green toronto

10 fun ways to go green this summer in Toronto

Fun ways to be green in Toronto are not facing a shortage, despite the excess concrete and ever-diminishing green space. A number of events that will help you to be more environmentally friendly dot Toronto's summer calendar, from farmers' markets to urban bee keeping demonstrations. Much of what we can do to care for our environment has to do with food and how much attention we pay to its production. As a result, many of these events and enviro-warrior tactics take food into account.

Here are my picks for the top ways to love the environment this summer in Toronto.

Visit one of Toronto's newest farmers' markets
Toronto has a ton of farmers' markets each summer, and this year some new ones have been added to the roster. Sip & Savour Ontario offers the chance to sample Ontario wine and food while checking out the work of local artisans, and it runs from June 5 through to October 30 on Thursdays at Avenue and Lawrence. And the Chefs' Forum Summer Market launches June 14 at Boehmer. It'll feature tables with vendors selling organic veggies, pasture-fed pork, pheasant, guinea fowl, duck, lamb, micro greens, garlic and maple syrup, just to name a few treats on hand.

Get educated and entertained at the Live Green Toronto Festival
This festival celebrates the beauty of the pedestrian life, and sees Yonge St. close to cars between Gould and Queen. It'll feature a green street market, local food samplings and a giant swap area where you can trade unused goods with your neighbours, and maybe grab something you need in return. Live Green Toronto is on July 19 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Learn to Live Healthier at Rise: The Better Living Expo
June 13 to 15, Evergreen Brick Works will host the Better Living Expo, providing people a chance to learn about living a holistic lifestyle. It'll offer workshops on everything from natural, organic skincare methods to juice cleanses and vegetarian eating. There will be speaker sessions, a verified marketplace, and an organic tapas dinner. Sound insufferable to you? You should probably check it out, then. More info online.

Party with Earth Day Canada
This party at the Mill Street Beer Hall is a fundraiser put on by Earth Day Canada, an NGO that facilitates community programming, scholarships, and environmental advocacy. Though Earth Day is April 22, this event helps fund their activities throughout the year.
Famed chef Michael Stadtlander will be cooking up the (local, organic) eats, and there will also be an open bar and silent auction. Tickets are $40 for the dance party, or $250 for a VIP experience including a full dinner and unlimited drinks.

Go Meat-Free
No shade to those who eat meat, but cutting down on your consumption even a day or two a week can make a major difference to our environment. The Vegetarian Food Festival, from September 5 to 7, can provide gastronomically fascinating ways to do this. Put on by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, the festival features live cooking demonstrations from the experts, as well as an on-site market. Prefer to eat raw or vegan? There's a festival for that too, on June 7 and 8 at 918 Bathurst. The Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival will feature demos, samples from local raw and vegan chefs, ethical clothing and cruelty-free cosmetics.

Tour Rouge Park
Do you ever think of just ditching the capitalist constraints in the city and becoming a wild woodsperson, navigating trails all day and foraging for survival? Well, the folks at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority can teach you how. Set out with them on a tour of Rouge Park, where you'll learn all about nature, wetlands, and navigating the wilderness. Tours take place throughout the summer.

Hug a Tree
The Leslieville Tree Festival may sound a little tree-huggery, yes. But in case you haven't heard, our planet's facing kind of dire circumstances. A little more attention paid to the organisms that suck up all the excess CO2 and a little less time driving through Starbucks drivethrus will do us some good.The festival takes place on the summer solstice, June 21, and features presentations from greening groups and vendors, a ceremonial tree planting and local food offerings and entertainment. It all goes down in Leslie Grove Park from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Become a bee keeper
Check out a scary-sounding yet vitally important session on urban beekeeping June 22 at Evergreen Brickworks. They'll go over why it's important to save the bees and what you can do about it. Then head over to BeeGrrl at 2003 Dundas West for more advice or to buy local honey and hive-keeping products. Want more bee stuff? The Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative offers tips on urban beekeeping, too, appearing at farmers' markets from time to time.

Take a hike
Explore and learn about the green space in and around Toronto by setting out on one of the city's hiking trails. Though it often seems like the only green space is along the ravines and in Toronto's larger parks, the city is actually laced with trails from one end to the other. And if you're near High Park, their nature walks are lovely, too.

Test drive a green ride
Do you love the environment, but feel guilty/conflicted because you're also a geek about cars? Check out the Eco-Wheels show June 21 at Mel Lastman Square. The latest hybrid and electric models will be on display and available for test drive. There will also be a solar-powered car and eco-friendly motorcycles and other vehicles too.

Growers CiderThanks to Growers Cider for sponsoring this post.

For more fun things to do this summer, check out our Toronto Fun Guide.

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