Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) is a partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. LC3 will help city regions to reach their full emissions reduction potential while at the same time unlocking co-benefits for local communities.
TAF is the LC3 Centre for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). We have received $40 million from the Government of Canada to accelerate urban climate solutions in the region.
Creating High-Performance Buildings
- Build affordable housing retrofit capacity: LC3 Centres will work with social housing providers and municipalities to help them plan, finance, implement and maintain the performance of multi-measure retrofits. Projects will maximize co-benefits such as improved indoor environments and local job creation, e.g. in collaboration with City Housing Hamilton and the City of Edmonton.
- Demonstrate deep energy retrofits: We will show the feasibility and profitability of comprehensive retrofits that reduce energy consumption and emissions by at least 40 per cent in multi-unit residential and commercial buildings. LC3 Centres will monitor the financial and technical performance and develop case studies for Canada-wide knowledge transfer.
- Develop the workforce for high-performance buildings: We will engage with community partners to expand training opportunities – especially for youth and individuals who face traditional barriers to employment, e.g. by partnering with the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Construction Association.
- Speed up the transition away from fossil fuels for space heating: We will promote low-carbon heating alternatives, e.g. by converting Montreal’s 200,000 oil-heated homes using an innovative business plan and financing strategies and by demonstrating the feasibility of heat pumps in multi-residential housing retrofits in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).
- Support Indigenous energy efficiency efforts: LC3 Centres will seek to co-finance Indigenous community energy upgrades, e.g. near net-zero retrofits of Nova Scotia First Nations housing.
- Leverage new financing tools: We will support retrofits, distributed renewables and district systems with tools such as property assessed financing.
- Strengthen green building code standards: LC3 Centres will inform and improve municipal and provincial construction standards, e.g. the next iteration of the Toronto Green Standard Version 4 and the British Columbia Step Code.
- Advance critical energy performance and renovation standards: LC3 Centres will help government develop and apply Energy and Water Benchmarking rules to drive retrofit activity and to gain and utilize critical new data about buildings, and will also identify and advance policies such as requirements for energy efficiency improvements at time of renovation and/or home sale.
- Quantify the value of co-benefits: LC3 Centres will build a more robust value proposition for energy retrofits and other low-carbon actions by deepening the understanding of co-benefits such as improvements to indoor environments, increased worker productivity, local job creation, and increased community resilience.
Supporting District Energy and Distributed Renewables
- Promote geothermal systems in existing neighbourhoods: LC3 Centres will finance and demonstrate community-scale geothermal systems in existing neighbourhoods and help address local policy, financial and legal issues through projects in Toronto and Montreal.
- Help develop natural gas-free new neighbourhoods: LC3 Centres will assist municipalities, developers, and utilities in creating near net-zero communities, e.g. a geothermal-supported 400-home neighbourhood in Markham, the largest project of its type currently proposed in Canada.
- Combine geothermal expansion with infrastructure: We will explore opportunities to establish geothermal fields connected to infrastructure projects such as LRT lines in Toronto.
- Advance renewable thermal energy networks: We will work with stakeholders to help establish renewable thermal energy heating and cooling, e.g. by expanding Toronto’s deep lake water cooling system or demonstrating wastewater heat recovery in Halifax.
- Demonstrate the profitability of rooftop solar systems: LC3 Centres will help institutions such as schools and seniors residences finance and install solar thermal and photovoltaic systems in places such as Halifax and Ottawa. In Edmonton, the local LC3 Centre will help advance a solar power cooperative through a feasibility study, business plan development and investment share development.
- Convert organic waste to renewable natural gas: We will seek co-investment with local utilities to install and operate micro-biogas facilities at diverse locations such as hospitals, high-rise buildings, or malls.
Transportation Solutions: Driving Down Fossil Fuel Use
- Increase shared mobility: To help reduce use of single occupancy vehicles, LC3 Centres will leverage novel approaches such as France’s new insurance products for car sharing. We will also demonstrate shared mobility options through programs such as Toronto’s Smart Commute program.
- Accelerate the electrification of transportation: We will assist in the transition to electric buses by co-financing overhead charging infrastructure in Halifax and solar electric bus charging in Ottawa. We will help electrify Montreal’s school bus fleet through the development of new procurement policies and co-financing options.
- Expand active transportation: We will work with municipalities, community groups and residents to expand safe cycling and pedestrian infrastructure using best design models and engagement practices.
- Make commutes car-free through first/last mile solutions: To help get commuters to transit stations in carbon-free ways, we will work on technical options, policy reforms, business models and engagement techniques, e.g. by collaborating with Metrolinx in the GTHA.
- Reduce urban trucking emissions: LC3 Centres will support solutions such as an off-peak delivery project in Peel Region to demonstrate how businesses can shift truck traffic to off-peak hours and cut emissions.
Confirm the value of co-benefits: We will lead or assist efforts to quantify the impacts of low-carbon transportation solutions, e.g. how expanding public transit and active transit options reduce instances of diabetes and obesity-related ailments; how reducing fossil-fuelled vehicles lower air pollution impacts, especially for vulnerable communities; and how shorter, more active, and productive commutes increase quality of life.
For additional information, please visit the LC3 website.
We’re grateful for Government of Canada’s financial support of LC3, as well as early support for the creation of the LC3 initiative from The Clean Economy Fund, The Echo Foundation, The McConnell Foundation, Natural Resources Canada, North Growth Foundation and Trottier Family Foundation.