Our History

TGC’s beginnings sprang from a chance meeting between two North Toronto residents at a local copy shop

Toronto Green Community’s beginnings sprang from a chance meeting between two North Toronto residents at a local copy shop. Standing over a photocopier, Jacky Kennedy and Rita Banach struck up a conversation about an Ontario government program called the Green Communities Initiative – a program that encouraged the formation of community-based conservation groups across Ontario as a way of delivering environmental products and services to homeowners. Jacky and Rita could see the need for such a group in North Toronto, and resolved then and there to co-chair this new organization.

Rallying the support of the community and local government, they began the task of planning the development of a Green Community. But in the early stages, the planning hit a snag. In 1995, a new government in Ontario ended government participation in the Green Communities Initiative, and it seemed that the organisation would be finished before it ever officially started.

Fortunately, a number of new members were already far too excited about the possibilities to let this stop them, so the group persevered. Volunteers were mobilised, the first projects were developed, and by 1997, the North Toronto Green Community officially incorporated as a non-profit association. The projects undertaken grew in size and scope, and in some cases became so large, that they could be spun off into their own organisations!

A few key examples are:

  • Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op, which went on to develop community-owned renewable energy projects and establish Toronto’s first wind turbine on the grounds of Exhibition Place
  • Auto Share became Toronto’s first car-sharing network providing vehicle access while reducing daily car reliance to curb the effects of climate change
  • Seedy Saturdays – events that bring people together to buy, sell and trade local seeds (open-pollinated and heritage crops).

Today Toronto Green Community boasts an impressive array of achievements. And it’s all thanks to a few neighbours who united for the environment & their community!

For more history, visit our Milestones page.