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TD GreenSights Report uncovers room for improvement of Canada's green spaces

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - According to a recent survey, the vast majority of Canadians (95 per cent) agree that access to community green space will be important to their quality of life in the future, but three-quarters feel that their local green space could be better. These are two of the key findings of TD Bank Group's GreenSights Report, released today as part of the TD Common Ground Project, an initiative focused on revitalizing over 150 community green spaces across Canada in recognition of the country's 150th year.

"Canadians agree, community green spaces are an integral part of our identity," said Karen
Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group. "As the pace of life around us intensifies, Canadians value outdoor spaces in their communities where they can find common ground. We're proud to continue addressing this need by rejuvenating public green spaces, and ensuring that they're functional, modern and inclusive for generations to come."

Among the key findings of the TD GreenSights Report:

  • Room for improvement. While many Canadians make it a point to get out and visit their community green space regularly, with six-in-10 (60 per cent) saying they do so once a week or more, 77 per cent feel there is room for improvement. When asked how the community green space closest to their home could be better, common enhancements include more public picnic areas, natural playgrounds and even solar lighting, the latter a nod to the growing interest in sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

  • A place to escape. When asked to list what they like to do most in their local green space, the top-three cited activities listed by Canadians are all linked to escapism: 43 per cent say they relax on their own; 42 per cent want to connect with nature; and 41 per cent opt to relax with family and friends. Further, technology is not a priority for Canadians' enjoyment of green spaces with only 13 per cent and 8 per cent respectively considering access to free Wi-Fi and electric charging stations to be very important.

  • Values and trade-offs. The report also finds that Canadians place a high priority on proximity to community green space when selecting a neighbourhood in which to live, ranking at 18 per cent, closely behind "proximity to good schools," (23 per cent) and "easy access to public transit" (19 percent), and above "walkable neighbourhood," (15 per cent). Similarly, the report indicates that Canadians would be willing to make sacrifices to ensure community green spaces are preserved, with 40 per cent agreeing that preserving green spaces should come at the expense of commercial development. This is followed by housing development (24 per cent) and parking (20 per cent).

  • A green space for all. When designing community green spaces for the future, Canadians believe a diverse mix of groups should be considered. These include families with young children (70 per cent of respondents), seniors (57 per cent) and people with disabilities (53 per cent). Generationally, Millennials are the most inclusive age group, identifying it as important to consider New Canadians (15 per cent) and Indigenous people (12 per cent) – compared to an average of 9 per cent and 5 per cent by other age groups.

  • Sustainability is top of mind. Designing environmentally sustainable community green spaces is important to Canadians, no matter the price tag. Regardless of age, 94 per cent agree that natural sustainable playground equipment would be important for their local community green space.

"Sensory-rich community green spaces are the rare places in our cities where human barriers drop," said Adam Bienenstock, an award-winning designer of natural playgrounds, and participant in a recent roundtable discussion organized by TD. "Achieving sustainability in our parks and playgrounds requires us to incorporate real, raw nature into every experience. These are the places where we will inspire the next generation of urban environmental stewards."

About the TD GreenSights Report
The TD GreenSights Report is part of #TDCommonGround, an initiative recognizing Canada's 150th year. It contains data from a TD Survey commissioned by TD Bank Group and conducted by Environics Research. Also included in the report is insight from a recent roundtable, the TD Common Ground Think Tank, which brought together experts in the field to discuss the current and future use of Canada's green spaces.

The TD GreenSights Report can be downloaded here. A video with additional insight from the TD Common Ground Think Tank can be viewed here.

About the TD Survey
Environics Research conducted a quantitative online survey of 1,501 Canadian adults. The fieldwork was completed using an online methodology between July 18 and July 26, 2017. As online surveys are not considered random probability samples, no margin of error was assigned.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 11.5 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.2 trillion in assets on July 31, 2017. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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