Earth Hour activities in Toronto
By Ashley Cowell
The lights are going down in Toronto on Saturday.
Earth Hour is the World Wildlife Association’s global event where at 8:30 this Saturday evening, people and businesses are encouraged to turn off as many lights as possible and conserve energy to raise awareness on living a sustainable life for an hour.
It should not be confused with Earth Day, which happens later this month on April 22. Earth Day began in the 1970s as a national protest against environmental degregation in the United States.
This will be the eighth Earth Hour since originating in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Toronto Hydro has kept a record of the percentage drop in electricity use during the observed hour.
The Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Mall and Fairview Mall will all be shutting off as many lights as possible and reducing power during the hour, while still keeping the safety of shoppers in mind.
The Entertainment District in downtown Toronto will be participating once again, the district’s BIA announced on its website. The CN Tower will shut down exterior lights, reduce the interior heat five degrees and decrease elevator use. The Air Canada Centre, Fairmount Royal York and Roy Thompson Hall will also be turning off their exterior lights while remaining open to the public.
For those staying in, Toronto Fire Services are reminding people to be cautious when using candles. Candles should not be left unattended and if possible solar powered lamps or battery powered flashlights should be used.
People are encouraged to go out and participate in activities in the city to reduce the power usage at their own homes. Two main events will be put on throughout the city.
The Riverdale BIA also has afternoon activities and an evening concert that is being put on in part with WWF Canada. Afternoon activities are free and they include a lantern making workshop, and environmental art walk and recycled paper workshop. Music is being provided by the Lucas Stagg Band and patrons are encouraged to bring their reusable mugs for free hot chocolate.
Mill Street Brewery will be holding its Lights Out with Mill Street Brewery event. It includes acoustic performances by Canadian bands playing by candle light at over 60 locations across the city. 50 cents from every pint sold at partcipating locations will be donated to Earth Day Canada, a group providing resources and solutions to Canadians to lessen their impact on the environment. Two locations are on the map below.