The revitalization plan for the Toronto waterfront is intended to position the city as a world leader in creating sustainable communities, with buildings and neighbourhoods that are among the greenest in the world.
Waterfront Toronto’s Minimum Green Building Requirements (MGBR) were developed to help achieve this objective. The requirements mandate high performance buildings, smart technologies, and passive design, and they define Waterfront Toronto’s vision for green building design and construction on Toronto’s waterfront. The MGBR are also a key implementation tool to achieve the goals set out in the Sustainability Framework (2005).
The requirements will encourage market transformation and will help Waterfront Toronto communities to become national and global models for sustainability. The requirements are achievable and economically viable for developers.
The MGBR was first introduced by Waterfront Toronto in 2006 and updated in 2011 to better reflect current market conditions, changes to the regulatory environment and the wishes of current Toronto residents.
Waterfront Toronto held two focus groups with Toronto-area condo dwellers to better understand what purchasers want, need and find valuable. These sessions helped to inform the recent changes and updates made to the MGBR.
New features of the updated requirements include requirements that:
The MGBR is not simply about setting standards for buildings; it is a crucial component in the realization of sustainable communities along Toronto’s waterfront. As such, every effort has been made to integrate the MGBR with other Waterfront Toronto initiatives and strategies for sustainable waterfront revitalization.
The Minimum Green Building Requirements (MGBR) includes and builds upon the Canada Green Building Council’s LEED® rating system.Waterfront Toronto requires a minimum of LEED® Gold under the MGBR, as well as five LEED® certification credits that are ordinarily optional. Waterfront Toronto obliges all developers engaged in waterfront projects to adhere to the MGBR, and compliance agreements are embedded within all developer contracts.
LEED® was chosen because it is the most widely recognized system in North America, is a third-party certification, and includes green building standards consistent with Waterfront Toronto’s objectives. On February 1, 2011, the updated MGBR will be applicable to all new projects being built in Waterfront Toronto neighbourhoods.