a non-profit social enterprise: working towards healthy, sustainable communities
Windfall Centre Updates
Join us on October 17th at the Bill Fisch Centre
Admission is free and space is limited
Denis Poncelet, the York Region Project Engineer will provide an overview of the building's green features, opportunities and challenges including lessons learned during building construction and operations. A light breakfast and physical tour of the building will be provided.
Healthy Kids and the Town of Aurora have partnered to pilot the Power Boost Menu that gives families access to more vegetables and fruit as part of their meals and snacks. The menu is available from August until the end of October.
$8 million to be invested in the Electric School Bus Pilot Program
Your kids may be hopping on and off of electric school buses this school year. The program is part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan and scheduled to run from December 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2018. School bus operators that provide service in Ontario can apply for funding.
Visit Windfall Ecology Centre during Green Energy Doors Open and Windfall Harvest Festival to get a first-hand look at the application of solar energy, rain barrels, sustainable transportation, and wood gasification boiler.
This month Windfall Centre welcomes (from left to right) Jacqueline Tung as the Events and Communications Coordinator, Kirthan Sathananthan as the Marketing and Member Services Coordinator for ClimateWise Business Network and Alanna Sheehan as the Energy Efficiency Specialist.
Healthy Kids #spotthecarrot summer photo contest
Win a 2-month Local Food Box prize
Spot Healthy Kids and Carrot at Aurora events all through summer
To enter, take a photo with Carrot, post it on Facebook or Twitter with #spotthecarrot and tag us @fitkidsaurora. Follow us to find out where Carrot will appear next. Happy snacking and snapping!
Only three days until we celebrate Ontario's food, land and people together right here in Sheppard's Bush. This free family outdoor event includes cooking demos, First Nations performances, kids activities, workshops, food vendors and more. Connect with the great outdoors and what our community has to offer.
Windfall Centre participated in the annual Doors Open Aurora event
History buffs, architecture enthusiasts and weekend wanderers were delighted to explore and learn about the history of the Sheppard House and family. Kids played and activated their creativity in our Nature Play Pop-Up and enjoyed fruit smoothies blended by pedal-power. Thank you to all those who came out!
Windfall hosts GHG target setting workshop
All Founding Members of ClimateWise in attendance
Setting a sustainability target is the first step in tracking and moving forward with your green objectives. On June 29th, ClimateWise hosted a workshop for its Founding Members on how to set a carbon emissions target and how to determine what a relevant target looks like for your team.
MPP Chris Ballard steps in as environment minister
Mini-cabinet shuffle announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne
Newmarket-Aurora MPP Chris Ballard will lead Ontario's fight against climate change as the new minister of environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overseeing the province's transition to a low-carbon economy.
Join us for Doors Open Aurora and our Nature Play Pop Up
Saturday, August 19th from 10am-4pm
Windfall Ecology Centre
Explore the 1920's Charles Henry Sheppard House and grounds with guided tours at 1pm and 3pm. Kids can engage in creative outdoor play and get messy in the Healthy Kids adventure playground from 12-4pm. Test your pedal power with our bike-powered smoothie blender!
Looking for experience in energy efficiency, events and sales
Windfall Ecology Centre is hiring for two programs, Energy Efficiency and the ClimateWise Business Network. Windfall will be looking at bringing on an Energy Efficiency Specialist for the Energy Program, a Marketing and Sales Coordinator for ClimateWise and an Events and Communications Coordinator to support both ClimateWise and Windfall.
Harry French joins as the new Manager of ClimateWise
The ClimateWise Business Network is pleased to introduce Harry French as the Manager, ClimateWise Business Network (CBN). Their members' ability to stay competitive in a changing business climate is critical; Harry will draw his experience to facilitate them through a target-setting process to meet this goal.
Helen Doyle receives award for Outstanding Board Person
The GC Awards were announced at Green Communities Canada's Annual General Meeting on June 19. Helen Doyle has served as Board Secretary on the Windfall Ecology Centre Board of Directors for 14 years and was recognized for her leading role in guiding the strategic direction of the organization.
