City Matters: The Green Edition- Climate Leadership Plan to go to Council; the year in review; tips to reduce waste this holiday season; and more!

In this edition of City Matters:

Climate Leadership Plan to be presented to Council on Dec. 21! 

On Tuesday Dec. 21, staff will present the Climate Leadership Plan to City Council. One of the first plans like it in Canada, the Climate Leadership Plan outlines more than 50 actions to address the climate emergency. These actions aim to help the City and community adapt to climate change impacts we are already experiencing and to reduce future changes by cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero.  

The plan has been built over the course of two years through extensive consultation with the community, interested parties, and climate change experts. The resulting document truly reflects the diversity of the community.  

Wondering what the difference is between climate adaptation and climate mitigation? Climate change adaptation is when systems are adjusted to respond to climate changes we are already experiencing, such as extreme heat and increased rainfall. An example of a climate change adaptation is reinforcing shorelines to respond to flooding and erosion (see an example of this along our Lake Ontario shoreline!). Climate change mitigation is changing our habits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some ways to achieve these reductions include encouraging active transportation, creating more efficient buildings, and adjusting our diets to be more climate friendly.  

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Walking the Talk - Ways your City is taking climate action

How is your City living up to its commitment to “demonstrate leadership on climate action”? Below, we provide a highlight reel that captures just some of the ways your City is working to become net-zero.  

  • Supporting Green Builds: City Council approved the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan. The program will offer incentives aimed at encouraging property owners to construct buildings that minimize climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and exceed the requirements of the Ontario Building Code (OBC). This plan was developed through several engagements with interested parties in the private sector and will play an important role in helping to reduce community emissions.  

  • Helping Homeowners Realize GHG-Cutting Renovations: City staff are working diligently to launch Better Homes Kingston (formerly referred to as the Kingston Home Energy Retrofit Program) to help homeowners renovate their homes to be more energy-efficient. This property program will achieve the following:  

    • Remove financial barriers that may have prevented people from undertaking home improvements with incentives and loans.

    • Cut energy costs and make homes more affordable and comfortable year-round.  

    • Reduce the home’s carbon footprint (GHG emissions).

    According to the 2018 community greenhouse gas inventory, residential buildings accounted for 14 per cent of the community's GHG emissions.
  • City builds first net-zero building: Kingston Fire & Rescue in partnership with the Facilities Management team opened the City’s very first net-zero building. As a net-zero building, the facility will produce as much energy as it consumes. Located at Terry Fox Drive, this facility will be used to maintain essential emergency equipment. In 2022, the City will also open the Kingston East Community Centre on Gore Road, which will be near-net zero.  

  • First comes silver, then comes gold: The City of Kingston and community partners have been recognized for their commitment to promoting safe cycling and infrastructure with a Bicycle Friendly Community silver designation. This is a promotion from bronze level, which the City has been awarded in the past. Next stop: Gold! Learn more about this achievement and the Active Transportation Masterplan, which helped earn the City this special honour.  

  • Beep-beep!: Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common and more affordable. The City of Kingston is working to transition its fleet to electric and hybrid models. In 2021, the City secured its first two electric buses and two Zambonis. Are you considering an electric vehicle? The City has an extensive EV Charging Network to make it a convenient option. Find an EV charger near you.   

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Celebrating our achievements! 

In 2021, the City of Kingston was honoured to be awarded with the Lee Symmes Municipal Award. Given annually by Ontario Nature to deserving communities, this award aims to recognize and celebrate climate actions at the local level. The award was bestowed on the City for its declaration of a climate emergency, implementation of nature-based solutions, and climate change mitigation measures. Learn more about the special recognition.  



A green dream team: Sustainable New Partnership 

Red Squirrel Conservation Services and Sustainable Kingston have joined forces in an asset-transfer, which will expand the organization’s scope and help further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Kingston. Continuing to operate under the name Sustainable Kingston, the newly expanded organization will continue to deliver community programming while also providing home energy audits and supporting community enrolment in programs such as the Better Homes Kingston program, Canada Greener Homes Grant and the Enbridge Home Efficiency RebateLearn more about this exciting news.  


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Gift ideas and tips to reduce waste

This time of year, many of us may be thinking about the perfect gift to give or how we can celebrate the holiday season in an eco-friendly manner. Find our hand-selected top gift ideas below and ways to reduce holiday waste.  

Gift Idea 1: 

Consider donating to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund. One hundred per cent of every donation received goes directly toward helping non-profit organizations realize projects in our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
Donate today

Gift Idea 2: 


The 2022 Kingston Climate Change Symposium is around the corner, and the line-up is incredible. RSVP today to reserve your spot in the virtual room—tickets are FREE but quantities are limited. Attendees will hear from Johanna Wagstaffe who reported on COP 26 and the evolving climate situation facing Canada’s West Coast; Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Sheila Watt-Cloutier; as well as speakers from Queen’s University. Li-CylePure Balanxed, and more! 

RSVP today!

Waste Not this Holiday Season

Season: The City of Kingston aims to divert more than 65 per cent of waste from landfill, where it produces methane gas—a common GHG. But we need your help. This holiday season consider reusable or recyclable wrapping paper. Access more tips.  

Do you hear what I hear? A green podcast

Earlier this year, Tell Me More: the City of Kingston Podcast welcomed Julie Salter-Keane, Manager of the Climate Leadership Division onto the show. Tune into the episode as Julie walks listeners through some of the initiatives underway at the City. Enjoy what you hear? Please like, subscribe and rate us on your favourite audio streaming platform.


Please stay tuned to City channels in 2022 for more exciting news about climate action at work in your community. Until then, wishing you a happy and green holiday season.  

Remember to be kind, stay safe, and support local.