The Sustainable Towers Engaging People (STEP) Program provides no-cost support to owners and property managers of multi-residential buildings to reduce operating costs and improve the quality of life for residents. Eligible properties must be: 

  • three or more storeys  
  • built before 1990  

Through the STEP Program, buildings owners are supported as they learn about and act on opportunities for improvements in six key areas: energy, water, operations, safety and community. Since its inception, STEP has benefitted more than 400 buildings and their residents.  

  • No-cost benchmarking of the building’s energy, water and waste performance compared to over 250 similar buildings  
  • An individualized target to improve the building’s utility performance (electricity, natural gas, water, garbage) 
  • A customized Action Report with recommendations to lower costs and increase tenant satisfaction  
  • Financing opportunities and follow-up support  
  • Access to a peer network, events and webinars, and recognition opportunities through case studies and more   

Benchmarking provides an up-to-date picture of your building’s performance compared to 400+ similar buildings in Toronto. Graphs show your building’s total annual energy consumption, water consumption, and waste generation relative to similar buildings. The median and top quartile performance is also shown. The benchmark also provides detailed performance charts to show specific areas where a building has the greatest room for improvement and estimated savings amounts.

Track Utility Usage

Tracking utility use allows you to monitor and analyze energy consumption patterns, identify potential problems early, and implement targeted strategies for energy conservation. By monitoring your building’s performance, you will be able to see the cost-saving impact of improvements. 

You can do real-time monitoring of your utility usage through tools like My Water Toronto for water and Powerlens for electricity.  

Prepare for Emergency Situations

Having documented plans for emergencies is crucial for building owners and operators. Many of Toronto’s most vulnerable population lives in multi-residential housing and are acutely vulnerable to emergencies such as heat waves and power outages. A documented emergency response plan supports on-site staff by providing a clear roadmap for responding to unforeseen events. These plans should outline roles, procedures and available resources to enable swift and coordinated actions. A documented plan will also minimize confusion, which will help ensuring the safety of building residents—and protect building assets.  


Transparent and effective communication fosters trust, engages residents in sustainable practices and encourages their participation in energy conservation efforts. It allows operators to share information about environmental initiatives, provide updates on building performance and seek feedback from residents. Regular communication promotes a sense of shared responsibility and can empower residents to make informed choices, contributing to a greener and more sustainable living environment. 

Tools for communication include the building’s website, email list and newsletter.   

Participation in the STEP Program does not impact the obligations of participants to comply with all regulatory requirements including City of Toronto Property Standards and the Ontario Fire Code.