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2010/84 (a)

Backgrounder

Regent Park Receives EQuilibrium™ Communities Initiative Funding from the Government of Canada


Toronto Community Housing has been awarded $550,000 in funding under the EQuilibrium™ Communities Initiative toward the ongoing revitalization of Regent Park in Toronto, Ontario.

EQuilibrium™ Communities is a three-year, $4.2-million collaborative sustainable community demonstration initiative of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the Government of Canada’s ecoACTION initiative.

EQuilibrium™ Communities project submissions were chosen through a national competition and evaluated by an external panel of industry experts against the following criteria:

  • Energy — an energy-efficient community that balances energy supply and use to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Land Use and Housing — a compact community with a balanced mix of activities, housing choices and commercial, institutional, recreational and industrial land uses.
  • Water, Waste Water and Storm Water — a community that will minimize the use and disposal of water and negative impacts on watersheds.
  • Transportation — a community that reduces fossil-fuel use from personal vehicle travel and provides opportunities for energy-efficient and healthy alternatives.
  • Natural Environment — a community that protects, enhances and restores the natural environment.
  • Financial Viability — a marketable community that through its design, operation, integration and financing is economically viable over the long term.

Toronto Community Housing is leading the Regent Park revitalization, a $1-billion plan that will transform Canada’s oldest and largest social housing community into a mixed-income community for 5,100 households in Toronto’s east downtown.

The project is for Phase 1, which is to include 670 market-priced condos and 360 affordable rental units for low- to moderate-income residents in a mix of townhouses and high-rise apartments. About one third of the new housing units in Phase 1 are already occupied. The mixed-use community features two daycares, a community agency space, a learning centre, an employment hub and over 2,500 m2 of retail and commercial services space, including a bank and a large grocery store.

The project offers exceptional access to public transit, jobs, civic amenities and other daily destinations, all within walking distance. Despite the high density, it features new public-realm tree coverage, green roofs and high-quality public open space amenities connected to the pedestrian network.

Key features and performance targets for the project will include:

  • energy savings between 40 and 50 percent, compared with the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB), achieved through connection to a neighbourhood energy system and energy-efficient building envelopes, lighting, appliances and mechanical systems;
  • maximum runoff volume of 50 percent of average annual rainfall through green roofs, porous pavers, etc. Also, low-flow fixtures and water-efficient landscape design will reduce potable water use;
  • green building education programs for residents to encourage reduced water and energy consumption;
  • 35 percent of homes are rental, all of which have rents lower than the area average or are rent-geared-to-income. An affordable homeownership program also makes housing affordability a central theme; and
  • its urban location and mix of on-site uses put a substantial number of civic amenities, services such as parks and access to bus and light rail transit, within a 10-minute walk. A high-quality pedestrian environment also makes this a walkable neighbourhood.

The EQuilibrium™ Communities support will focus on expansion and upgrade of the neighbourhood energy system, including the phasing in of renewable and waste energy sources. Funding is also provided for showcasing Phase 1 performance.

Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants with low and moderate incomes — about 6 percent of the City of Toronto's population. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs, who deliver its mission to provide affordable housing, connect tenants to services and opportunities, and work together to build healthy communities. Toronto Community Housing and Corix Utilities have formed a joint venture, Regent Park Energy Inc., to develop and operate the district energy system in Regent Park. Corix Utilities develops customized water, wastewater and energy infrastructure systems and provides field metering services for customers across North America.


Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447
media@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
819-997-0249

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2799
csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.

CMHC’s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca.