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Saturday, March 28, 2009

earth hour

Don't Forget. It's Tonight. From CP24

People around the world will turn out their lights at 8:30 p.m. Saturday to mark Earth Hour, part of a global movement to encourage environmental awareness.

Toronto is one of 2,800 cities in more than 84 countries taking part in the ritual, which promotes using as little electricity as possible for the hour between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Last year, both city hall and the CN Tower took part in the event, turning off their massive banks of lights. The city's power use dropped by more than 260 megawatts -- enough to power a city the size of Guelph -- during that hour.

This year, the city landmarks will be in the dark once again and a massive concert will be held at Nathan Phillips Square. The show is set to start at about 7 p.m. and finish later than 9:30 p.m., with performances by Samba Squad, Suzie McNeil and others.

The TTC is encouraging city residents to take public transit to the event and elsewhere around town during Earth Hour, and plans to turn off all non-essential lights at TTC administrative buildings and major repair facilities.

Earth Hour originated in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Sydney was the world's first major city to ring in this year's incarnation of the event, with its ferries sounding their horns as the city was plunged into darkness.

Iconic edifices such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge took part, along with thousands of homes and businesses.

Earth Hour celebrations have continued every hour since, ending in Las Vegas.