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How to celebrate Earth Hour 2014 in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / March 28, 2014

Earth Hour Toronto 2014Earth Hour takes place between 8:30 and 9:30pm in Toronto this Saturday, March 29th. While the event has only marginal environmental benefit on a practical scale -- last year the city reduced energy consumption by about 7 per cent -- the main point of turning the lights out is to get people thinking about climate change and the ways in which they might play a part in reducing its rapid onset. Well, that and it's pretty cool to head to a spot with a good skyline view to see the lights go down at some of our most iconic buildings.

This year, you can expect to see the lights go out at the CN Tower (as usual), the Royal York Hotel (including the sign), the exterior of the Air Canada Centre (inside the Leafs will be battling for their playoff lives), and various buildings owned by Oxford Properties, amongst others who have decided to keep it a surprise until tomorrow evening. Perhaps more importantly, homes across the city will be lit by candlelight as individuals and families mark the occasion. This collective power-down has, to a great degree, become the true spirit of the event more than the corporate displays, which often feel somewhat hollow.

Sitting around and chatting by candlelight and disconnecting for an hour is therapeutic for more than just the environment. As is the case with unplanned blackouts, this is an opportunity to turn off the television and interact with other human beings, even if these people are just the boring old people you happen to live with (I'm a romantic).

If you're looking to get out of your house to celebrate Earth Hour in a group environment, there's a number of options as well. While not as event-heavy as Earth Day (which is due in April), the whole by-darkness of night quality to what's planned for Saturday has a certain cachet.

Main events

Lights Out with Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street has teamed up with the WWF to host a citywide candlelight, acoustic concert series in over 60 venues across Toronto. Although many of the bands lack name recognition, the concept event sounds both intimate and apropos. Highlights include By Divine Right at the Drake and Big Rude Jake at the Mill Street Brew Pub.

Riverside Earth Hour Celebrations
The Riverside BIA has organized a number of events to mark Earth Hour, including lantern-making, candlelight yoga, an appearance from WWF Canada CEO David Miller, and an outdoor concert.

Also of note

Roncy Earth Hour Candlelight Walk
Grab your candles and go for a group walk down Roncesvalles during the power-down. This is about as basic an event as they come, but fosters community engagement under the guise of environmental awareness, so what's not to like? Starts at 8:20pm.

Humber River Walk
If it's darkness you want during Earth Hour, this walk along the Humber River is your best bet. Mostly unpolluted by streetlights, the 6th annual version of this event hosted by Green 13 looks like a cluster of fireflies from a distance. Cool, right?

Thanks to Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT for sponsoring this post. Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT is a fashion line that blocks your mobile connectivity, allowing you to embrace a lifestyle of focus.Focus Trident

Got an Earth Hour event you'd like featured? Let us know in the comments.

Lead photo by ~EvidencE~



sdfsafasdfasd / March 28, 2014 at 01:18 pm
I'm going to burn a tire.
smokeythebear / March 28, 2014 at 01:49 pm
Im going to burn a mattress.

Oh wait, someone beat to that
Ryan / March 28, 2014 at 03:57 pm
The best way to enjoy Earth Hour is to go about your regular routine, instead of a single hour of staring at a candle giving you a false sense of accomplishment.

I don't mean to be so cynical, yet here we are.
Moaz Ahmad / March 28, 2014 at 04:10 pm
Every March I go to sleep 10 minutes earlier than in the previous month. In 30 days I've done the equivalent of 5 Earth I can rock the lights on the 29th.
Winston replying to a comment from Ryan / March 28, 2014 at 04:33 pm
Maybe breaking out of your regular routine and staring at a candle allows some time to stop and think about the bigger picture, and maybe you come back to your routine with more awareness of your own environmental footprint.
Bob / March 28, 2014 at 05:04 pm
Game is on...I'll watch without lights.
Becky / March 28, 2014 at 06:54 pm
Perhaps while you're sitting in the dark and staring at your candle you can ask yourself which is worse for the environment - your light bulbs or your candle.
Gail replying to a comment from Becky / March 28, 2014 at 08:37 pm
Earth hour is more of a environmental trendy PR event regarding our electricity use which is a very useful example to educate our children about electricity use.

