tweet 2

TreeMobile will plant your garden for you <$55 per tree, not-for-profit. Closes April 16th! bit.ly/1PxSlST #TreeMob2018 #foodsecurity #organicfood #torontolocalfood #torontotrees

Sample Tweet 3

Nothing more local than your garden! TreeMobile has apple, cherry, pear trees, $53 at most. Plus shrubs, berries. bit.ly/1PxSlST #TreeMob2018 #foodsecurity #organicfood #torontolocalfood #torontotrees

Facebook post

TreeMobile is a not-for-profit volunteer-powered project that delivers food-bearing trees and shrubs to your yard, with volunteers ready and able to plant for you.  Trees are $43-53 each.  Apples, cherries, pears, plums, and this year even Russian almonds available.  Grow your own food and make the city more sustainable!


#fruittree #transitiontoronto #foodsecurity #organicfood #ediblelandscaping #torontolocalfood #plantatree #torontotrees

Good old-fashioned flyers

If you want to promote TreeMobile in physical space, you can print off our flyer and post it in appropriate places, with permission, throughout the city.

Thanks very much!

Celebrating success, Garden Grant open, and asking for some TreeMobile drivers


With all the cool work going on, you may have noticed we barely have time to write emails let alone celebrate success but 2017 was a great year for Transition Toronto, and if we never celebrate it, it's not as fun.  Fun's important, so take a read over some of the highlights of last year while you consider helping out with TreeMobile in 2018.

Do you want to drive the TreeMobile?  We're revving up the engines again for 2018, and while the store isn't quite open yet (watch this space), what we always need a head start on is delivery drivers.  If you can drive, please take a look at this position description.

And how about some fruit trees for your school, faith group, community garden, or non-profit organization?  TreeMobile isn't rolling just yet, but its Edible Community Garden Grant is!  You can get food-bearing plants and advice on caring for them.

More details on both the driver position and the grant are below.

GEDO (Green Energy Doors Open) Mixer

Green Energy Doors Open (GEDO) is an event we've been helping to promote for years, but in 2017 we partnered with Find a Way and GEDO's organizers the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to host the first ever live promotional event for the Ontario Green Energy Doors Open weekend.  It ended up being a great night with speakers including Josh Fernandez form YIMBY, Ryan Dyment from the Tool Library, Jennifer Bryan from SolarShare, Paul Cairns from SMARTNet Alliance (pictured above in front of that Hollywood-type banner), of course Nick Hebb from OSEA, and we had Glen Alan from Find A Way who was joined by his band and other musical acts.  It was  great night to be a part of.

HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team)

Our HEET team delivered some very well-received events to help people save energy in their homes in late 2017.  Attendees were equipped to take action and lower their carbon footprints.  HEET also teamed up with HESI to help with HESI's workshops, pool efforts, and combine skills.  HEET is now looking for new and innovative ways to engage people in saving energy in their homes, so if you have ideas or examples of what works to inspire deep savings, let us know.

EcoFair at the Barns

2017 continued the streak of successful EcoFairs at the Barns!.  We once again had great attendance, great food, great workshops, and great exhibitors like Carbon Neutral Shredding, Free Geek Toronto, Nude Smoothies, The Roots Collaborative, and dozens more.  Thanks very much to everyone who attended, and our deepest appreciation to the volunteers.

Drive for TreeMobile

TreeMobile delivers food-bearing trees to peoples' yards to encourage sustainable urban agriculture, but we can only offer as many trees as we can deliver.  Our access to vehicles is usually the project's bottleneck.  If you're able to drive a team in 2018, you could make a big difference.  See the details on what's needed.

Edible Community Garden Grant

If you have a school, faith group, community garden, or non-profit organization that needs to grow more of its own food and you want TreeMobile to supply and plant for you, take a look at our Edible Community Garden Grant.  This year we've got the new "Fedge" (food hedge) grant.  Find out what that's about.

A few other neat things to celebrate include last year's Toronto Climate Film Festival, all the work by TCAN and it's members (including a huge lift on #transformTO work), the Tool Library's successful crowdfund (and related Feb 22nd party), and while I think I mentioned it before I'd like to reiterate that TreeMobile increased it's impact again in 2017.  Can we do it again in 2018?  Only with your help!


H.E.E.T. Events Sept. 27th and Oct. 10th

We've got TWO Home Energy Efficiency Team (H.E.E.T.) events coming up.  Learn about actions you can take to lower your home's carbon footprint, and even learn specifically what to look for in the hardware store when you want current-generation efficient showerheads and lightbulbs.

The first event is on Wednesday Sept. 27th between 7-9 pm at St. Anselm Church, 1 McNaughton Road.  The second event will be on Tuesday is Oct. 10th between 7-9 pm at Runnymede Library, 2178 Bloor Street West.  

Green Energy Doors Open Weekend and Kick-Off Mixer

We've been tweeting up a storm about the Sept. 22nd Green Energy Mixer (so give us a retweet when you have a minute), but that event is kicking off a whole Green Energy Doors Open Weekend.  All through the province there are open houses showcasing things like the Clean Energy Zone at Ryerson, the green energy features at Steam Whistle Brewery, and the electronics recycling at Free Geek Toronto.  Learn about it at the mixer, and visit sites all weekend.

EcoFair, Nov. 5th

As much fun as you can have in the next few weeks between H.E.E.T. and the Green Energy Mixer, you have to admit that the year wouldn't be complete without a trip to the EcoFair at the Barns.  Learn about a new neighbourhood solar power initiative, get an awesome lunch, donate used electronics, take part in hands-on activities, and come away with a deeper connection to the green options and enterprises in your city.

We're also screening the film "Demain", which, after we screened at York, we were asked to show again downtown.  So if you missed it last time, the EcoFair is your chance.