New waterfront communities set sustainability standard
TORONTO, ON — Waterfront Toronto's East Bayfront, West Don Lands and North Keating in the Lower Don Lands have achieved Stage 1 LEED ND GOLD (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighbourhood Development) certification under the pilot program established by the U.S. Green Building Council.
This is one of the first LEED ND GOLD certified projects in Canada. The LEED ND certification program integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first rating system for neighbourhood design. The program is a tool to help planners and developers create communities that not only protect the environment, but also address important social and health issues such as sustainable transportation, affordable housing, public consultation, proximity to day-to-day destinations, and maintenance of heritage buildings.
"Waterfront Toronto is a pioneer in this arena and is ushering in a new era of development of smarter and healthier communities throughout Canada," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The LEED for Neighborhood Development program goes beyond individual green buildings and focuses on community-wide design and development."
Creating sustainable communities is a fundamental objective for Waterfront Toronto. In addition to requiring LEED Gold certification as the new standard on all new buildings, Waterfront Toronto is also employing a transit first approach, meaning that when the first new residents and businesses move in, communities will be served by public transit that is within five minutes of their premises. To reduce the cost of energy, lower air emissions and improve air quality, communities will also use district energy for their heating and cooling needs.
"We are thrilled to achieve LEED ND GOLD for our neighbourhood plans. This fits in with our mandate to lead in market transformation and helps define our achievements in sustainable community development," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto.
Waterfront Toronto is one of 23 projects in Canada participating in the groundbreaking third-party verification program that focuses on sustainable development from a comprehensive, neighbourhood wide perspective rather than on a building-by-building basis.
As part of its mandate to making the city's waterfront a global model for sustainable development and setting new standards for best practices, Waterfront Toronto is the only LEED ND GOLD pilot project in Canada to submit, and be approved, with an affordable housing component. Waterfront Toronto is committed to including a broad mix of housing and affordable housing, and key amenities like childcare, recreation centres and schools to attract families.
The three LEED ND GOLD certified areas are in various stages of development. East Bayfront is a busy construction zone. Construction began on Sherbourne Park in July and construction of Canada's Sugar Beach is expected to start this fall. Plans for the North Keating neighbourhood in the Lower Don Lands will be submitted to Toronto City Council for approval early spring 2010.
Urban Capital Property Group and Redquartz Development, with Saucier + Perrotte Architects and ZAS Architects, will develop the first residential phase of West Don Lands. For more information, visit www.rivercitytoronto.com.