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2010/76 (a)


Ampersand Receives EQuilibriumTM Communities Initiative Funding from the Government of Canada

EQuilibriumTM 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 initiatives.

Minto Group Inc. has been awarded $550,000 in funding under the EQuilibriumTM Communities Initiative for its Ampersand project in Ottawa, Ontario.

EQuilibriumTM 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.

Located within Ottawa’s Chapman Mills Town Centre, Ampersand is planned to be a mixed-use neighbourhood with more than 1,000 homes, from stacked townhouses to mid-rise apartments. The homes are to be integrated with more than 25,000 m2 of commercial/retail space, civic uses and public open space.

Other key planned features and performance targets for the project’s research include:

  • a community-level district energy plant, the use of energy-conservation building design measures and other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind;

  • green roofs, permeable pavements, proper tree shading, habitat creation as well as community- and home-scale food-growing;

  • the capture, treatment and re-use of rain water and grey water for non-potable water applications, such as irrigation;

  • a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly compact community in walking distance of existing shopping, bus rapid transit and civic amenities as well as planned light rail transit;

  • open spaces with community- and home-scale food-growing areas and tree canopy coverage targeted for 30 percent of the site.

  • financing to bridge the gap between initial costs for energy efficiency improvements and future benefits from lower operating costs, for example, through a green loan program; and

  • affordable purchase prices and promotion of alternative ownership structures such as rent-to-own.

Since the project is in the planning phase, the initiative-funded work focuses on improving performance in areas such as: renewable energy; green financing options; site plan design modifications to optimize mixed-use and transit/pedestrian connectivity; strategies for storm water run-off and water use reduction; and sustainable landscape best practices. Initiative support is also provided for consultation with the community and approval authorities. Toward the end of the time frame, support is also available for marketing and communications activities to showcase the project to industry and consumers.

The Minto Group is an integrated real estate development, construction and management company.

For more information on the Ampersand community, please visit

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

CMHC’s news releases and backgrounders are available at