New incentives for home energy upgrades
Electrically heated homes are eligible for an additional $4,000
Qualified home owners can now earn up to $6,355 in incentives for making eligible energy efficiency improvements to their homes through the Enbridge Home Energy Conservation Program. Additional incentives are now available for electrically heated homes.
Activate Aurora's Open Streets Aurora closed off downtown roads to make way for walking, dancing, basketball, badminton, and a whole lot of fun. Healthy Kids unveiled their mobile Veggie & Fruit Pop-Up alongside Carrot the mascot to give away healthy snacks and remind kids to eat veggies and fruit every day!
Evening of Recognition celebration for business sustainability
The ClimateWise Business Network's first Annual Evening of Recognition was a fantastic success, with members and supporters of ClimateWise, as well as community leaders in business sustainability, celebrating the achievements and growth of the network since its 2016 launch. Thank you to keynote speaker David Miller and Platinum Event Sponsor KPMG for their support!
Province supporting climate action in Newmarket-Aurora
MPP Chris Ballard at Windfall Centre to talk about Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan and to recognize the great work ClimateWise Business Network is doing. ClimateWise has engaged almost 6500 members of the York Region business community in reducing their carbon emissions so far.
Windfall Centre and Healthy Kids at the Eco Festival
Festival drew families eager to connect with local environmental initiatives
On Saturday, April 29th, Windfall Centre and Healthy Kids took part in Aurora's Eco Festival at the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex. Families took away inspiration for how to save energy, harness rain water and some great prizes. Healthy Kids gave away 300 pieces of fruit to eager and happy kids and families.
Windfall Ecology Centre's rain barrel sale is back
Order discounted rain barrels online now
Rain barrels are an excellent way to collect free rainwater for future use on gardens and lawns. Using them helps slow down the flow of stormwater on your property and keeps our local waterways clean. Orders must be placed by Friday June 2nd and picked up on Saturday June 10th between 10:00am - 2:00pm at Windfall Ecology Centre, Aurora. Prices begin at $60 per barrel.
If you are a Certified Energy Advisor or Registered Energy Advisor, a renovator or contractor, or if you have specialized knowledge about building science or energy-efficient building practices, you may wish to investigate the possibility of becoming a residential energy efficiency advisor.
Join ClimateWise in celebrating sustainability leadership at the first annual Evening of Recognition. The special event will now be held at the brand new Electric Vehicle Discovery Centre in North York with keynote speaker David Miller, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. Come for electric vehicle test drives, celebrate sustainability leadership and network over food and drinks.
The Global Adjustment Charge and how it impacts businesses
Thursday, May 18th, 10am - 11am on
Join us for an improved understanding of the Global Adjustment charge on your electricity bill and the steps you need to take before the June 15th deadline. Hosted by ClimateWise Business Network, in partnership with the IESO and Energy@Work.
The ClimateWise Business Network is hiring a Program Manager to oversee the operations and development of the program. Duties involve coaching members with sustainability projects, managing program staff and championing sustainability within the business community in York Region.
Healthy Kids Community Challenge takes on a new focus
From now until the end of 2017, Healthy Kids communities across Ontario will be focusing their efforts on helping kids eat more veggies and fruit. In Aurora, look out for a variety of food-focused initiatives, projects and events.
Bring your families to this free Town of Aurora event sponsored by Healthy Kids and Windfall Centre. Test out an electric vehicle, explore booths from local environmental organizations, get your hands into fun kids activities, receive a free tree sapling, and take in a guest seminar. Come visit us at our booth!
ClimateWise Business Network, in partnership with Enbridge and the City of Vaughan, hosted a lunch seminar at Vaughan City Hall on Tuesday, March 28th about funding sources available to subsidize the cost of energy efficiency projects. The sold-out event featured speakers from Enbridge and Alectra, and was well attended by members of the York Region business community.
On Saturday, March 18th, we welcomed over 180 people to Sheppard's Bush for a day of outdoor play to cap off the March Break. Kids guided themselves through the adventure playground and explored the walking trails. Families also enjoyed maple taffy treats made on the spot. What a great way to celebrate active play, the great outdoors, maple syrup season, and community.
New funding is available to subsidize the cost of energy efficiency projects. This event will help business owners and financial managers understand the business case for energy efficiency and sustainability, and learn how to fund their projects.
