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Eight buildings join Toronto’s Deep Retrofit Challenge

Eight buildings join Toronto’s Deep Retrofit Challenge

TORONTO — The City of Toronto has announced the eight buildings participating in its Deep Retrofit Challenge (DRC), a competition-style program with up to $5 million in funding from Natural Resources Canada.

The support will be provided through the federal Green Infrastructure Energy Efficient Buildings program. Through the DRC, grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to each of the buildings, seven of which are privately owned, to support deeper-than-planned energy retrofits.

The grants will offset the incremental design and construction costs required to achieve maximum greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The participating buildings are:

  • 350 Bay St. (Dream Office REIT)
  • 723 Bloor St. W. (Dream Unlimited)
  • 88 College St. (Governing Council of the University of Toronto)
  • 1-15 Field Sparroway and 2-10 Tree Sparroway (Toronto Community Housing)
  • 633 Northcliffe Blvd. (Northcliffe Inc.)
  • 177 St. George St. (Dream Unlimited)
  • 145 Woodward Ave. (145 Woodward Ave. Inc.)
  • 61 Yorkville Ave. (Minto Apartment Limited Partnership).

Launched in 2022, the DRC aims to accelerate emissions reductions from buildings in Toronto and identify pathways to net-zero that can be replicated in other buildings across the city, stated a release. The retrofits are intended to advance the goals of the TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy, including the city’s target to reduce community-wide emissions to net zero by 2040.

Toronto’s community-wide emissions must be cut in half in the next seven years, by 2030, to stay on track to reach net-zero by 2040, said the city.

DRC participants are currently finalizing their designs. The process includes an integrated design workshop, energy modelling, the final selection of energy conservation measures and payback calculations.

To remain eligible for funding, participants must deliver a final design to the city that verifies their proposed projects will meet all DRC program requirements, including minimum 50 per cent reduction in the building’s GHG emissions; minimum 50 per cent reduction in total energy use intensity; and payback period of 20 years or less.

Retrofits will be completed by early 2025. Once complete, the city will develop and publicly release comprehensive case studies on completion of the retrofits, including the retrofit designs, utility savings, project costs and lessons learned.

Applications for the DRC were accepted from Aug. 26 to Oct. 31, 2022.The city received 14 applications and accepted 11 conditionally, with eight building owners now committed.


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