Adams talks up green building in Toronto

Seven of Portland's green-building firms have been selling the city's know-how in Toronto this week, riding on Mayor Sam Adams' coattails on a city-led, international trade mission to Canadian cities and IIDEX/Neocon, the largest green-building conference in Canada.

Joining the trip were development firm Gerding Edlen, architectural companies Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and RDH, engineering firm Glumac, green-building consultants Green Building Services, ecoroof-pioneer Columbia Green Technologies and McKinstry, which offers environmental services.

With appearances amid a contentious mayoral election, Adams' presence drew considerable media coverage, allowing local companies to pitch their business in the course of considerable fanfare.

Toronto's daily newspaper, the Globe and Mail, noted in an article Wednesday that Adams' stance on the environment draws sharp contrast to that of two leading candidates in that city’s elections, whose platforms put ecological concerns far behind economic matters.

With talk about Toronto’s green agenda a hot item, Adams appeared on the popular talk show The Agenda with host Steve Paikin. He also spoke at a coat-and-tie meeting of the Toronto Board of Trade, made opening remarks at IIDEX/Neocon and gave a presentation on bike and pedestrian safety at the Ontario Bike Summit. "There’s definitely a demand for Portland's point of view and case study to be presented," said Roy Kaufmann, communications director for the mayor.

But Kaufmann said the trip was primarily an opportunity to sell Portland companies to the Toronto market.

"We are very much trying to tie our international work with our economic development strategy," he said.

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Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.

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