Building retrofits and new construction innovation can cut carbon pollution
Policy-makers should look to energy-efficient buildings as low-cost and effective opportunities to meet our 2030 and 2050 targets for reducing carbon pollution. Two strategies include creating a retrofit strategy for building improvements as well as design and construction standards for high energy-efficient new builds.
ClimateWise blog series on sustainability and small business
The ClimateWise Business Network is publishing a series of blogs addressing the barriers to entry for sustainability projects experienced by SMEs, the support that exists to implement and monitor projects, and the benefits and returns typically seen when projects are completed.
Let your kids engage in self-guided active play. Drop into our FREE Nature Play Pop Up and give them the chance to play outdoors. See how they explore, build, and create on their own. There will be maple taffy treats to celebrate the maple syrup season. It's going to be a muddy and sticky good time.
Learn about the new CME SMART Green funding program for Ontario manufacturers at this free breakfast event exploring who can apply for funding, what types of projects are eligible and how to apply. ClimateWise has been invited as a special guest and will be presenting a case study on how manufacturers can benefit from sustainability.
ClimateWise Business Network, a Windfall program, has published a white paper that serves as a guide on how organizations can avoid green washing in sustainability marketing. The paper outlines common pitfalls and key principles that should be followed when marketing sustainability accomplishments.
ClimateWise Business Network, a program of Windfall, has published a new white paper on the Value of Green Buildings. The paper discusses how commercial and residential buildings can increase tenant engagement, improve energy efficiency and how asset value increases with sustainability investments.
Providing insights into York Region's carbon emissions
York Region municipalities will be the first in Eastern Canada to utilize a powerful, award-winning new tool that offers insights into community greenhouse gas emissions. The York Region Business Energy and Emissions Profile (BEEP), released today and commissioned by Windfall Ecology Centre, shows that the region produces 2.32 Mega-tonnes of CO2e annually – a figure larger than the entire emissions profile of Prince Edward Island.
The Climate Smart BEEP Dashboard graphically displays a given city's energy usage and carbon emissions by industry, business type, and business size. It allows York Region community leaders to quickly identify opportunities to cut carbon and more effectively engage with local companies.
Creating more green space for students at St. Nicholas CES
There's a little less pavement at St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School after Windfall Ecology Centre held a Depave Event last Friday, in partnership with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. School staff, students, parents and project partners removed pavement from the school's kindergarten area to make way for a rain garden, native plants and trees, and outdoor classroom space.
Business and Organizations transitioning to the low-carbon economy
Membership is now open
ClimateWise is a new program supporting businesses and organizations as they transition to the low-carbon economy. ClimateWise provides the expertise, tools and support to help your business or organization succeed in adapting to new regulations and consumer demands in a quickly changing marketplace.
ClimateWise Business Network is hosting a webinar on Assessing Your Facility's Energy Performance. On Wednesday December 14th at 10 AM, learn from Energy@Work, Technosim and PowerStream how existing building commissioning (ECBx) and energy audits can drive deeper savings in your facilities.
Dignitaries arrive at announcement in all-electric Chevrolet Bolt
The biggest auto sector announcement in Ontario since 2005
For years, Ontarians have wondered what will become of the auto industry. What will happen to the assembly plant in Oshawa after the Camaro runs its course? The answer is high tech as new engineers to work on the cars of the future.
Ontario will begin phasing out natural gas for heating, provide incentives to retrofit buildings and give rebates to drivers who buy electric vehicles. It will also require that gasoline sold in the province contain less carbon, bring in building code rules requiring all new homes by 2030 to be heated with electricity or geothermal systems, and set a target for 12 per cent of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2025.
Windfall Centre / Healthy Kids Aurora Needs Assessment cited
Adults have become the barrier to activity, stated speaker Drew Mitchell last week during a physical literacy summit hosted by Sport Aurora. The Community Needs Assessment Windfall carried out as part of our Healthy Kids Aurora Community Challenge program was extensively cited in the article.
Barrie school rips up pavement to install rain gardens, LID features
Unity Christian High School is a lot greener thanks to joint efforts from students, teachers and community members who participated in a Depave event on April 22, 2016. Unity CHS partnered with Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Windfall Ecology Centre and R.J. Burnside to coordinate the Depave event, which is the first phase of a much larger project to green the schoolyard.
