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Environmental Impact


SPAR can help build climate-resilient communities. The replacement value of aging SPAR infrastructure is estimated at $42.5 billion. Improving the physical and built environment can result in benefits that span across the economy.

Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Parks and outdoor spaces are not just recreational areas but vital for resilient communities, contributing to ecological balance and better public health outcomes.

  • The availability, satisfaction, and usage of parks, green spaces, and trails are high among Canadians, indicating a strong public appreciation for these environments.
    • 76% of Canadians live within one kilometre of parks, green spaces, natural environments or waterways, with 80% using them at least sometimes. 68% of adults are highly satisfied with the quality of these facilities.
  • Strategic integration of parks and green spaces into urban landscapes reduces air pollution, facilitates urban cooling and enhances overall wellbeing of citizens.

Climate Resilience

SPAR can help build climate-resilient communities, aligning with national and global goals to combat the effects of climate change. SPAR-related efforts to improve air quality has the potential to help prevent premature death and reduce spending.

  • Protecting and expanding green spaces contributes to climate resilience and biodiversity goals.
  • Air pollution is among the top environmental risks for premature death and disability.
    • Air pollution costs approximately $120 billion and causes 15,000 premature deaths in Canada each year.
    • Wildfire-related health care in Ontario between June 4 and 8, 2023 was estimated to be $1.28 billion.
  • The Government of Canada states that every $1 invested in climate adaptation saves $13 to $15 across the economy globally (not SPAR specific).

Community SPAR Infrastructure

Community sport, physical activity and recreation infrastructure is a cornerstone for active living and environmental stewardship. These facilities also become vital crisis response centres in times of crisis, providing refuge, support, and essential services.

  • The replacement value of SPAR infrastructure including sport and recreation facilities and active transportation infrastructure that is in very poor, poor or fair condition is estimated at $42.5 billion.
  • Improving aging SPAR infrastructure can result in benefits that span across the economy, like job creation, climate resilience, energy efficiency, and longevity of community assets. Climate-smart SPAR initiatives are essential for our collective future.

Active Transportation

Active transportation — that is, movement by human activity or human-powered aids — increases physical activity, reduces greenhouse gasses and enhances community health.

  • 78% of Canadians have access to public transit, but only 14% use it frequently, and 48% never use it.
    • Canadian households with access, can save $10,000 per year by using public transit.
  • Canada’s public transit ridership has not fully rebounded post-COVID-19.
    • Public transit ridership in Canada dropped from 2 million commuters in 2016 to 1 million in May 2021 and increased only slightly to 1.2 million in May 2022.
  • If 1% of Canadians switched from private car use to active transportation, an estimated $564 million could be saved annually in reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Federal investments in active transit infrastructure are crucial for emission reduction and promoting physical activity.
  • Traffic congestion and a lack of transit alternatives costs $15 billion in lost productivity annually.
  • A 2% increase in bicycle infrastructure investment can prevent up to 18 premature deaths and reduce carbon emissions by up to 142,000 tonnes over 10 years.