Soak it Up! Toolkit

How your community can save money and protect the environment by implementing green stormwater infrastructure across the urban landscape.

The Soak it Up! Toolkit identifies policies and programs for integrating green stormwater infrastructure across the urban landscape. Each section contains an overview, examples from real-world experience, and insights from practitioners about what works best–and what doesn’t.

Fill in the stormwater scorecard – quick version or full version – to contribute to benchmarking municipal stormwater policies across Canada.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Transforming the urban landscape

2. Incorporating green infrastructure in local plans

3. Building community support, participation

4. Bringing practitioners and decision-makers up to speed

5. New build – creating a shining example

6. Making green infrastructure attractive for developers

7. Nurturing healthy soils to soak up rain

8. Building green infrastructure in rights-of-way

9. Managing rain in alleys

10. Greening up those unlovely parking lots

11. Enhancing the ecological function of greenspace

12. Soaking up rain and knowledge in schoolyards

13. Creating multiple benefits with healthy trees

14. Matching stormwater fees to runoff volumes

15. Keeping the rain out of sewer systems

16. Mobilizing action on private property


The Soak it Up! toolkit was written and researched by Clara Blakelock and Clifford Maynes of Green Communities Canada. The first edition was published February 2016. Feel free to quote or excerpt with credit.

Thanks to all those who contributed comments, including:

  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Lindsay Telfer (Freshwater Alliance)
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Sharmalene Mendis-Millard, Heather Ray (Green UP)
  • Leta van Duin (Alberta Low Impact Development Partnership)
  • Sheila Boudreau and Patrick Cheung (City of Toronto)
  • Natalija Fisher (Environmental Defence)

Thanks also for input from those who attended our in-person workshops in December 2015. Green Communities Canada retains sole responsibility for the content.

This publication was made possible with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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