This afternoon, I was lucky to attend a presentation by Toronto Mayor David Miller as part of the Sustainable Buildings Consortium’s Summit on Tower Renewal. Mayor Miller’s presentation focused on Toronto’s Mayor’s Tower Renewal program currently being implemented in the City of Toronto.
Introduced by Deputy Mayor and Councillor Don Iveson, and attended by Councillors Jane Batty, Ed Gibbons, and Dave Thiele, Miller’s presentation focused on the challenges facing many of Toronto’s large apartment neighborhoods.
One of the most interesting points that Miller talked about during his presentation was the poor energy efficiency of many of the large concrete apartment blocks in Toronto. This lack of energy efficiency has contributed to an urgency to re-skin the apartment towers to prevent any further energy loss. I was also interested to learn about the community rejuvenation strategies that are being used to green the apartment neighbourhoods (including better use of green space and zoning commercial business space in dense residential communities). Other interesting points that Miller touched on included:
– Agenda for Prosperity – Toronto’s economic development strategy.
– Deep Lake Water Cooling – Reducing energy usage by piping water from Lake Ontario to cool downtown towers in the summer.
– Live Green Toronto – Innovative ways that Torontonians can individually contribute to the sustainability of their City.
– TTC Transit City Light Rail Plan – The construction of 120km of Light Rail Transit to link Toronto’s apartment neighbourhoods to the mass transit system (part of the Ontario Government’s recently announced $9 Billion investment in Public Transit).
While Toronto is facing different urban density challenges than Edmonton (Toronto currently has 2,047 concrete residential apartment tower blocks, whereas the majority of Edmonton’s towers are commercial buildings), Miller’s presentation provided a number of interesting strategies that other cities can learn from. Overall, Miller gave a very interesting presentation, and it was refreshing to learn that Canada’s municipalities are leading the way when it comes to innovative growth and finding solutions for sustainability communities.