BEFORE THE FLOOD – West End Phoenix (Oct. 2018)

Before the Flood
Tanya Connors and Johnny Dib at Black Creek/Photo by Tyler Anderson for WEP

IT’S ONLY THE OUTER PERIMETER of 200 Rock that would make parents anxious about letting their kids loose inside. Faded Coke bottles and sardine cans burst out of black garbage bags piled two feet thick on cracked asphalt. A razor-wire-topped fence ringed the site, yet the three-sided fence was open at the back. I wandered in and saw dragonflies darting through knee-high grasses and meandering butterflies seeking out the year’s last flowering plants. Aspen, hackberry and maples grew tall; apple trees held on to the last of their fruit.


June 2017 — An Ominous Fog

September 2016 — Saving the Rouge, Canada’s Largest Urban Park

August 2016 — Waukesha Water Woes

October 2015 — Accidental Ecosystems

April 2015 — Focus on Ocean Plastic

April 2015 — Beads Befoul Great Lakes

March 2015 — 13 Essential Questions for Election Candidates

December 2014 — Carpocalypse Now

October 2012 to Present — Contributions to A/J Community Science Blog

HOW TO BUILD A BETTER TREE – The Walrus (Nov. 2017)

Lab Techs at Hainan nursery
Lab technicians insert sprouting eucalyptus into nutrient-filled jars.

SNAKING FARTHER INTO CHINA’S MONSOON tropical forest on Hainan island, our minibus sped past squat stone houses, longhorn cows, and chickens, all shrouded in a haze of garbled greens. We’re hours away from Haikou’s pulsing traffic and nocturnal neon lights, but the rural roads are still packed; motorcycles, e-bikes, and logging trucks fight for space on roads the colour of PEI dirt. It’s August, and I’m here to see one of China’s largest tree plantations—and the likely future of the pulp and paper industry.


September/October 2017 — The Underdogs (Print Edition)

May/June 2017 — Canada’s Environmental Assessments Suck

April 2017 — Canadians Should Care About Nuclear Contamination in the Great Lakes

November — How can Canada Face Climate Change Head On?

January/February 2016 — Operation Offset (Print Edition)

September/October 2015 — Shallow Waters (Print Edition)

May/June 2015 — The Great Lake Killer (Print Edition)

May/June 2014 — Our Home on Golden Land (Print Edition & Online)

2012 Year End Special Edition — Gag Order (Print Edition)

Nov/Dec 2012 — The Player’s Behind the Panties (Print Edition)

July/Aug 2012 — Attack of the Killer Carp! (Print Edition & Online)

HACKING THE WATERSHED – Corporate Knights (Fall 2017)


“SO, HOW DO YOU THINK it went?” he asks. “Amazing,” replies another man standing in a line of young people wearing blazers, hoodies and loud sneakers. “The T-shirts you guys made?”  continues the first: “Can’t be beat.” The two men then refocus on the hors d’oeuvres being offered in the lobby of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario.

September 2017 — Leadership Vacuum; Advertising and Children’s Health; Regional Reductions; Up in Smoke

January 2016 — Great Lake Swimmers


August 2015 — Asian carp: How to stop an invasion



MY LEGO WAS KEPT IN a grey bin shaped like a giant 2×2 round brick. I dumped pieces on my bedroom floor and mangled the colourful plastic pieces into flying cars, canoes, castles. But landscapes were always my favourite. In a box brimming with cubes, rectangles and cylinders, the oddly shaped shrubs were… different.


Summer 2015 — Out for Justice (Print Editon & Online)

Summer 2014 — A Tale of Two Wind Farms (Print Edition & Online)

Fall 2012  — Nature’s Caregivers (Print Edition & Online)

Spring 2013 — Dream Teams (Print Edition & Online)


April 2013 — A Beautiful Anti-Social Building


January 2013 — Toronto’s (un)Official Species

TAINTED SPRING – The New Territory (Dec. 2016)


HIS FATHER IS GRAINY IN the black and white photograph, back hardwood straight on the clapboard dock. A pile of wooden debris forms a makeshift step to a rickety pier while discarded boards lie stuck in the brown swamp beside a crumbling dinghy. In the photograph I held at the University of Central Arkansas archives he stands in white shirtsleeves, contrasted against a dark tie, hands on hips. Another man, face blurred in motion, looks over the swamp at trees half rotted from rooting in standing water. It is 1955.


June 2017 — Walking the Lower Don Will be Possible This Summer

August 2016 — Why Ontario’s Growth Plan Misses the Mark

February 2016 — How Ontario’s Cap-and-Trade and Green Initiatives Could Impact Toronto

December 2015 — Planning for Toronto’s Ravine Strategy

December 2015 — 2016 Municipal Budget Preview: Parks, Recreation and Forestry

December 2015 — Greenbelt Report Maps Out Toronto’s Growth

October 2015 — What’s Next for Ontario’s Greenbelt

September 2015 — Deciding the Future of Toronto’s Hard-Working Wetlands

September 2015 — Toronto’s Unfunded Parks Plan


t.o. trees
Toronto aims to increase its tree canopy cover to 40 per cent. (Orchidpoet/iStock)

AS TORONTO PUSHES TO EXPAND its forest cover, one startup is aiming to connect cities and citizens with digital tools that will broaden our knowledge of the city’s tree canopy. Born at Ryerson University’s Urban Forest Research and Ecological Disturbance group, Citytrees has spent the past three years inputting urban tree data into a custom-built web app.

November 2015 — North America’s war on destructive Asian carp

September 2015 — How an Asian carp invasion could destroy Great Lakes fishing


September 2017 — What Makes You Care About Climate Change?

August 2017 — Spotlight on Great Lakes: Wetlands

July 2017 — Great Lakes and Canada 150


January 2019 — Ontario government unveils ‘plan to make a plan’ for protecting Great Lakes

January 2019 — Ontario government backtracks on developer-friendly bill threatening clean water