Community Sustainability Plan: The TBM Future Story

The Blue Mountains Future Story is our Integrated Community Sustainability Plan. This plan builds on a three-phase process that incorporated community feedback, analysis of community and regional data, research on promising practices in other communities and review of our policies.

On this page:
1. Project Background and Previous Phases
2. Bold Actions


Project Background and Previous Phases

Sustainability considers community systems in a holistic way, ensuring that solutions support and enhance all systems. The six interconnected systems identified through the TBM Future Story were: the natural environment; the built environment; the economy; community & culture; social well-being; and governance.

‘TBM Future Story: The Action Plan’ provides a detailed description of the 4 Big Moves and 20 bold actions that will move our community towards our desired future. These provide a significant amount of detail to ensure clarity on the roles, responsibilities, timing and resourcing required to effectively implement this plan.


Bold Actions

The Action Plan provides a detailed description of the 20 bold actions that will move our community towards our desired future. These provide a significant amount of detail to ensure clarity on the roles, responsibilities, timing and resourcing required to effectively implement this plan.

1. Achieve Milestone 5 in FCM's Partners for Climate Protection program

Status: Corporate and Community Milestone 3 achieved

3. Develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Status: Anticipated to begin 2024


1. Achieve Milestone 5 in FCM's Partners for Climate Protection Program

The Partners for Climate Protection (PCP), a joint program of The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), provides a five-milestone process for both corporate (municipal operations) GHG emissions and community-wide GHG emissions: 

  1. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory and Business as Usual (BAU) Forecast
  2. Confirm GHG emission reduction targets and target year
  3. Local Action Plan (LAP) for emission reductions
  4. Implement LAP
  5. Monitor, Track and Report on results

To purpose of this Bold Action  is for The Blue Mountains to work through and achieve all five Milestones in the PCP program for both Corporate- and Community-scope GHG emissions, building on The Blue Mountains’ achievements of Corporate Milestone 1 and Community Milestone 1 in 2006.

For the full list of anticipated Key Steps, view Bold Action 1 in TBM Future Story. 

For information on the Town’s corporate- and community-scope GHG emissions, see our Sustainability Progress Reports.

Project Updates

Timeline

TimelineStatusKey Step
2022Completed
  • Corporate Milestones 2 and 3
2022Completed
  • Community Milestones 2 and 3
2023-2027Ongoing
  • Budgeting for and implementing actions to reduce GHG emissions each year
  • Annual corporate GHG inventory reports
2027-2028Upcoming
  • Corporate Milestones 4 and 5
  • Community Milestones 4 and 5
  • 5-year Community GHG inventory update

 


2. Expand low-carbon transportation options to include regional electric vehicle infrastructure and greening the Town's municipal fleet

The purpose of this Bold Action is to develop a long-term strategy to transition Town fleet and equipment to electric, and to expand community electric vehicle charging locations.

The Town’s fleet vehicles were responsible for 55.9% of the Town’s GHG emissions in 2018 and comprise the only category where emissions have increased since the 2005 baseline, making this the most significant opportunity to reduce corporate emissions. Town staff will consider a long-term plan to transition towards electric fleet vehicles while preparing to install the necessary electric vehicle charging infrastructure at Town facilities.

Town staff will also seek opportunities to enable electric vehicle charging infrastructure in The Blue Mountains help support growing uptake of electric vehicles among residents and visitors.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 2 in TBM Future Story

Project Updates


3. Develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan with Grey County's Community Climate Change Action Plan

The purpose of this Bold Action is to join with Grey County and member municipalities to develop a Climate Adaptation Plan. In the Grey County Climate Change Action Plan, Strategy #21 describes the creation of a climate adaptation plan as a measure to “increase our communities’ climate resilience, minimize the exposure of our community and assets (both physical and natural) to the impacts of climate change, and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.” This action consists of outreach to the County, and joining a milestone process to participate in plan development, to ensure that actions developed in this plan can be implemented in The Blue Mountains’ context.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 3 in TBM Future Story.

Project Updates

Resources and Related Documents

Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation resources including home flood protection and home wildfire protection guidance


4. Update engineering standards to incorporate resilience to climate change

After the completion of the Climate Adaptation Plan, there will be a series of engineering standards that will need to be reviewed and potentially proposed to improve resilience to the local impacts and risks posed by climate change. After this initial update, Town standards will be reviewed on a biannual basis to incorporate best practices for sustainable infrastructure.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 4 in TBM Future Story.


