Toronto LEED

Toronto not taking the LEED?

Green buildings and LEED certification are virtually synonymous in North America. But green buildings and Toronto are not. The city is failing to embrace the "green revolution" in building design, which takes into account sustainability criteria such as energy efficiency, materials, indoor environmental quality, and water use.

According to the CaGBC's data (the LEED authority in Canada), Toronto only has 8 certified buildings, which puts us well behind smaller cities like Vancouver (15 buildings) and Calgary (11 buildings).

An article published on Treehugger.com last month, entitled "Building a Green Toronto: A Tale of Woe", highlights the frustration felt by proponents of green projects in Toronto, who feel the City isn't doing enough. The City is actually holding back such projects, and a lack of coordination between departments means that Toronto is a long way from fast-tracking green development.

The City does have a Green Development Standard, a list a lofty best practices. But it's unclear if the document is anything more than a feel-good document full of things that would be great if there was any sort of implementation plan. In one of the reports on its own website, the City claims, "At this point, Toronto does not have the authority to require developers to meet the green development standard."

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the only recognized certification for buildings that have green design features. There are 3 grades or levels: Gold, Silver, and Bronze and certain criteria are required and verified for each designation to be given. This image gallery shows some innovative design examples of what can be done in a variety of categories to improve building design.

Buildings in Toronto that are LEED certified include:
HOK Canada Urbana Architects Office (505-720 King Street West) (pictured above)
Radiance @ MintoGardens (Yonge & Sheppard)
Herman Miller Canada National Design Centre (462 Wellington Street, West)
Metro Label Printing Facility (999 Progress Ave)
TEDCO/Canpar Distribution Facility (205 New Toronto Street, Etobicoke)
Thomas L. Wells Public School (69 Nightstar Road)
M5V Presentation Centre (363 King St. W)
Minto Roehampton (150 Roehampton Avenue)


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