Toronto’s best Earth Day 2017 events

Want to combat climate change and save the planet? Here's where to start


Lord knows the planet needs saving. We were in trouble even before Donald “GLOBAL WARMING HOAX” Trump took office Stateside. We’re living in a time in which a March for Science is being organized in Toronto and 400 other cities around the world to combat flat-earthers and other people who don’t believe in scientific facts.

So Earth Day on April 22 feels especially important this year.

But we’re not free of our own climate shame. Our own prime minister is pushing for more pipelines, we continue to contribute to the global mining crisis and Canada’s largest city still has no plan for climate action.

What can you do to help? There are dozens of Earth Day events planned across the GTA, from community cleanups and clothing swaps to panel discussions, documentary screenings and block parties. Here are the top five.

Henderson Brewing Co.’s Earth Day Block Party

In Toronto’s west end, Sterling Road is home to a growing number of cool, independent businesses. Henderson Brewing Co. (128A Sterling) is partnering with a bunch of its neighbours to throw an all-day Earth Day and Record Store Day block party. Festivities kick off at 10 am with a community cleanup of the Railpath from Dundas to Davenport. (Henderson is offering free shuttle rides and garbage bags to all participants). Following the cleanup, Henderson hosts a party with food from the Drake Commissary and coupons from Anansi Press, beer samples, and tacos from a Playa Cabana pop-up and music until 8 pm. The event is free. See website for details.

Grow Op at the Gladstone Hotel

The Gladstone Hotel’s fifth annual Grow Op exhibition, which showcases art and design that examines urbanism, nature, life and decay, opens April 21, with Earth Day celebrations continuing throughout the weekend. On April 22 between 10 am and 3 pm, bring your gently worn clothing and accessories to the hotel for a clothing swap. All leftover clothes will be donated to Sistering, a women’s shelter. On April 23, shop from local, ethical and environmentally sustainable makers and artisans at the Gladstone Flea. Admission to the Grow Op exhibition is $10 ($5 for students), and the clothing swap and Gladstone Flea are free. See website for details.

Bike maintenance and tune-up workshop

Trade your car for two-wheel transportation starting now until first snowfall. Matteo’s Delivery Bicycle Repair and the Toronto Tool Library are hosting a bike maintenance and safety workshop  in Parkdale. Drop by the Toronto Tool Library (1499 Queen West) from 12 to 2 pm April 22 to get your bike in good working order and learn road-riding strategies and safety tips. If you miss the event, it will be held again on April 27 at the Toronto Tool Library’s St. Clair West location. The event is pay-what-you-can and open to everyone. Register online to save your spot. See website for details.

Drop, Swap and Shop at Evergreen Brick Works

Contribute to the sharing economy, connect with your community and do something positive for the environment by getting rid of unwanted electronics, clothing, housewares, children’s toys, recreational items and more at an event presented by Recycle My Electronics at Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview) from 10 am to 3 pm on April 23. For each item dropped off, attendees will be given one ticket in return (up to a 25 item maximum), which enables you to shop for other donated items. Admission is $5 at the door ($10 if you show up empty-handed). See listing for details.

Climate Justice Teach-In at OISE

Connect with Earth Day’s activist and educational roots with a free, all-day, teacher-organized event at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (252 Bloor West). This event will include workshops and discussions with a focus on connecting environmentalism to Indigenous rights as well as racial and social justice in Canada and around the world. Registration begins at 9:30 am followed by a keynote address by Indigenous educator Donna Ashamock. A family-friendly workshop hosted by Green Thumbs, hoopdance performance and discussion on divestment by 350.org are among some the event’s other highlights. See listing for details.

michelled@nowtoronto.com | @michdas

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