Government of Canada and FCM announce investment of $10.3 million for 11 sustainable municipal projects in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region (22/04/2016)
Clark Somerville and Vance Badawey pose with Niagara Region leaders and senior residents of Birchwood Place (Fitch East), a new, LEED® Silver social housing facility in Welland.
Welland, ON – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, today joined Clark Somerville, First Vice-President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), to announce a $10.3 million investment through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) in efforts to address climate change and environmental sustainability in communities throughout Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe region. This funding supports 11 different projects in communities including Caledon, Middlesex Centre, Peterborough, Markham, Waterloo, Kitchener, Hamilton, Niagara, Oshawa and Toronto.
The announcement was made today at Birchwood Place, a social housing facility for seniors in Niagara Region that was designed to achieve LEED® Silver Certification. The 67-unit structure, which incorporates geothermal heating and cooling, as well as energy efficiency and water conservation measures, demonstrates how a community, with the support of the FCM, can improve the quality of life of its citizens by making smart housing investments that reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Other projects announced today include a feasibility study for an affordable energy-neutral housing project and fire hall in Middlesex Centre; a field test that could lead to the diversion of 114 tonnes of textiles from municipal landfill in Markham; and an abandoned industrial site in Waterloo that now houses an energy-efficient maintenance facility for buses.
Municipalities play a key role in environmental protection, and the announced investments will lead to greener communities and a better quality of life for Canadians.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities works in partnership with the federal government to deliver meaningful change in communities across Canada. FCM's Green Municipal Fund was established through a $550 million endowment from the federal government, and supports plans, studies, field tests and capital projects that address climate protection and sustainability. To date, the Green Municipal Fund has supported over 1,000 initiatives from coast to coast to coast.
"These projects demonstrate the excellent work being undertaken at the municipal level to promote green technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are proud to support initiatives that can inspire municipalities across the country to help make their communities more sustainable and provide a better quality of life for all Canadians."
Natural Resources Canada
Regional Municipality of Waterloo
Grand River Transit North Depot Expansion at 250 Strasburg Road, Kitchener Targeted LEED® Silver
GMF grant: $500,000
GMF loan: $7,500,000
To meet the demands of a growing population, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo expanded its existing fleet from 162 to 250 buses. A new facility was built to maintain the larger fleet. The new 110,000 square foot building incorporates several passive design features and energy-efficiency technologies. It was built with the objective of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification and actually achieved LEED Gold designation.
The project's energy-efficient design and renewable energy production result in energy cost savings of 73.9 per cent when compared to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) reference building. The expanded transit facility contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation. In addition, it allows the Municipality to improve its transit service, helping to meet its objective of a 17 per cent transit modal share by 2031, as identified in its Regional Transportation Master Plan.
"In response to the Regional Council's significant investments in public transit expansion, ridership on Grand River Transit (GRT) has more than doubled since the Region assumed responsibility for transit in 2000. We needed this new facility at our GRT North Depot to maintain our expanded fleet of 250 buses, and we are very proud of its green design and energy efficient technologies which achieve the LEED Gold standard."
Niagara Regional Housing
Niagara Region's First Social Housing LEED® Building
Capital project - Energy
GMF grant: $109,090
GMF loan: $1,090,910
To reduce the carbon footprint of community services, address social needs and generate cost savings, Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) partnered with the Regional Municipality of Niagara to build a new, energy-efficient (LEED Silver) social housing building for seniors.
The 67-unit structure incorporates geothermal heating and cooling, as well as energy efficiency and water conservation measures. The building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.
This project is an excellent demonstration of how municipalities and their partners can address the challenge of a growing need in social housing for seniors, while meeting their environmental goals, illustrated in this case by a 51 per cent energy reduction.
Through GMF case studies and other learning vehicles, all municipalities can learn and replicate Niagara's achievements.
"Niagara Regional Housing's first LEED certified building, Birchwood Place, is an example of how we are striving to improve our environmental footprint. We know that making sustainable development a top priority now will in turn have a lasting, positive impact on both tenants and the community as a whole. We are pleased to have this recognized through the funding received from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities."
Peterborough Economic Development
Greater Peterborough Area Climate Change Plan (CCAP)
GMF grant: $175,000
Peterborough Economic Development is preparing a Climate Change Action Plan with Sustainable Peterborough, the informal collaborative that developed the Greater Peterborough Area's Community Sustainability Plan.
Ten municipalities are participating: the City of Peterborough, the County of Peterborough, Selwyn Township, the Municipality of Trent Lakes, the Township of North Kawartha, the Township of Douro-Dummer, the Township of Asphodel-Norwood, the Township of Cavan Monaghan, the Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan and the Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen. The Curve Lake First Nation and the Hiawatha First Nation are also part of the collaborative.
The plan will contain goals, actions and greenhouse gas emissions targets that address the needs of each municipality and First Nation. The overall goal is to:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- reduce use of fossil fuels;
- reduce energy consumption; and
- adapt to Canada's changing climate.
This initiative is an exciting example of how funding from FCM's Green Municipal Fund can be combined with support from other sources. In this case, Ontario's Trillium Foundation provided an additional $225,000 to the project.
