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The Clean Air Partnership is a registered charity, founded in 2000. Our mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

My Sustainable Day-Cation in Pickering: Part 3 of 5

It takes a lot more than a fancy bridge and an energy-efficient city hall to make a City more sustainable. And while the things that I highlighted in my first two posts about Pickering are undoubtedly improving the sustainability of the City, it is the efforts being undertaken by municipal staff and community members to create more sustainable places within the City that truly advance Pickering’s sustainability objectives.

Firstly, Pickering is developing communities that are more accessible and designed with livability, economic development and active transportation in mind. Chantal, the City’s Sustainability Coordinator and my tour guide for the day, gave me a walking tour of the Nautical Village area, an area that features live/work spaces, where houses and condos share a street with cafes, restaurants and other businesses. Nestled along the lake shore and beside the Frenchman’s Bay, providing a connection to the Waterfront Trail and easy access to some beautiful beaches, it’s easy to understand why this area is quite the destination in the busy summer months.  Today the area is bustling, but not nearly as busy as Chantal assures me it gets during the summer.

The Village on a Sunny March Day: In the summer time, these streets will be lined with people basking in the sun and enjoying the ambiance.

At the end of Nautical Village, looking out onto Lake Ontario, with beautiful sandy beaches in view.

We settle in for some lunch and tea on the patio at Hy Tea, and I’m struck by the European feel of the whole area. Big, wide sidewalks provide easy access to a myriad of patios and shops, and as I sit sipping on my tea, looking out over Lake Ontario while the big wind turbine lazily turns in the distance, I can’t help but feeling like I’ve found an ideal place to spend the rest of my day. While we chat about Pickering’s sustainability journey over lunch, however, I start to realize that there is much more to see in this City, and many more exciting sustainable initiatives being undertaken.

The Wind Turbine East of Frenchman's Bay Village along the Waterfront Trail

As we (reluctantly) depart from Bay Village, we head up to the Pickering Recreation Complex, near City Hall. As we walk in the front doors, I’m impressed to see how much the building relies on natural light filtering in from sunroofs. While they are impressive, that’s not what we’re here to see. The real showpiece of the Recreational Complex is up on the roof, which is exactly where we head. Once we get up there, we head on over to the Complex’s innovative green roof.

While the roof might not look particularly green in colour when I visit it in March, it certainly does contribute to the greening of the Recreation Centre’s activities in the long run. And look how nice it looks in the summer!

The Green Roof on the Pickering Recreation Complex as seen last summer.

Green roofs have many benefits, from decreasing stormwater runoff to reducing heating and cooling costs to reducing ambient noise levels inside the building. The Recreation Centre’s Green Roof features hardy, low-maintenance plants potted in a mixture of soil and planting mats, and is estimated to reduce the heating and cooling needs of the area it covers by as much as 50-60%. While the Green Roof is certainly the most visually appealing innovation undertaken in the Recreation Centre, it is certainly not the only feature of the complex that reduces the building’s ecological footprint. A recently upgraded building automation system, an improved HVAC system, changes to the pool heating and circulation systems and the installation of occupancy and motion sensors in the squash courts have all contributed to reductions in operating costs and GHG emissions.

With the City Hall, Public Library, Nautical Village, The Frenchman’s Bay Area, The Go Transit Station and Recreation Complex all within such close proximity to one another, Pickering residents have no lack of incredible sustainable places to enjoy in their community.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Pickering residents can nourish themselves with fresh, local produce while they take in all the sustainable innovations that their community has to offer.

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  1. My Sustainable Day-Cation to Pickering: Part 4 of 5 | Clean Air Partnership - March 29, 2012

    […] The great addition of the bridge to the Go Station, Pickering’s City Hall retrofits and the great sustainable place-making that is going on all across the City have provided an inspirational beginning to my Day-Cation […]

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