The About Face Collective


With all eyes on Copenhagen (and our country’s weather abruptly bottoming out), climate change seems to be resurfacing as the number one hot topic (bye, bye H1N1). But often times the issue of climate crisis is too “big picture” to find a focus and see how one single soul can affect change. So look closer.

Right here in our own backyard, there are non-profits and groups of like-minded people working together to make a difference in our Canadian communities. Community becomes city, city becomes country, and suddenly there’s a global movement. At least that’s how the story goes.

I’ve recently stumbled upon one group with an idea so inspired that a domino effect is sure to follow. The About Face Collective is a Toronto-based group of artists, activists and entrepreneurs with the common goal to reconfigure urban living  in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way. The starting point? To purchase a historic building in the city’s downtown core and retrofit the space with a solar-powered laundromat, a rooftop garden and community centre, and an organic market/cafe and workshop space. It even holds the potential for affordable housing.

Right now About Face is on the verge of achieving their goal. They were voted as semi-finalists by the Aviva Community Fund and are fighting hard for votes to move into the next round. So if you can’t fly to Copenhagen this week to join the protests, a click of the mouse is a much more effective (and peaceful) contribution anyhow.  Oh! Did I mention that David Suzuki has their backs? That’s like Canada’s green thumbprint of approval. —L.L.