Active Transportation

    Active transportation refers to modes of transport such as walking, cycling, using a wheelchair, in-line skating or skateboarding, that only use human power to travel between places.


    Actions in response to actual or projected climate change impacts which reduce the vulnerability of social, environmental, physical and economic systems.

    Circular Economy

    An alternative to the traditional linear “make-usedispose” process. The circular economy model aims to minimize the use of raw materials, maximize the useful life of a product, and create value for the product to be used again once it reaches end of life.


    Any process, product, or service that reduces environmental impacts through: (1) environmental protection that prevent, reduce, or eliminate environmental degredation; (2) resource management activities that result in a more efficient use of natural resources; or (3) the use of goods that have been modified or adapted to be significantly less energy or resource intensive than the industry standard.

    Climate Change

    Climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. Climate change is any systematic change in the long-term statistics of climate elements (such as temperature, sea level, precipitation, humidity, or winds) sustained over several decades or longer.

    District Energy

    A district energy system uses a network of underground pipes to heat and cool buildings. There are four main parts:

    1. A central plant that produces hot and cold water
    2. Hot and cold water storage can be added to maximize efficiency
    3. Underground distribution pipes that carry hot and cold water to buildings
    4. Energy transfer stations in each building that uses the water for heating and cooling

    Extreme Weather

    Extreme weather events refer to meteorological conditions that are rare for a particular place and/or time, such as an intense storm or heat wave and are beyond the normal range of activity. They can be the result of sudden and drastic changes in temperature, precipitation and sea-level or they may be the result of a more gradual, but prolonged, shift in temperature or precipitation that is beyond the normal range.

    Greenhouse Gas (GHG)

    Greenhouse gases are a set of gases that absorb infrared radiation that can trap in heat from the sun’s rays, which contributes to warming of the earth. Greenhouse gases are naturally occurring and are created by the burning of fossil fuels: gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, or propane. The key GHGs of concern are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

    Green Infrastructure

    An infrastructure asset consisting of natural or humanmade elements that provide ecological and hydrological functions and processes and includes natural heritage features and systems, parklands, stormwater management systems, street trees, urban forests, natural channels, permeable surfaces and green roofs (Per Ontario Regulation 588/17).

    Heat Pumps

    A heat pump is a mechanical system powered by electricity that provides heating and cooling to your home. Similar to your air conditioner which moves heat in one direction (out of your home), heat pumps work the same way but move air in both directions (into and out of your home), providing year-round temperature control for your home. In winter months, a heat pump pulls heat from the outdoors (even in cold temperatures) and transfers it indoors to heat your home. In warmer months, it pulls heat from the indoors and transfers it outdoors to cool your home. Check out more about heat pumps here.

    Home Retrofits

    Retrofitting refers to upgrading your home or building to become more energy-efficient. This can be done through improving or replacing lighting, windows, doors or ventilation systems, through adding insulation or smart technology to manage energy and water flow, or through completely re-configuring your building's space and systems. These changes lower energy requirements, energy costs, maintenance needs, create a more comfortable interior, and reduce your environmental impact.


    A category of transport that refers to modes carrying one or two passengers. Examples can include bicycles, electric scooters, and skateboards.


    Measures that contribute to the stabilisation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Net Zero

    Net zero refers to the balance of either energy consumption or emissions production in a community or building. For energy consumption it is achieved when the consumption of energy is balanced by renewable energy production. For the production of emissions, it is achieved when total production equals zero or greenhouse gas emissions are removed or offset.


    The ability of systems and communities to absorb the impacts of climate change and maintain an acceptable level of functionality and service.