MOUNT DENNIS ECONEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE

Initiatives and Transformations Targets
The MDeNI aims to break silos and show that sustainability can be envisioned and incorporated in all the moving parts of a neighborhood: business, housing, transportation, jobs, amenities, and culture.
Rendering of potential campus site involving Metrolinx and City land
Mount Dennis EcoCampus

Background: The City of Toronto identified Mount Dennis as a neighbourhood for which a local economic development strategy will be created because of the upcoming transit developments. The purpose of the study was to identify economic opportunities that will come with transit oriented development to “stimulate revitalization, investment and job growth” for local residents. After the completion of the Mount Dennis Economic Development Strategy, one of the identified actions was a post-secondary campus. The MDeNI team supports this action and is exploring how an EcoCampus can reenforce climate action strategies and the MDeNI visions, objectives, and guiding principles. If you would like to get involved, please contact campus@mountdennis.ca

Sustainable Development Advocacy

With ongoing and upcoming developments in Mount Dennis, the MDeNI supports and advocates for sustainable, green designs and standards. Some existing projects in the neighborhood include a Net-Zero day-care centre and green office space. We are advocating for these standards for other projects including:

  • West Park Hospital and residential developments
  • Dennis Ave Public School re-development
  • Golf Course lands on Emmett Avenue
COOLEARTH ARCHITECTURE AND CS&P ARCHITECTS — Rendering of Mount Dennis Child Care Centre
S&C Electric Canada Ltd. Teddy Chettiar makes presentation during a public meeting at the York Civic Centre regarding alternative power options for Crosstown transit facility (Photo: Metroland Media)
Community Energy

Background: The City of Toronto describes community energy as “a process that […] identifies opportunities to integrate local energy solutions at a building or neighbourhood-scale.”For the MDeNI, our aim is to improve energy efficiency in both homes and businesses but also to reconnect the community of Mount Dennis into the city’s economy. This looks like:

  • informing development projects to consider innovative green energy solutions, such as the battery back up system for Crosstown LRT
  • Phasing out of Natural Gas for Electricity Generation
  • Support for retrofitting your building (homes and businesses)
  • Local renewable energy generation knowledge exchange

 

Re-naturalization

Mount Dennis is a unique neighborhood, largely defined by the ravine systems and green spaces. The MDeNI encourages a deeper connection between new and existing built environments and nature (ex. West Park Health Centre and the Humber River), and also ecological restoration in these spaces (such as re-introducing native plants). 

Work by indigenous residents and grassroots groups on ecological restoration and natural food and medicines is happening now along the Humber on either side of Eglinton. We support their work and advocate for these efforts to be supported on a larger neighborhood level. Read more on naturalization.

Members of Maamwizdaa, a local Indigenous grassroots group, harvesting Ashkibwaan (Sunchoke Tubers)
Two Mount Dennis residents and bike advocates standing at the busy intersection of Jane and Weston (from Toronto Star)
Sustainable Transportation

We have previously pushed for and secured the electrification of the back up system for the Crosstown LRT. Mount Dennis could be a leader in sustainable transportation by continuing this work by: 

  • electrifying public transportation rail systems, buses, and facilities
  • including e-vehicle charging at gas stations 
  • endorsing a Hydrogen Strategy – which de-carbonizes 
  • supporting active transportation connections such as expanding a bike path network and safer sidewalks; some MDCA members were previously part of a Pedestrian Safety and Cycling Study in our ward
Circular Economy

A circular economy refers to the continual use of resources and reduction of waste within the economy. For example, the City of Toronto has existing community based programming centred around waste reduction and reuse, and have set up bike repair and sewing repair hubs. We envision a circular economy within Mount Dennis, which includes:

  • using building materials from deconstructed sites such as West Park or Dennis Avenue School
  • a green community market place
Rendering of new West Park Healthcare facility by Altus Group
Black Creek overflows onto Humber Boulevard North during the rain storm of July 2013 that brought record levels of water down onto the City of Toronto. - Maria Farcas/photo
Extreme Weather and Flood Risk

Mount Dennis and its neighbouring communities are largely affected by flood risks and the poor green infrastructure. We support and work with other grassroots groups such as the Black Creek Alliance and YSW Flooding Coalition who are working to engage the community on flooding prevention policies and how community members could engage with these issues. 

Green Jobs, Green Economy

A green economy encompasses “circular economy”, green jobs, and also encourages businesses and social enterprises to integrate sustainability into their work. Some existing examples include:

  • Green infrastructure projects creating local employment opportunities 
  • Mount Denis BIA partnering with local businesses to make Mount Dennis a bee-friendly neighbourhood
  • Agencies and service providers providing local jobs or programming centred around local food production, textile recycling, and bike repairs
 
Mount Dennis Neighbourhood Centre staff harvesting fresh veggies grown outside of the centre. Photo taken from their Facebook Page.