TCHC, TAF and NRCan partner on building retrofit, lowering emissions and saving annual energy costs
TORONTO – The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) kicked off a deep, multi-measure retrofit of 840 Eglinton Avenue West, home to 40 families in Toronto’s Eglinton-Lawrence neighbourhood. Projected savings include a 70 per cent reduction in energy use and an 85 per cent reduction in carbon intensity.
This retrofit of the nearly 80-year-old building is the most ambitious retrofit undertaken by TCHC or TAF to date and will create a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment for residents. The redesign is expected to garner at least $52,000 in annual utility savings, and 196 job years of local employment, establishing a model for other deep retrofits of similar buildings in TCHC’s portfolio and beyond that can be easily replicated.
Accelerating this holistic approach to building retrofits across the GTA would help the City of Toronto reach their net-zero emissions target by 2040. It will also help to address other key community priorities, including more affordable housing, stimulating local economic activity and increased resilience.
Funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure Fund ($1.8 million) and TCHC ($5 million). In addition, TAF’s Retrofit Accelerator—a no-cost retrofit service for housing providers in the GTHA—is supporting retrofit planning and implementation, including assembling project financing and overseeing the carbon and social outcomes of the project.
- Retrofit measures include building envelope upgrades and fuel-switching to high-efficiency electric heat pumps.
- Annual utility savings are projected to be $52,000 in the first year, and to increase each year with carbon pricing.
- The project will be designed to improve resident health and comfort, through updated ventilation and improved air quality, and efficient cooling to contend with increasingly extreme heat in the summer.
- Economic activity includes 196 job years created.
- Some of the contract employment will likely be undertaken by TCHC tenants via Building Up, which trains and employs people facing barriers to employment.
- Learn more about how TAF’s Retrofit Accelerator is leveraging projects like this to generate more demand, workforce capacity, and services to develop the retrofit market.
“About 61 per cent of Toronto’s carbon emissions are from buildings and TCHC is Canada’s largest housing provider with 1,900 buildings in its portfolio. I hope this project will lead the way for other housing providers, putting the City of Toronto in a position to begin replicating and scaling projects like this so that we can take strides towards reaching out net-zero emissions targets by 2040.”
— Mayor John Tory
“With the support of multiple levels of government, Torontonians and Ontarians can continue to take action on climate change. At TCHC, we thrive on partnerships like the ones we are highlighting today, with TAF, NRCan and the City of Toronto. Partnerships are critical on the path toward energy efficiency and a net-zero future. This deep retrofit project is exciting because we are reducing TCHC’s energy costs and carbon footprint, all while modernizing our buildings to improve living conditions for tenants. It is a prime example of how we can apply modern technology to older buildings, bring them up to 21st century standards and be a strong contributor in the fight against climate change.”
– Jag Sharma, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
“Retrofitting and electrifying all of Toronto’s multi-family buildings is key to reaching our climate targets, helps to ensure more affordable housing, and boosts local economic activity. But accelerating deep retrofits to meet these critical needs requires coordinated access to technologies, expert services, and financing—and a focus on outcomes. TAF’s Retrofit Accelerator collaboration with TCHC can be a model for all housing providers in the region and beyond.”
– Julia Langer, CEO, The Atmospheric Fund
About Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Toronto Community Housing is Canada’s largest social housing provider, and provides homes to nearly 60,000 households with low and moderate incomes in neighbourhoods across the city.
About The Atmospheric Fund
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society. www.taf.ca
Toronto Community Housing Corporation
John Andrews, Media Relations
The Atmospheric Fund
Julie Leach, Communications Manager
Photos by Nhân Ng