The City of Toronto has various initiatives to reduce our effects on the environment as we continue to provide services to you.
Click on one of the
following headings to discover how we're becoming a greener city.
Greening our buildings
City taps into Deep Lake Water Cooling
In June 2006, Metro Hall was the first Toronto municipal facility to be added to Enwave's Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system followed by City Hall and Police Headquarters at 40 College St.
Union Station and Old City Hall were hooked up in spring 2013 and are using renewable energy (cool lake water) to provide cooling to their building users. DLWC for these heritage buildings is ideal since cooling can be provided without the installation of major pieces of cooling equipment. More information on the Enwave DLWC system.
In order to reduce energy used in City-owned buildings by 15 per cent, the City of Toronto introduced the Energy Retrofit Program (ERP). Since 2004, the ERP has updated more than 200 of the City owned buildings such as civic centres, arenas, community centres, police and fire stations, and Exhibition Place buildings.
Building on brownfields
The former Consumer Gas Water Purifying House at 296 Front St. E. is now home to Toronto Police Services' 51 Division.
A vapour barrier and venting system were installed beneath the floor and integrated into the design of the renovated building to prevent users' exposure to chemical vapours in the subsurface. Discover what else went into creating 51 Division.
Greening our vehicles
Fleet Services plans a green future
The Green Fleet Transition Plan is a sustainable and cost-effective way
to move the City's fleet toward vehicles and equipment that leave fewer negative impacts on the environment. Once fully implemented - by 2007 -
emissions produced by the City's fleet are expected to be reduced by 23 per cent. Read more about the Green Fleet Transition Plan.
Fleet Services developing hybrid garbage packers
Through a partnership with the Federal Government and Fiba Canning Inc. the City will develop a hydraulic hybrid garbage packer that will run on 100 per cent biodiesel. This vehicle captures braking force in the hydraulic accumulator and then releases the energy to
move the vehicle. Emission reductions will occur through the
fuel efficiency from the hybrid system, and through using biodiesel.
TTC testing biodiesel
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) completed a nine-month test of biodiesel in 2005. The project, testing a biodiesel fuel that is a mixture of vegetable oil and diesel, focused on two areas: environmental performance in TTC service conditions and evaluation of test results from other transit properties.
TTC looking into hybrid buses
A presentation was made at a Toronto Transit Commission Meeting describing New York City's experiences with buses using the diesel-electric hybrid
engine. These buses use up to 22 per cent less fuel, and
reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 90 per cent. This technology is being considered for a portion of TTC's purchase of its upcoming bus order of 330 buses.
Greening our operations
Transportation monitoring the use of road salt
division created a Salt
Management Plan (SMP) to ensure
the City stores and uses road salt wisely. Since the introduction of
the SMP in 2001, measurable results were achieved:
- reduction of salt spread on arterial and local roads;
- adoption of new technologies and innovative techniques;
- staff training;
- better decision making tools; and
- clean up and close down of several snow disposal sites in environmentally sensitive areas, etc.
Find out more about the
Toronto Water developing a biosolid plan
Toronto Water is developing a Biosolids and Residuals Master Plan
that will provide
direction on the future management of biosolids and water residuals generated by
the City's eight water and wastewater treatment
plants to the year 2025. The plan will ensure the City's management of
its biosolids and water residuals is cost efficient, environmentally sound, and
out more about the plan.
Watching our waste
Waste Diversion in City-owned facilities
In 2004, Toronto City Council directed City Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Divisions (ABCDs) to divert 70% of their waste from landfill to recycling. By 2010, a waste diversion rate of 67% waste diversion rate had been achieved. City ABCDs continue to aim for 70% and many have surpassed this; for example, sixteen corporate offices – including Civic Centres - achieved 86% waste diversion in 2012.
Forestry diverts close to 1.5 million kilograms of wood
chips each year. Wood chips are provided to other municipalities,
Friends of the Rouge for restoration along the Rouge River, and Solid Waste Management Services for processing of residential organic waste. Since December 2004, Forestry has diverted 75,000 cubic yards of triple ground wood mulch from Asian Long-Horned Beetle zones. Triple grinding the wood ensures that it is safe for landscaping, and has been used this season as a
mulch at the base of the bare root trees planted by our City forces.
The Forestry unit purchased a 500 gallon liquid composter in 2005, which converts compost into nutrient-rich compost tea. Compost tea will be used as a natural soil enhancer to improve the health of soils along roadside trees and in our parks. The liquid composter can produce up to 1,000 gallons of compost tea daily.
Cleaning our air
Smog alert response plans
The City has a Corporate Smog Alert Response Plan that is implemented by each agency, board, commission corporation, and division on Smog Alert Days. These response plans reduce emissions produced through our day-to-day operations while maintaining the integrity of our services. Find out more about what the City is doing about smog.
Parks staff pedal their way around
Parks Forestry and Recreation staff on the Toronto Islands use bikes instead of vehicles to patrol special events, boardwalks and other areas. Bikes are also used to deliver parts and mail.
Employee trip reduction program
The Employee Trip Reduction (ETR) program provides City staff with resources to help make the
switch from driving alone to taking transit, cycling, walking, or carpooling. The program is being
piloted at the North York Civic Centre with the hope to
expand to other City sites in the future. Read the news release from the announcement.