Environmental Issues in Ontario
Ontario is the most industrialized and urbanized province in Canada. Producing almost double the GDP of the next largest province (Quebec), Ontario’s industry is at the heart of the Canadian economy. But intense industrialization and urbanization have brought many environmental concerns that need to be addressed in the near future.
The first major concern is the air pollution created by industry, agriculture and transportation. This is mainly impacting southern Ontario as there is a high concentration of highways and factories and the region is also home to large industrial cities like Toronto, Hamilton, and Windsor. Not only does air pollution contribute to climate change, but it can also result in an increase in respiratory illnesses. So, if Ontario is serious about fighting climate change and protecting its people, air pollution needs to be better addressed.
Ontario’s lakes and waterways are some of the most beautiful parts of the province, but every year they are polluted more by industry, agriculture, and urban runoff. In the southern parts of the province, urban runoff as a significant impact on waterways and groundwater. For example, in Waterloo, heavy road salt use has seen chloride levels in groundwater double in some areas of the city from 1998 to 2018. The story is similar in other cities as well.
Agricultural runoff also damages the environment. Excess fertilizers that end up in waterways can result in algae blooms, choking out other native plant life.
Last, but not least, is climate change. Climate change is not an issue unique to Ontario, or even Canada, but it will have serious implications for the province. Rising water levels in the great lakes may result in the relocation of some homes, businesses, or even communities and will definitely contribute to an increase in major flooding events. On top of this, extreme weather events like floods and storms will happen more often, putting more strain on our infrastructure, resulting in additional public spending. So, while climate change may come with some positives like an extended growing season, the negative impacts far outweigh any benefits.
If you want to read more about how climate change will impact Canada check out our blog, Climate Change in Canada. Also, if you are interested in saving on energy costs while lowering your carbon footprint, look at our microgeneration wind turbine, the Anorra. Thanks for reading!