Yes burning candles is not good, burning them contributes to increased carbon dioxide emissions, especially when millions of them are being burnt during earth hour but that is not the point.

This is about everyone stopping for a moment to realize that we all can help and that we all contribute the environmental issues of today. I mean we don't have to do earth hour at all and can have every business, every person just doing everything they normally do not accepting the environmental issues. You can burn candles its going to cause emissions, you can use flash lights but where do the batteries end up.
Gail replying to a comment from Becky / March 28, 2014 at 08:41 pm
Will you be using your smart phone during earth hour? Even though your phone is battery powered, making calls and sending messages uses electricity, going online uses electricity all those servers are plugged in during earth hour, if your accessing a site your using electricity maybe not in your home but where ever things are hosted or transferred is using electricity straight from the socket.

Anyway if you cared about the environment would would be using any apple products they were all removed from being energy smart or eco-friendly for the way their made and for how difficult they are to dismantle, most just end up in landfill, you can't even get the battery out....
E. Toby Coke / March 28, 2014 at 08:59 pm
I'm having friends over for an ortolan feast -- by candlelight...
Franklin Ye / March 28, 2014 at 09:54 pm
I will turn off the light for 1 hour and use my solar and hand cranking powered flashlight.

Anyone want this flashlight can contact me!
Guy Foxe / March 28, 2014 at 09:55 pm
5 earth-hour things which help Toronto:
V) Leave your house, take a walk around the neighbourhood and throw rocks into homes with lights on.
IV) Break into common smash-n-grab stores- starbucks, futureshop, walmart, LCBO.
III) Re-enact scenes from the movie The Purge. Machetes are always on sale at crappy tire.
II) Smash golf balls onto the 401 or 404 hwy. Ten points for screeching tires and 50 for accident pile-ups.
I) Chain the front and back doors of Rob Fords house and toss molotov cocktails through the windows. Then go do the same to his moms house and his brother.
Mark / March 28, 2014 at 10:14 pm
Instead of living like the North Korean's for an hour I'm going to ignore this hippie fest and go about my regular day. I'll leave a light on for you, maybe two or three.
Marc / March 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm
I'm a Torontonian so I love being cynical and contrarian about everything even though I bring no value to society whatsoever with my snark. Hold on, I got to go work for my tech start-up that is like kickstarter, but no one uses it.
Chris Mo Money Jameson / March 29, 2014 at 03:13 am
Hour hour is just North Korean indoctrination. They want you to be glad to sit by candlelight without power so long as you have the Leader. They know it still beats siting through one of Stephen Harper's speeches.
Ricardus / March 29, 2014 at 08:54 am
Enjoying the night scene with my beloved family on the top of the hill with few candles..embrace the earth hour.
Hildy / March 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm
All these commenters who act as though they are too important or busy to celebrate Earth Day, but they have all the time in the world to go trolling for sites to post their opinions. If you're not celebrating, no one cares! I'd prefer to spend an hour in candlelight making a relatively meaningless gesture than listening to bitter hipsters who don't care about anything meaningful.
Dalton McGuinty / March 29, 2014 at 02:35 pm
I already did my part by cancelling the gas plants. You're all welcome, minions.
Mark replying to a comment from Hildy / March 29, 2014 at 04:18 pm
Anyone who thinks this is 'important' or meaningful is too stupid to be allowed to vote. This is why we end up with who our premier is. Morons who think the appearance of caring and doing something is more important than actual results.
Barbara / March 29, 2014 at 05:48 pm
Life is so damn short. What is wrong with participating in a feel good moment? If it educates a few people, even better. Just chill people and enjoy a quiet time.
Lauren hardy / March 29, 2014 at 08:13 pm
Can't wait !!
Jess / March 29, 2014 at 08:19 pm
This is it people let's do this!!!!!
Too stupid to be allowed to vote,.. / March 29, 2014 at 08:24 pm
Mark why do we even need a mayor??? We've been without one for months. Why do we spend so much time focusing on the candidates and who's campaigning for what when the Mayor only has one vote just like councilors. Seems riduculous to me.
Craig / March 31, 2014 at 09:21 am
How was everyones earth hour? Any stories? Do tell. I got right liqoured up, stumbly fumbly in the dark was pretty fun. Shots in the dark.Lets the lights came back on it was much easier to mix actual drinks....
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