Natural Resources Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are partnering to invest $10 million for retrofits to the Susan Fennell Sportsplex in Brampton, Ontario, through the Green Municipal Fund‘s (GMF) Community Buildings Retrofit (CBR) initiative.

The retrofits are expected to transform the nearly 30-year-old multi-purpose sportsplex into a state-of-the-art zero-carbon facility. The project will electrify the facility’s gas-powered equipment, including boilers and ice resurfacers, install a geothermal system, as well as upgrade the ice rink refrigeration plants, air handling units, heat pumps, lighting, and other systems.

Through a combination of energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy measures and carbon offers, the city aims both to reduce this facility’s carbon footprint and create a model for other recreational facilities as part of its long-term goal towards Zero Carbon transition.

“Municipal facilities are important places where Canadians receive the services they need directly in their local communities, but they can also produce GHG emissions,” said Scott Pearce, president of FCM. “More generally, municipalities have influence over half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why it’s so crucial that FCM’s Green Municipal Fund and the Government of Canada support projects like the retrofitting upgrades to the Susan Fennell Sportsplex. Only with all levels of government onboard will Canada achieve its net-zero goal by 2050 while also cutting costs for local governments and residents.”

The upgrades are expected to reduce operating costs and carbon emissions by 91 per cent annually, with the remaining nine per cent savings achieved through carbon offsets. The reductions equal about 550 cars taken off the road for one year, or 30,000 trees grown for 10 years.

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These retrofits are funded by the GMF, administered by the FCM and the Government of Canada. For over 20 years, GMF has helped local governments switch to sustainable practices faster. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools they need to build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Community Buildings Retrofit initiative is part of a $950 million federal investment in FCM’s Green Municipal Fund and is designed to scale up energy-efficiency and lower emissions across Canada.

“Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy requires collaboration. By working hand-in-hand with our partners, we are building sustainable communities and investing in the next generation,” said Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South. “In Brampton, through our significant investments in energy-efficient public infrastructure, we’re laying foundations for the long-term sustainability of our city.”

Featured image credit: Getty Images

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