About Black Creek SNAP
The Black Creek Neighbourhood, located in Toronto’s northwest, is home to a very diverse population of about 25,000 residents. The neighbourhood is made up of high-rise residential buildings, single-family homes, as well as commercial and institutional developments. Much of the neighbourhood was built in the 1960s and 70s, so it does not meet current energy and water conservation standards. Located in one of Toronto’s Priority Investment Neighbourhoods, income, safety and food security are top of mind concerns for residents.
The neighbourhood’s main feature is Black Creek, a tributary to Humber River that flows along its eastern boundary. The valley of the river includes a recreational trail and provides opportunities for nature viewing and a quiet place for reflection. Unfortunately, the hard surfaces of roofs, roads and parking lots and the lack of stormwater controls contribute to degraded water quality and increased erosion in Black Creek, as well as localized basement flooding.
The Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP) has been developed with the community to transform the neighbourhood into a green, self-sufficient and healthy community.
The action plan:
- finds ways to better manage rainwater to reduce basement flooding and restore more natural flows and stream conditions in Black Creek;
- increases tree cover, in order to provide shade and shelter and improve local air quality;
- helps residents and businesses save money by conserving energy or generating renewable energy;
- encourages water conservation and the use of rain water for outdoor irrigation;
- promotes the expansion of urban agriculture to provide residents with easy access to healthy, local, organic produce; and
- enhances natural areas, such as local parks, for the community to enjoy.
The SNAP recommendations apply to public spaces (parks, community centres, etc.), private homes, high-rise towers and businesses. As we evaluated options to develop the plan, we considered how the actions impact local priorities, such as green job creation, safety, health and access to healthy foods.
Implementation programs are being delivered through local trusted agents and realize added social benefits by incorporating local job skills training and income opportunities as part of delivery. Some of the projects to date are:
Harvest the Rain is a home retrofit program for single family homes in the Black Creek SNAP neighbourhood. Home owners meet with Program Advisors to learn about actions they can take to create a more sustainable household, save money on utility bills and contribute to establishing a more resilient community in the face of climate change.
The San Romanoway Towers Revival Project is a comprehensive initiative to achieve multiple environmental and social objectives. It takes place in the most populated towers of the Jane and Finch neighbourhood –identified as a Neighbourhood Improvement Area by the City of Toronto.
Learn more about the many urban agriculture initiatives across this SNAP, including a community garden, balcony gardening, urban orchard and the Surplus Harvest program.
Want to be a part of neighbourhood change…it’s a SNAP! There are many Black Creek SNAP residents already growing delicious vegetables, collecting rain water for their gardens, planting trees, saving energy (and money!) and engaging in other sustainable practices. Join the Black Creek SNAP initiatives to meet your neighbours, share the lessons you have learned, and discover how to get started on some of these actions. To get onto our mailing list, contact:
Cathrin Winkelmann, Project Manager
416.661.6600 ext. 5795
Adriana Gomez, Project Manager
416.661.6600 ext. 5708
Subscribe to our mailing list
Fill in the form below to receive emails about SNAP, managed by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). You will be able to unsubscribe at any time by using the link at the bottom of every email, or by contacting Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) at email@example.com, 416.661.6600, or by mailing 5 Shoreham Drive, Toronto, ON M3N 1S4.