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Sustainable Development

Since its opening in 2004, TOHU has been a authentic laboratory for sustainable development through culture.

Far from being simply a place for the dissemination of circus arts, TOHU wishes to have a positive impact on its environment. On the verge of opening a performance hall in the heart of a disadvantaged and very multicultural district, as well being situated on the edge of a vast dumping ground gradually being converted into a nature park, TOHU has integrated concerns for socio-community inclusion as well as environmental education to its DNA from the onset, in collaboration with the City of Montreal. From there was born its three-part mission: Circus - Earth - Human.

Its Building

Did you know? The imposing circular TOHU building is the first LEED Gold Canada certified building in Quebec. Awarded by the Canada Green Building Council, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the most important environmental performance certification in the construction industry.

Passive and conventional geothermal system, heating generated by the transformation of neighboring biogas, recycled architectural materials, green roofs and naturalized basins serving as wetland are among the distinctive elements of the building. Click here to find out more.

Note that since 2019, the building has also fully complied with Keroul’s recommendations in terms of mobility and universal accessibility.


Its Bistro

While eco-responsibility is reflected in all of TOHU’s actions, nowhere is it more visible than in its Bistro. A major contributor to the local employability policy aimed at young people of the Saint-Michel district, the TOHU bistro offers dishes and utensils that are 100% reusable, consignable (ecocups, La Tasse) or compostable. Don't throw anything away! It also offers a menu that emphasizes local ingredients and uses herbs and vegetables from the vegetable plots along the grounds as much as possible. Fresh unsold products (bistro and private events) are, when necessary, distributed to neighborhood community organizations.

Its governance

Heir to the former “green committee”, a Sustainable Development Committee was set up in 2018. Bringing together a dozen employees from different departments, it coordinates sustainable development actions, relays and standardizes best practices, and even carries out a watch and offers recommendations to the concerned departments.

Committee members represent TOHU or the Festival at round tables, conferences and networking events. With the help of partners such as the Conseil québécois des événements écoresponsables or the Center québécois de développement durable, training is regularly offered to employees. A welcome booklet is also given to new employees to educate them about eco-responsible actions.

Since October 2018, thanks to support from the OFQJ, TOHU welcomes a sustainable development coordinator yearly to support its actions and update internal policies and certifications. In the process, TOHU adopted a Sustainable Development Action Plan for the 2020-2022 period. Click here to find out more.


Its programming

Reception and interpretation pavilion of the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, which over the years became Frédéric-Back Park, TOHU has been offering guided tours and interpretive activities on site since 2004, as well as environmental workshops intended for young audiences and students, and leisure and outdoor activities, open to all, to foster a greater appreciation of the park’s vastness and to reconnect with the neighboring nature: cycling, rental of cross-country skiing equipment, gathering of kite flyers, etc. To learn more, view the free programming.

Ateliers Buzz Chantal Levesque

For its involvement in the development of the Saint-Michel district as well as in environmental education, TOHU regularly receives awards, recognitions and certifications. Among the most recent:

  • 2020: Eco-responsible scene accreditation, Gold level, by the CQEER
  • 2020: ICI on recycle + recognition, Performance + level, by RECYC-QUEBEC
  • 2019: Winner of the "Place of welcome" award at the Vivats gala, rewarding eco-responsible events throughout Quebec

For more information or for collaboration ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us at developpement.durable@tohu.ca.

Other sustainable development actions already in place:

  • List of accredited social economy caterers and eco-responsible event charter signed by all private events
  • Generalization of LED bulbs and projectors (approximately 95%)
  • Banning of single-use plastic bottles (artists, technicians, spectators) and provision of reusable water bottles
  • Membership to the ACT charter - Citizen artists on tour in the TOHU boxes and at the Festival
  • Purchase of new sorting islands and removal of individual office bins
  • Implementation of a collection system and ecological or social recovery of various types of waste (batteries, glasses, ink cartridges, aluminum cans etc.)
  • Partnership with Écosceno for the reuse of used stage materials
  • Use of unbleached recycled paper in all bathrooms
  • Waterless toilet in men’s sanitary facilities
  • Environmentally friendly cleaning products purchased in bulk
  • 60% reduction of paper ticket size, thermal ink printing and incentive to favor electronic tickets
  • Elimination of the Festival’s evening programs (sent in PDF at time of purchase) and recycling bins for reuse during the TOHU season
  • Printing of signs, posters and signage without dates for use over several years
  • Valorization of bulk items and limit of food offered in individual packaging for employees or artists
  • Coffee beans offered in employee kitchen
  • “DD” newsletter sent internally every two weeks
  • Employee workshops, conferences and documentaries during lunchtime every two weeks
  • Creation of a car-pooling tool for employees, in partnership with Cirque du Soleil
  • Installation of two electric terminals in the parking lot
  • Acquisition of an OPUS card charger for use by employees and the public
  • Self-service bicycles for employee trips in the neighborhood
  • Production of a "Completely Committed" booklet to raise awareness among MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE spectators

2345, rue Jarry Est,
Montréal (Québec) H1Z 4P3