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February 10, 2011

Torontonians throw your frozen, eco-mitten-clad hands in the air!

Toronto is Canada’s most sustainable ‘large’ city according to the fifth annual Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities ranking.

Vancouver and Victoria tied for most sustainable city overall and won their respective categories – ‘medium’ and ‘small’ city. (Vancouver proper, many folks are surprised to learn, isn’t actually all that large population-wise.)

Cities are graded across five categories: Ecological Integrity, Economic Security, Government and Empowerment, Infrastructure and Built Environment and Social Well-being. While not doing so hot in the Ecological Integrity category, the T Dot earned top or near-top marks in Governance and Empowerment and in Social Well-being.

Though, as the study points out, changes in civic politics can alter the rankings drastically from year to year.

The report’s accompanying editorial suggests that Mayor Rob Ford’s new subway plan, which has been widely panned by environmentalists, could leave Toronto vulnerable to being overtaken in the rankings by other cities that are launching aggressive measures to become more sustainable.

Edmonton, for example, is praised for its work in combating invasive species and monitoring hazard trees. And Calgary’s new mayor, Naheed Nenshi ran on a platform based on limiting urban sprawl and promoting environmental protection.

The report’s conclusion: Toronto is on the right track but will have to do more to stay at the top of the list.

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