As a non-Canadian, when you think ‘Canada’ many wild and wonderful things come to mind. Largely the legendary outdoors, forests, hiking, nature.
But you can be forgiven for forgetting all of this and more, when living in Toronto. Now I get that Toronto is a city and not The Muskokas, but it is still seriously lacking green, open spaces, often found in other major cities, such as London, England or Paris, France.
In fact, it’s pretty remarkable that such a new city has lacked the foresight of urban planning, which if done correctly, would help make Toronto look and feel more balanced and less concrete jungle. But fear not, you don’t have to sit back and watch another condo shoot in-to the air. There are plenty of ways for you to get your voice heard so that Toronto can indeed, be more green.
Before I get too many backs up, I do need to acknowledge that there are a number of beautiful open spaces in Toronto. Take Trinity Bellwoods for instance. This park has a tonne on offer, from tennis to hockey, dog parks to picnics. Take your pick in this community hub and enjoy restoring your inner-calm.
However, if you’re living in the outer suburbs, then good luck. These areas lack the same kinds of green space amenities, often found in the city’s central areas. If you are living in a higher density area, with decade old city planning strategies, then you’re probably missing out.
What to do? Get involved in your community and be the change so that Toronto can get closer to being a green, liveable city that nurtures creativity and opportunity for all.
How-to? Connect with City Planning and find out how you can get involved and make a difference, locally. Really passionate and want to go one step further? Your City Chief Planner and Executive Director, Jennifer Keesmaat, invites you to take part in shaping your city by inviting you to attend various events; from the Chief Planner round table to Toronto of the Future at Metro Hall. To find out more about how you can be the change, visit City Planning or check out Jennifer’s informative blog Own Your City on the range of issues affecting Toronto.
There really are no excuses for not getting involved in shaping your city. A great example already in the works are Linear Parks – the idea is to link underutilized green spaces and connect these to communities. The hydro corridor in Earlscourt Park to Spadina road is just one project which Torontonians are hoping to transform into a linear park called the Green Line. 
If this takes off, the Green Line would connect a number of neighbourhoods, plus nine city parks.
That’s a lot of green space.
If you’re feeling disgruntled at the lack of open space, then I hope this piece has inspired you to be the change so that you may help make this great city, even greater.
(Image source: http://www.torontolivings.com)
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