5. Develop an action plan to create a natural asset inventory to include climate vulnerabilities and inform asset management planning

The purpose of this Bold Action is to create a business case and assessing the applicability of an action plan for a natural asset inventory that includes climate vulnerabilities and informs asset management planning. A natural asset inventory includes natural features that provide an ecological benefit to the Town, such as trees, soil and wetlands. These features provide a series of services that are vital to citizen health, including water and carbon storage, water quality improvement, microclimate regulation and urban heat island effect mitigation. The Town’s Asset Management Plan (AMP) does not yet include natural infrastructure assets, and a natural assets inventory is first needed to identify natural infrastructure assets and assess them for climate vulnerabilities and quality as infrastructure assets.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 5 in TBM Future Story.

Project Updates

Timeline

TimelineStatusKey Step
2022Completed
  • Registered for Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) training
2023Upcoming
  • Participate in MNAI training
  • Create a business case/roadmap for a natural assets inventory
2024Upcoming
  • With Council approval and engaged partners, develop natural assets inventory
2025Ongoing
  • Natural assets inventory completed and periodically updated

6. Develop a Biodiversity Strategy

The purpose of this Bold Action is to create a strategy for how and where to retain, restore, and manage biodiversity and minimize negative impacts, and utilize the positive impact of community resources on the terrestrial, riparian, and aquatic features in The Blue Mountains. Throughout all three phases of TBM Future Story development, community members shared their support for reduced deforestation and enhancing tree cover. This strategy will set the direction for future Town naturalization and tree-planting efforts to support biodiversity and enhance access to nature.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 6 in TBM Future Story.


7. Expand production of sustainable local food

The purpose of this Bold Action is to increase sustainable local food production and consumption within the Town through various means, including the encouragement of community gardens in zoning by-laws, farmer’s markets and food co-ops, private gardens and urban agriculture, micro-farming, augmentation of food banks with unused food and an overall increased connection between farmers and residents encouraging them to buy local.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 7 in TBM Future Story.


8. Develop a net zero carbon municipal building policy

The purpose of this Bold Action is to establish a requirement for designing, constructing and operating net zero carbon emission municipal buildings. A net zero carbon municipal building policy will contribute to the transition to a low carbon community, as well as support resiliency and mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change. Notable expected outcomes include:

  • A reduction in annual Town facility emissions
  • Avoidance in utility costs
  • An improvement in local air quality
  • Local job creation

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 8 in TBM Future Story.


9. Develop and implement Green Development Standards

The purpose of this Bold Action is to develop and implement Green Development Standards (GDS), which are voluntary or mandatory measures created by municipalities to encourage development that is sustainable from environmental, social and economic perspectives. They promote the use of renewable or sustainable materials, resources and construction methods, while limiting the environmental impacts of development.

Grey County has included Green Development Standards in Grey County Climate Change Action Plan (Action 11), envisioning a voluntary, tier-based standard, with a goal that all new buildings constructed be net-zero ready by 2050, or at least 80% more efficient than buildings built in 2018.

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 9 in TBM Future Story.

Project Updates


10. Monitor and estimate increases in active transportation uptake as supported by the Transportation Master Plan 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to monitor increases in active transportation as actions from the Town’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) are implemented, in order to understand the impact of new infrastructure and identify new opportunities to serve residents. The TMP is a long-range strategic plan that will identify transportation infrastructure requirements to address existing challenges and support growth, along with policies to guide transportation and land use decisions in The Blue Mountains.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 10 in TBM Future Story.

Project Updates


11. Establish a residential green retrofit program 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to establish a residential green retrofit program in coordination with the County to promote energy efficient features in residential dwellings. Grey County’s goals are for 17% homes by 2030, and for 84% of homes by 2050, to have been retrofitted with a target energy efficiency gain of 40% or more per project. A residential green retrofit program encourages or incentivizes the renovation of an existing structure, with a goal to limit its carbon emissions and environmental impacts. In the Town of The Blue Mountains, this program will assist in highlighting the fiscal and environmental benefits of energy efficient living, while encouraging residents to implement changes on their own properties using retrofit incentives and community education initiatives.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 11 in TBM Future Story. 


12. Establish litter and construction waste management plans 

Implementing litter control and construction waste diversion plans will help to develop better practices and diversion rates. Deconstruction, rather than demolition, will help build circular economic behaviour and new products from waste resources. This action will reduce GHG emissions, build on a local green economy, reduce waste and improve local water and air quality. These efforts will complement existing Town efforts to reduce litter and divert waste from the landfill.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 12 in TBM Future Story. 


