Environmental Defence Canada

116 Spadina Ave Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5V 2K6
Executive Director: Tim Gray
Board Chair: Eric Stevenson

Charitable Reg. #:11883 0835 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]


Most recent Audited financial statements available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About Environmental Defence Canada:

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Environmental Defence Canada (EDC) aims to protect Canada’s fresh water and land, eliminate toxins in the environment, and promote clean energy alternatives. EDC reports that it empowers individual Canadians, works with industry leaders, and advocates for new government policy to achieve these goals. The charity organizes its programs by six major issues: Kicking Out Toxic Chemicals, Climate & Clean Economy, Creating Livable Communities, Ending Plastic Pollution, Safeguarding Canada’s Freshwater, and Ontario Not for Sale. In F2019, the community of 263,000 Canadian EDC supporters collectively sent letters or made phone calls to government and industry over 190,000 times to protect the environment and human health.

In F2019, EDC allocated 63% of program costs ($1.6m) to its Climate & Clean Economy program. This program focuses on pushing Canada towards more sustainable energy options. EDC believes that climate change is Canada’s largest threat and is putting the country’s water, food, and health at risk. By building a clean economy and reducing carbon pollution, the charity believes it will lead to cleaner air, improved public health, new jobs, and more opportunities for Canadian companies. In F2019, EDC published 10 reports relating to climate change. Additionally, it defended Canada’s national methane rules, which some provincial governments were trying to substitute for weaker regional standards.

In F2019, EDC allocated 18% of program costs ($463k) to its Safeguarding Canada’s Freshwaters program. This program focuses on fighting pollution, strengthening Great Lakes protection, and working with communities to ensure beaches and marinas are sustainably managed. EDC notes that Canada’s Great Lakes hold over 20% of the world’s surface freshwater and provide drinking water to millions of people while supporting multiple billion-dollar economies. The charity’s major freshwater protection program is Blue Flag, an eco-certification program for Canadian beaches and marinas. Blue Flag is an international program headquartered in Denmark and facilitated by EDC in Canada. Beaches hoping to qualify for the award must meet stringent standards; EDC evaluates community waterfronts for high water quality, safety standards, cleanliness, and accessibility. In F2019, EDC flew the flag at 28 beaches and 12 marinas across Canada. In F2019, EDC also advocated for the Ontario government to protect Lake Erie from toxic algae blooms.

In F2019, EDC allocated 9% of program costs ($225k) to its Kicking Out Toxic Chemicals program. This program aims to eliminate harmful materials from consumer products, stop the use of toxic chemicals in the environment, and inform Canadians about dangerous materials present in common household products. The charity notes that products that Canadians use daily still contain toxic chemicals that are linked to health issues such as cancer, obesity, and asthma. In F2019, EDC published a study in the Hidden Costs of Receipts report, highlighting the exposure of Canadians to hormone-disrupting chemicals by touching receipts. This led to Costco Canada committing to removing BPA and BPS on its receipts by December 2019.  

In F2019, EDC allocated 8% of program costs ($195k) to its Creating Livable Communities program. This focuses on protecting natural areas - such as the Ontario Greenbelt - from urban sprawl and other industrial expansion projects. By directing growth to existing urban areas, the charity believes it will improve the protection of farms, nature, and water. In F2019, thousands of EDC supporters protested Schedule 10 of Bill 66 (proposed by the Ontario government), which would open Ontario’s Greenbelt for factory, retail, and residential development, as well as potentially easing other public health restrictions.

In F2019, EDC allocated the remaining 2% of program costs to Ending Plastic Pollution. The Ontario Not for Sale program appears to be a new issue EDC is addressing in F2020 in response to proposed policy changes by the Ontario government.

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Results and Impact

EDC’s annual report highlights 11 key environmental protection wins in F2019. Here are a few of the key victories it mentions:

Relating to Climate & Clean economy, Canada’s federal carbon price came into effect in F2019. The Ontario and Saskatchewan governments went to court to fight the carbon tax, and EDC was an intervenor in both court cases and won. EDC’s advocacy work contributed to the Senate passing Bill-C69, which is Canada’s new environmental assessment act. EDC claims this will improve how the federal government reviews energy and industrial projects that impact the environment.

In EDC’s efforts to safeguard Canada’s freshwater, a record number of blue flags were flown at beaches and marinas across Canada in F2019. After EDC launched a program in Winter 2019 to address the damages to fresh water caused by too much road salt on sidewalks and streets, the Ontario government made a commitment to address the over-application of road salt.

After EDC’s protests of Schedule 10 of Bill 66 in Ontario, the Ontario government announced it would not proceed with Schedule 10. This means the Greenbelt will not be opened for development.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Environmental Defence Canada’s results and impact.

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Environmental Defence Canada is a Medium-sized charity with total donations of $3.5m in F2019. Administrative costs are 15% of revenues and fundraising costs are 13% of donations. This means overhead costs are 28%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 72 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Environmental Defence Canada's audited financial statements do not disclose fundraising and administrative costs. This information comes from EDC's annual T3010 filing with the CRA Charities Directorate.

EDC holds funding reserves of $1.3m which can cover only six months of annual program costs. This indicates a need for donations.

Environmental Defence Canada uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2019, EDC reported paying $108k to external fundraisers who raised $164k. This means EDC paid $0.66 for every dollar raised by external fundraisers.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Environmental Defence Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 19, 2020 by Eric Jose.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 15.2%14.9%25.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.6%12.3%16.9%
Total overhead spending 27.7%27.2%41.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 51.1%53.9%33.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 3,524,7763,564,6592,770,722
Government funding 386,6921,089,410197,762
Other income 4,75213,44223,574
Total revenues 3,916,2204,667,5112,992,058
Program costs 2,519,3832,655,8711,704,078
Administrative costs 594,101693,798749,340
Fundraising costs 442,988439,710468,216
Total spending 3,556,4723,789,3802,921,634
Cash flow from operations 359,748878,13170,424
Capital spending 6,6034,7951,831
Funding reserves 1,286,4581,432,598562,512

Note: Ci reports on a cash basis and adjusted for deferred donations, affecting total revenues by $221k in F2019, $771k in F2018, and $281k in F2017. Ci gathered all expense figures from the charity’s T3010 CRA filings and backed out amortization from program, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 29

Avg. compensation: $60,159

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

" Environmental Defence’s donor strategy is focused on securing support from monthly donors.   Since monthly donors typically continue to give to our organization for 5+ years, the revenue generated by these new monthly donors in the year acquired does not accurately reflect the total revenue that will be generated over that time against the fundraising costs incurred to acquire them in the current year.  Consequently, the ratio of dollars paid for every dollar raised by external fundraisers is not accurate and greatly overstates the actual costs."

Updated on September 14, 2020


Charity Contact

Website: www.environmentaldefence.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416.323.9521


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001