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Greening Toronto's Waterfront

  • Jun, 21 2012
  • Industry Sector:Government


To achieve multiple public policy objectives, such as countering urban sprawl and to revitalize the waterfront, the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada created Waterfront Toronto in 2001. Each level of government contributed $500 million as seed capital to this city building initiative. Waterfront Toronto’s mission is to transform the waterfront into a series of sustainable, mixed use communities integrated with parks and open spaces that greatly expand the City’s capacity for urban living, employment and recreation. 


As part of Waterfront Toronto’s commitment to sustainable city building and to being agents of real estate market transformation, Minimum Green Building Requirements (MGBR) were developed.

The MGBR is a mandatory performance standard that applies to all building projects controlled by Waterfront Toronto. The MGBR was first introduced by Waterfront Toronto in 2005 to support advanced, high performance buildings and sustainable lifestyle choices, including requirements for energy efficiency and LEED Gold certification.

Greening Toronto's Waterfront</h3>


With funding support from the Ontario Power Authority, the MGBR were updated in 2011 as part of Waterfront Toronto’s continued commitment to green city building and market transformation. The updated MGBR pushes the bar on sustainability with new requirements for smart building design, electric vehicle infrastructure, water efficiency, and renewable energy.


2011 MGBR

Summary of Requirement

1.       LEED Gold

LEED Gold, including the following credits:

o        WEc1: Water Efficient Landscaping

o        WEc3: Water Use Reduction

o        EAc1: Optimize Energy Efficiency (50%)

o        EAc2: On-site Renewable Energy

o        EAc5: Measurement and Verification

2.       Smart Building

o        Suites independently billed for utilities based on consumption

o        Waterfront Toronto’s Intelligent Communities Network

3.       Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

o        EV infrastructure for 2% of residential parking spaces

o        100% of parking spaces “EV-ready” by providing roughed-in raceways

4.       Green Roof

o        50% green roof coverage

5.       Engagement and Support

o        Residential Occupant and Operating Manual

o        Educational signage

6.       Bicycle Parking and Storage

o        1.2 bicycle racks per suite

7.       Waste Management

o        Separated cabinet space in kitchens for collection of three waste streams

o        Tri-sorting for buildings over three storeys

o        Collection areas for household hazardous waste

8.       District Energy

o        If secured, design and construct building to rely on district energy

9.       High Efficiency Appliances

o        Energy Star compliant appliances

10.    Community Integration

o        Strategies that encourage sustainable communities

11.    Long-Term Flexibility

o        Minimum ground floor slab-to-slab height of 5m

o        Minimum above ground floor slab-to-slab height of 2.75m

o        20% of residential suites can be converted or combined with other suites to form new suites containing 3 or more bedrooms



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