Filmmaker Gregory Greene asked Lidia Ferreira if he could make a short video about her work with FCG, CREW, and the Lighthouse Project in Toronto’s St. James Town. Supported by a small grant from Toronto’s Resilience Office he worked with Lidia to identify local issues around climate change adaptation and building community resilience. Then everything changed. A six-alarm electrical fire in one of the St. James Town apartment towers led to a mass evacuation and a host of very difficult challenges for all of its residents. The fire gave Greene his resilience story which is told by a fire survivor, a community leader and a resident activist.
The Collaborative Implementation Groups (CIG) project targeted 12 municipalities throughout the Great Lakes watershed to identify and implement an adaptation initiative in their community over the period of one year (January 2017 – December 2017). The output of this project was the creation of 12 case studies, which outline the experience of each municipality as they implement their specified initiatives.
One of those municipalities was the City of Brampton, where census data demonstrated that 90% of Brampton citizens had religious affiliations. All major faith groups were represented and made frequent use of 79 registered places of worship across the City. The presence of faith-based communities in Brampton brought to light a new method of sharing information and spreading resilience across vulnerable communities. From this realization, the Lighthouse Project began.
November 24, 2015 With support from Live Green Toronto , Olive Tree Foundation, Evergreen CityWorks, Wellbeing Toronto, City of Toronto’s Environment & Energy Division, City of Toronto's Office of Emergency Management OEM), and the University of Toronto’s Geography & Planning department, Faith & the Common Good conducted a 2015 proof of concept project to understand how Toronto’s diverse faith communities could be better utilized as local service centers during extreme weather emergencies. This presentation was the culmination of that effort.
The cost of acting as a local extreme weather resilience site is one of the principal concerns for faith communities. Can we afford to serve vulnerable residents during extreme weather emergencies? What kind of capital and operating costs does this work entail? University of Toronto's Geography & Planning graduate students helped us look at this question in 2015. The result is this PowerPoint presentation.
April 3, 2018 Sheila Murray, Beatrice Ekoko, Lidia Ferreira, and Michelle Sullivan all work in some capacity with an initiative called the Lighthouse Project, a pilot that aims to develop new approaches for building resilience in a number of Ontario communities in the face of the growing spectrum of threats presented by climate change. Scott Neigh interviewed them about those threats, about what exactly resilience might look like, and about the different approaches they are using to get there.
This Extreme Weather Tool Kit will help your faith group think through the essential components of an extreme weather response plan. It is tailored for faith groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who want to support their most vulnerable community members to better withstand extreme weather emergencies.
The Neighbourhood Extreme Weather Resilience pilot project, completed in 2015, explored how Toronto’s diverse faith communities could be better utilized as local service centres to help vulnerable populations during extreme weather emergencies. These case studies give a sense of the potential of this work by providing a snapshot of the action plans and community partner engagement at each of the project’s faith pilot sites.