Buildings are the third largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in Canada. With this in mind, the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are unlocking more sustainable and resilient places for people to live and work with a recent investment of $13,507,270 for the City of Toronto’s Taking Action on Tower Renewal (TATR) program.

“The Government of Canada is teaming up with the City of Toronto and the FCM to help upgrade our city’s towers to become more energy-efficient and climate resilient. Through this investment, we are supporting Torontonians in nearly 800 units to lower their energy bills while cutting emissions and creating more climate-smart homes,” said Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth.

Toronto is home to more than 500,000 residents who live in apartment towers and the TATR program will support eligible property owners of older high-rise towers in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas to complete energy efficiency upgrades. These upgrades, which will include retrofits such as new windows, replacing home appliances and reinsulating roofs, walls and doors, will help reduce emissions while supporting unit affordability and improving tenant comfort.

Once completed, the upgraded towers will see energy use reduced by 15 per cent, natural gas use reduced by nearly a quarter, provide annual operating and maintenance cost savings of over $1.3 million and reduce GHG emissions by almost 2.5 million kg/year. It aligns with the City of Toronto’s climate action strategy, which aims to reduce the city’s emissions to net zero by 2040.

The funding announced today includes $11,745,460 in loans and $1,761,810 in grants through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund (GMF). The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in GMF since its inception, empowering municipalities to develop projects that leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.

Funding coming from the GMF’s core funding stream provides an avenue to support municipalities in navigating around capital and capacity barriers they may face as they strive to improve the quality of life in their communities. In 2021, 74 projects were supported through the core funding stream of GMF, with $104.4 million in new funding allocated.

By supporting projects like the one announced today, GMF is not only reducing energy needs but also helping make housing costs more manageable for families across the country.

“With support from the Green Municipal Fund, municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart sustainable solutions. We deliver results with our federal partners by supporting cities like Toronto in their innovative ways to save energy and energy-related costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Scott Pearce, FCM Acting President.

These projects help transform markets and reduce costs to meet the goal of net zero by 2050. They also build on the GMF’s record of supporting transformative environmental initiatives at the community level for two decades.

“Improving the energy efficiency of the City’s many older apartment buildings will not only improve the lives of tenants, it will also make important contributions to the City’s net zero target,” said Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor. “I thank FCM and the federal government for this important investment that will result in emission reductions and help maintain this crucial building stock. I encourage eligible property owners across the City to apply and help revitalize their communities.”

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