"With a strategic plan that focuses on collaboration and innovation to create sustainable economic development and improve quality of life in the Peterborough region, Peterborough Economic Development is pleased to partner on this initiative for climate change and sustainable living."
"We are delighted to be a part of this timely initiative. Climate change is the most pressing global issue of our time, and we are proud to share in the advancement of an increasingly sustainable future."
"The County of Peterborough is so excited to be a leader in this collaborative approach to a very serious and important issue. The Climate Change Action Plan will lay the path for us to lead our region into the future and implement adaptation strategies to guide us in the right direction."
City of Oshawa
Bruce Street Redevelopment Feasibility Study for the City of Oshawa
GMF grant: $155,100
Bruce Street Developments Limited is undertaking a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) — an environmental investigation to confirm the concentration and location of contamination on a site — to support the development of a remediation and risk management plan for a 28-acre brownfield site located in the heart of downtown Oshawa.
Once completed, the measures identified in the ESA will be implemented so that this brownfield site can be developed into a more accessible mixed-use neighbourhood that provides attractive living accommodations and business opportunities. It is estimated that the redeveloped neighbourhood has the potential to provide an increase in property tax revenues from $70,000 to $4,000,000.
Throughout the study, public input will be arranged to inform the population and collect public and stakeholder feedback on the implementation of the risk assessment recommendations and future design of the remediated site.
"Oshawa's downtown revitalization strategy is underpinned by brownfields redevelopment and we have received national recognition for our leadership, innovation and environmental sustainability in brownfields redevelopment. We are extremely pleased that the development on Bruce Street has been successful in receiving funds from the Green Municipal Fund and along with the City's contribution, the project redevelopment feasibility study will be completed. We are looking forward to having shovels in the ground as the advancement of this development will further support the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine's ranking that Downtown Oshawa is a Top 100 Neighbourhood."
City of Kitchener
The Corporation of City of Kitchener Using Permeable Paving and Bioswales to Protect Wetlands in the Huron Natural Areas
Feasibility study and field test
GMF grant: $175,000
The City of Kitchener will conduct a feasibility study and field test in a parking lot to evaluate the effectiveness of permeable pavers and bioswales for managing impacts on water quality and quantity.
The results of the study and test will be input into the city's Stormwater Management Master Plan. A successful field test will permit an open-ended approach to managing stormwater using permeable pavement and other innovative techniques. In addition, the feasibility study and field test will help identify constraints on the use of permeable pavement and locations where the technology could be used to enhance the existing storm water system.
Due to the warming effect of the ground, less salt will be required to keep the permeable surface ice and snow free in the winter. The study site will also be registered with the Region of Waterloo's Smart About Salt program, to further reduce salt use.
"The City of Kitchener has a proven record of innovation when it comes to stormwater. This permeable parking lot will help us understand how effective permeable pavers are for managing impacts to our water quality. We are grateful to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for helping us to test this innovation, which will also inform the Stormwater Management Master Plan we are currently developing."
City of Hamilton
Flood and Erosion Control Project on Stoney Creek Mountain
GMF grant: $175,000
The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) will study the feasibility of restoring natural watercourses, wetlands and forest features in the Stoney and Battlefield Creek watersheds. The study will identify ways to control, reduce and treat stormwater runoff, and to eliminate site runoff for 90 per cent of 24-hour rainfall events.
The new 500-acre conservation area would include detention reservoirs, wetland enhancement and creation, conversion of marginal agricultural lands to forest and naturalization of existing creek channels. This conservation area would improve public health by offering more opportunities for outdoor hiking, biking and exercise.
"The East Escarpment Wetland Restoration Project is a major milestone for the Hamilton Conservation Authority, the City of Hamilton and the residents and businesses of our watershed. It not only provides the opportunity to conserve and restore the wetlands and natural heritage features of this area, but also provides the opportunity to address the hydrology of the area by improving both low and high flow conditions in the areas watercourses."
City of Toronto
Stormwater Management for Exhibition Place
GMF grant: $132,495
Exhibition Place will conduct a feasibility study of ways to control, reduce and treat storm water runoff, and to eliminate site runoff for 90 per cent of 24-hour rainfall events.
Parking lot runoff contaminated with oil, fuel, lubricant by-products, material from tire wear and de-icing salts is now discharged into Lake Ontario. This damages water quality and aquatic life, and reduces recreation opportunities.
Stormwater runoff from one of the parking lots has caused numerous incidents of flooding on Lake Shore Boulevard, a major arterial road in the City of Toronto. The feasibility study will consider ways to stop this flooding, now a considerable cost to the City.
The study will evaluate all options based on sustainability, costs and execution time, and will recommend the best three solutions for implementation. Exhibition Place represents a major public stage for stormwater management, and is an excellent venue for public education on related environmental issues.
"For Exhibition Place, addressing the effects of Climate Change includes addressing stormwater management. Exhibition Place is a 192 acre site next to Lake Ontario, and because of the significant hard surfaces and the increased number of severe rain events in a year, the FCM Study will provide Exhibition Place with information in order to proceed with the best solution to prevent stormwater run-off."
