Celebrating 20 Years of Sustainable Commuting

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Written by Dorinda So, Executive Director

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our 20th anniversary of being an incorporated non-profit organization! We started in 2001 as a grassroots organization seeking to reduce congestion and emissions in the Black Creek area, and this mission remains true two decades later, even with all of the changes in technology, policies, governments, and how we commute (and even our organization name!). It’s incredible to know that despite all of the changes, the world of transportation demand management (TDM) has remained focused on creating positive behaviour change. The annual impact of our work in North Toronto and Vaughan across our programs is palpable: 

  • $2.9 million in gas and vehicle savings 
  • 4,380 tonnes of carbon emissions reduced 
  • 30,000 more minutes in physical and activity 
  • 821,500 fewer car trips

Of course, all of this could not be done without our incredible former Executive Directors (Sarah Climenhaga, Janet Lo, Brian Shiffman and Lauren Bates) our board of directors and our board chairs (Lawrence Bouchard, Thomas Arnold, Caroline Karvonen, Jonathan Spencer, Hashmat Rohian, and Marjan Pouran). Under this leadership we have grown from an organization that focused solely on North Toronto and Vaughan to now working across Canada. This expansion has also been enabled by our funders, notably the City of Toronto and York Region, previously by Metrolinx, as well as Transport Canada, among many, many others. 

We celebrated our 20th anniversary on September 13, 2023 and the day was marked with the official announcement of the launch of the Best Workplaces for Commuters program and the first three Canadian workplaces: the City of Toronto for Best Workplace, York University for Best University, and Oxford Properties (Yorkdale Mall) for Best Site. You can read the press release here and learn more about the Best Workplaces for Commuters designation and how you can have your organization recognized here

It’s hard to imagine what the next 20 years will look like, especially given the pace of technological growth. Our small world of TDM has always embraced remote work (in fact, many of us still call it telecommuting or teleworking), which has now become the norm for most people’s work life post-pandemic.

I won’t be surprised when we develop new technologies that will further reduce congestion (I’m still holding out for a floo network a la Harry Potter but I’ll settle for teleportation) but I’m confident that our work will remain relevant and salient to employers and residents across Canada. And pointA will continue to grow an amazing, passionate, and hardworking team of staff, directors, funders, and volunteers who are committed to making a difference in our communities.

Thank you for your unwavering support of pointA over the last two decades and I hope we can all celebrate together when we reach pointA’s 40th anniversary!

To learn more about the 20th anniversary, please visit this page

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