Toronto city councillors heard from a panel of climate change experts Tuesday who proposed drastic changes to make the city more eco-sustainable.

One of the ideas proposed by Dr. David Pearson was to ban private cars on busy downtown roadways.

"We need to very quickly begin thinking about banning cars downtown the way they do in London, England where only taxis and public transport are allowed," he told CTV Toronto during a break in the council meetings.

"You have an excellent subway system and the next step I think is to make sure private cars aren't polluting the atmosphere and contributing to heat stress during hot summer days."

The effects of climate change are already being felt in the city with longer stretches of smog and low water levels, councillors heard from the panel.

They predicted the situation will only get worse with summer temperatures steadily soaring above 40 C. They said low water levels will weaken hydro generation, slow cargo shipments and have a negative impact on wildlife.

"The problem really is getting urgent," Pearson said. "We can't put our head in the sand any longer."

The panel is working on a report for council to be released in the Spring. The report will focus on a climate adaptation strategy and recommendations for the city.

Council hopes to be able to implement some of the recommendations by this summer.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Kay-Markson