13. Establish/support a green economy task force to identify economic opportunities in the community 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to explore ‘green economy’ opportunities for the community. This action could see the establishment of a Green Economy Task Force to review programs and opportunities for environmental initiatives, green economic incentives and attraction of businesses and industries that seek to balance profit, people and the planet. The Task Force would provide recommendations to Council and the community regarding what actions could grow the green economy of The Blue Mountains. The Town may also collaborate with a regional initiative gathering partners across the Southern Georgian Bay area to build a Green Economy Hub in The Blue Mountains. The Town’s Economic Development Strategy, which was approved in 2021, is complementary to this Bold Action.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 13 in TBM Future Story. 


14. Develop a Circular Economy Recommendations Report and expand circular economy programming 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to develop a Circular Economy Recommendations Report and expand circular economy programming. A circular economy incorporates transition to renewable energy and materials and seeks to separate economic activity from the consumption of non-renewable resources.  There are some circular economy elements currently underway in the community, in particular the Library of Things offered through the Blue Mountains Public Library (BMPL). The Library of Things currently focuses on items that can be stored at the main branch. However, the community has requested many new items which have not yet been incorporated. A Circular Economy Recommendations Report will build on momentum from the Library of Things program expansion and could investigate a variety of additional circular economy opportunities. 

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 14 in TBM Future Story. 


15. Develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to develop and implement a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy. A DEI Strategy that provides an inclusive lens that includes Truth and Reconciliation is essential to developing and applying policies, plans and services within The Town of The Blue Mountains. Embedding a DEI Strategy into current plans and policies will create an environment of acceptance and understanding within the TBM organization and throughout the community.  

An inclusive community is built upon acceptance and understanding, making it a more welcoming place for everyone. Ensuring that diversity is welcomed and respected allows all members of The Blue Mountains community to live with dignity, building a shared sense of community needed to live our best lives and solve our biggest challenges. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada identifies 94 Calls to Action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. All levels of government and the broader community have a role to play in contributing to reconciliation in our communities.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 15 in TBM Future Story. 


16. Improve the conditions for attainable housing 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to improve the conditions for attainable housing by reducing planning and development permit barriers to creating attainable units, researching and implementing relevant changes to the Official Plan to create more units, and to determine methods of funding the maintenance and operations of additional attainable units.  

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 16 in TBM Future Story. 


17. Establish decision-making and reporting structures within the Town  to ensure decisions contribute towards the Vision and Goals of this plan 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to incorporate the Vision, Goals and Actions of TBM Future Story into the Town’s decision-making and reporting structures, by: 

  • Updating staff reports that are presented to Council to include a description of how the recommendation aligns with the Vision, Goal(s) and Actions of TBM Future Story 
  • Regular reporting to Service Area Managers (SAM) and Senior Management Team (SMT) committees on the progress and challenges in implementing the Future Story actions 
  • Updating business planning documents to include references to the Vision and Goals 
  • Updating procurement documents, such as Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to ask contractors to identify how their corporate operations and services align with the Vision and Goals 

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 17 in TBM Future Story. 


18. Establish a community sustainability organization / network to champion sustainability efforts in the community 

The community, made up of individuals, households, organizations and businesses all have a role to play in building a more sustainable Blue Mountains. As the implementation of the plan gets underway, The Town will facilitate the development of a new sustainability organization or network that will focus on community actions to move towards the Vision and Goals of TBM Future Story. Leveraging the ideas and passion of residents of The Blue Mountains, this group will become an organization that accelerates action to making the community more sustainable. 

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 18 in TBM Future Story. 


19. Host an annual Community Sustainability Summit 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to host an annual Community Sustainability Summit in order to grow knowledge of and commitment to a more sustainable community. This will allow TBM staff, stakeholders, and community members to gather and reflect on the year that was and plan action for the upcoming year. The summit may include presentations on progress, community highlights, and dialogues on sustainability. 

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 19 in TBM Future Story. 


20. Release an annual report card on sustainability 

The purpose of this Bold Action is to develop and distribute an annual report card to highlight the status of Bold Actions in TBM Future Story. A brief description of the status of each action will be shared to give context to readers about what activities are occurring, how actions could be accelerated through collaboration, what challenges are being faced and what actions are coming next. This will build a sense of learning and accountability with each passing year. 

For the full description, anticipated Key Steps and other details, view Bold Action 20 in TBM Future Story.