Ontario’s Growing Environmental Crisis is Largely the Fault of Bad Urban Planning

By Christopher Hume, TorontoStoreys.com, February 25, 2020

What the tar sands are to Alberta, sprawl is to Ontario. So spoke this province’s third and last environmental commissioner, Diane Saxe, in her presentation to the Ontario Professional Planners Institute earlier this month.

“Contrary to popular belief,” she told OPPI delegates, “more of Ontario’s climate pollution (greenhouse gases) comes from individuals than from heavy industry. And the largest source of that pollution is petroleum fuels used for transportation, like gasoline and diesel. These fuels are Ontario’s largest energy sources and the primary sources of its climate and air pollution.”

“Ontarians drive so much,” Saxe explained, “creating congestion and air and climate pollution, because urban sprawl has spread out the places we need to go. Most Ontarians live inconveniently far from jobs, grocery stores, libraries and schools because government decisions about land use and transportation have given them no real alternative. That locks people into huge carbon footprints, including car-based communities that are ever longer and more congested. On top of that, Canadians drive the most climate-polluting vehicles of any country in the world, because we drive so many trucks and SUVs.”


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