City of Markham
Markham Textile and Clothing Reuse and Recycle Initiative
GMF grant: $67,100
The City of Markham will design and implement a textile and clothing diversion pilot program to reduce the amount of textiles going to landfill. The program will build public awareness of textiles — a small but important segment of the municipal waste stream.
The City will place ten residential textile drop-off containers at fire stations across Markham. Bins will be equipped with solar panels to provide lighting for nighttime safety and security, as well as a sensor to signal that the container is three-quarters full and ready for pick-up.
The pilot reflects the goals of York Region's Integrated Waste Management Master Plan and the Communities in Action SM4RT Living Plan. Pilot findings will be shared with other York Region municipalities and across Canada and will allow the City to build public awareness of the reuse of residential textiles by way of the tracking of textile deposits. The education component will use social media, brochures and other forms of community messaging to explain the value of diverting clothing from landfills.
The textile waste management pilot supports the main goal of Markham's sustainability "Greenprint" plan (GMF 10002) — to achieve carbon neutrality and net-zero waste by 2050.
"The City of Markham has a strong history of developing and implementing innovative and successful environmental programs. The receipt of a Green Municipal Fund grant will enable us to implement our new textile recycling and clothing reuse initiative. This funding from Green Municipal Fund will bring us closer to our goal of zero waste."
Municipality of Middlesex Centre
Feasibility Studies for Proposed Net Zero Fire Hall and Affordable Net Zero Energy Housing
GMF grant: $90,090
The Municipality of Middlesex Centre will study the feasibility of building a new net zero energy fire hall and a new net zero energy affordable housing project to promote energy conservation and innovation within the municipality and provide affordable housing to residents.
The proposed fire hall will reduce municipal energy consumption, helping Middlesex Centre meet the energy reduction target of 1 per cent per annum established in the Conservation Demand and Management Plan for 2014–2019. The feasibility study will quantify the environmental benefits of the proposed net zero housing project.
This project will create jobs and reduce municipal operating costs. It will contribute to local tourism as well as increase the availability of affordable housing.
"Middlesex Centre appreciates FCM's support for these sustainable projects. As a smaller municipality with somewhat limited resources, support from FCM is required to ensure we are constructing sustainable buildings that will position us well in the next few years with increasing energy costs. Middlesex Centre wants to do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
City of Hamilton
McMaster Innovation Park - District Energy System Expansion, Hamilton Utilities Corporation
GMF grant: $175,000
Hamilton Community Energy, a subsidiary of the municipally-owned Hamilton Utilities Corporation, wishes to study the feasibility of expanding the district energy system at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). Expansion of the MIP will involve new geothermal fields, solar thermal absorption chillers, solar PV electric driven chillers, upgraded distribution infrastructure and additional conventional backup. The added technologies will enhance the MIP's district energy system of solar hot water thermal panels, a solar-heated air wall, geothermal wells and conventional backup.
If successful, the expansion will supply heating, cooling and electricity for the next phase of the MIP development. The study is directly linked to the City of Hamilton's Vision 2020 Plan, its Strategic Plan and the MIP Master Plan.
The initiative will generate estimated annual emissions savings of 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) compared to a conventional energy system. This brightfield district energy system expansion is one of the first of its kind in Canada.
As a result, the knowledge gained through the feasibility study and final project execution can be used by other Canadian municipalities to evaluate the viability of various renewable technologies with a district energy system.
The feasibility study has been awarded to Doherty Engineering Inc and work began in coordination with MIP in February, 2016. The pre-feasibility study evaluating possible technologies and combinations of technologies to meet demands for heating and cooling for this phase of MIP's Expansion is progressing on schedule.
"MIP and Hamilton Utilities Corporation have formed a unique partnership to develop and implement innovative, renewable and cost effective energy solutions to support ongoing expansion of the McMaster Innovation Park."
"HUC is very pleased in growing it's relationship with MIP and its continued progress with implementing innovative technologies and creative solutions with strategic partners that benefit the communities we work in and the respective stakeholders."
Town of Caledon
Caledon Pilot SNAP (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan)
GMF grant: $149,875
The Town of Caledon, Region of Peel, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will work in partnership to develop a Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP) in Bolton, Caledon's urban centre. The SNAP will be an on-the-ground demonstration of the town's Community Climate Change Action Plan, and will provide a comprehensive work plan for improving sustainability performance of homes, properties, green spaces and infrastructure. The plan will drive sustainable change within the neighbourhood across a number of environmental themes, including natural heritage, storm water management, water, active transportation, materials management and energy. Ultimately, the Caledon SNAP will show how a small town can do something big in the testing of new approaches to the removal of sustainability barriers in mature neighbourhoods.
"We are so thankful for the funding contribution from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Municipal Fund. Through this funding, we will be able to support the development of Caledon's first pilot SNAP (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan), which we are working on in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Region of Peel. This SNAP will be designed to achieve measurable environmental improvements and community renewal in a mature neighbourhood in west Bolton."
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.