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SOCAAR - We study the air you breathe

Follow the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on air quality in Toronto

The Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR) at the University of Toronto is an interdisciplinary centre for the study of air quality, with a focus on how pollutants impact human health and the environment. SOCAAR brings together medical personnel, atmospheric chemists and environmental engineers, and promotes collaborative research through access to state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with government and industry.

Near Road Air Pollution Pilot Study

SOCAAR, in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Metro Vancouver conducted a two-year study into traffic-related pollutant concentrations near major roadways to evaluate the potential impacts on Canadians.

Download the final report of the pilot study (PDF / 8 MB)

The appendices provide detailed descriptions of the study sites, instruments and database, along with additional results.

This summary report presents the study's results as well as recommendations to mitigate the impact of air pollution on health.

It is available in English and French.

Following the publication of the study's results, a national near road monitoring workshop was held in November 2019. It attracted participants from federal, provincial, regional and municipal government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

Breakout discussions identified many ways to further mobilize and follow-up on the findings from this study. These are compiled in this report in terms of 1) ways stakeholders can work together to reduce exposure, and 2) recommended follow-up actions.

This infographic describes the main results of the pilot study.

A short video presentation of the study and its findings is available in English and French.

Some examples of the media coverage of the study.

Press: The Globe and Mail, Vancouver Courier, Toronto Star

TV: CBC

Radio: CBC Radio, Ici Radio-Canada

Web: Global News, blogTO, Truck News