The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities announced a $175,000 investment through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to support Toronto’s transition to low-carbon and renewable energy.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to be supporting low-carbon innovation in Toronto’s building sector. These studies will lead to improved access to community facilities for children and families, while reducing emissions and benefiting the local economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.

The City of Toronto is receiving $29,000 to study the best solution for designing a net zero energy building for the North East Scarborough Community and Child Care Centre, located at Joyce Trimmer Park, 8450 Sheppard Avenue. The study has now been completed and construction is underway.

The City is also receiving $146,000 for a similar study for the Western North York Community & Child Care Centre at 60 Starview Lane. Both studies incorporate strategies to deliver energy, water and waste reduction.

“We know Toronto buildings are a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “We have a goal in Toronto to reach net zero by 2040 and a big part of getting there means understanding and exploring what more can be done to make buildings more efficient. This new funding is helping us understand that better and reach our goals of reducing our footprint quicker,”

The expected environmental benefits targeted by these studies are to achieve 100 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The projects will also have economic development and productivity benefits that will contribute to the long-term financial stability and prosperity of the community. Social benefits of these projects include the improvement of the community’s quality of life, the revitalization of community bonds, and increased opportunities for public education and awareness.

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The Green Municipal Fund, administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is funded through an endowment by the Government of Canada. GMF helps local governments switch to sustainable practices faster. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools they need to build resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Local governments own sixty per cent of the country’s infrastructure,” said Taneen Rudyk, FCM President. “With support from the Green Municipal Fund, municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart sustainable solutions to improve their infrastructure; this is exactly what the City of Toronto is doing with their studies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions community and child care centres in North East Scarborough and Western North York.”

The Government of Canada is also developing a Green Buildings Strategy, which will create local jobs and help Canada move toward a resilient, net-zero emissions buildings sector by 2050. The Strategy will be focused on increasing the rate of building retrofits, ensuring buildings are resilient and net-zero ready from the start, and supporting systems change for the buildings sector of the future. Further engagement on the Strategy with partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous governments and municipalities will take place before it is finalized in 2023.

“It’s critically important to have everyone in the climate fight. Municipalities across Canada are doing their part with innovative solutions that create jobs and climate resilience. Green infrastructure investments in Canadian communities will make our air cleaner, our economy stronger, and set us on the path to a net-zero future,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

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Featured image: The North East Scarborough Community and Child Care Centre, located at 8450 Sheppard Avenue. (City of Toronto)

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