Join us at Aw, Shucks! Oyster Bar, September 20, 2016
ClimateWise Business Network is Windfall Centre's new target based sustainability program that supports businesses and organizations as they transition to the new low-carbon economy. Join us at Aw Shucks! Oyster Bar, in Aurora, as we kick off this new program in style.
Mud, Water, Straw Bales, pots and pans, shovels, and all sorts of odds and ends to stimulate the children's creativity into making their own messy, mucky outdoor adventure playground. Children aged 3-14 will find lots to do.
Join us for a NaturePlay POP-UP Adventure on Sunday, June 19th from 1:pm to 4:pm at Windfall Ecology Centre located in Sheppard's Bush, Aurora. It promises to be an afternoon filled with fun.
A POP UP Adventure Day is an event where we bring all sorts of loose parts to a green space. Children, ages 3 - 14 will find lots to do. Some kids will make a cardboard go-cart, others may want to build a swing, many will be happy dressing up or digging in sandy soil. Come on by and watch your children have lots of self-directed POP-UP fun!
Learn about rain gardens, how they work and how they help keep our waterways clean. Then work with expert landscapers to plant a rain garden for our Win a Rain Garden Contest winner! Lunch, refreshments and snacks will be provided. Please register for this workshop - space is limited.
Windfall shares in winning Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence
Green Communities Canada's RAIN Community Solutions, a program delivered in York Region by Windfall Ecology Centre, is the recipient of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change 2015 Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence.
Pick up at Fairy Lake Park Saturday, June 11, 2016
April showers bring May flowers! Many gardeners prefer to use rainwater over tap water for their flower and vegetable gardens, claiming that rainwater improves the growth and vitality of plants. Collect free rainwater for your garden by connecting a rain barrel to your home's downspout.
Windfall Ecology Centre's Rain Barrel Sale is now open for pre-orders. Pick up your pre-ordered rain barrels and accessories at Fairy Lake Park in Newmarket on Saturday June 11th between 10:00am - 4:00pm.
The City of Vancouver is considering a target to capture 90% of average rainfall by green infrastructure on public and private property throughout the City. If this goes ahead it will be the highest standard for Canada…. details on the proposal can be found here:
Windfall's Executive Director reflects on his experience at COP 21
Right after the COP 21 Climate Change agreement was reached in Paris this past December I tweeted, Today's COP21 agreement is definitely a turning point that marks the end of the Fossil Fuel Age. It was not a euphoric statement as much as a grudging acknowledgement that out of the grinding multi-threaded UN process that winds up and unravels almost simultaneously there came just enough clarity of vision among 195 countries to stumble into a new era of determined decarbonisation.
Are you a non-profit, community or charitable organization in need of a desk or office space? Do you find working from home to be lonely?
Rent a space in our unique and inspiring workplace hub at Windfall Ecology Centre. Desk and office spaces are now available in our beautifully retrofitted heritage home, nestled within Sheppard's Bush Conservation Area.
Extreme weather due to climate change causing rate hikes
In the summer of 2013, the Greater Toronto Area received five inches of water in a day (as much as the city would normally receive in the entire month, and then some). Five thousand residential basements were flooded and the Insurance Bureau of Canada reported that insured property damage was estimated to be in excess of $850 million, and costs to the city itself were $170 million, making it the province's costliest natural disaster.
Healthy Kids Community Challenge, a partnership between Windfall Ecology Centre and the Town of Aurora, will focus on improving the health and fitness of local youngsters and those who guide them. Read the full story in the Auroran.
Administrative Centre, Great Hall, 17250 Yonge Street, Newmarket
Join us for World Water Day and Canada Water Week in Newmarket. Enjoy Hands On Water Displays, Water Games and interact with the people behind our water system. Windfall will be there and we'll be kicking off our huge Rain Barrel Spring Sale.
Managing rain where it falls in the Lake Simcoe watershed
Wednesday March 30, 2016 - 1:00pm-2:00pm
Join Steve Auger from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in a discussion about managing rain water where it falls within the Lake Simcoe watershed. Steve will share experiences in addressing stormwater runoff from new developments, as well as from existing built-up areas.