More Progress: Minto Yorkville and the City of Toronto’s Deep Retrofit Challenge

LIVE Minto | 3 MIN READ | 2024-02-12

In December 2022, our Minto Yorkville property was accepted into the City of Toronto’s Deep Retrofit Challenge. Through the Challenge, select buildings in Toronto will undergo a retrofit to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and energy intensity. Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today, generated primarily by burning fossil fuels for space heating and hot water. Participating buildings will undergo an extensive, holistic overhaul of their systems, utilizing best practices to significantly reduce GHG emissions. Additionally, participants will receive grants to offset incremental design and construction costs.

The selected projects are required to meet the following requirements:

- Minimum greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 50%.

- Minimum energy use intensity reduction of 50%.

- Maximum payback of 20 years. Projects must be completed by early 2025, followed by a one-year post-retrofit performance evaluation.

A year later and we are proud to share we have completed our first phase of work at Yorkville, which included executing on a “duct seal” project just before Christmas. This project reduced the air leakage of our main ventilation ductwork so that the air gets to the occupied spaces (corridors) instead of leaking into the mechanical shaft. We were able to reduce air leaking in the main ventilation ductwork by 20%, which will result in energy savings to heat/cool the ventilation air and deliver it to the corridors.

We’ve also entered a partnership with Ecosystem to serve as our engineer and construction manager – a process that has been ongoing over the last year. With a formal contract in place, we’re excited to proceed with the project. Ecosystem is currently finalizing the engineering design that will include installing both air-source and water-source heat pumps to serve as the primary source of heating and cooling to the building.

The result? Our design is targeting a 50% energy and 80% GHG emissions reduction. Targets that are even more ambitious than the challenge set out for us.

“We’re excited to partner with Ecosystem and learn from their knowledge and experience as Minto embarks on our first deep retrofit project. Working with a design-build firm allows us to focus on outcomes and optimize the design, while still executing quickly to achieve immediate energy and GHG reductions.” -  Joanna Jackson, Vice President, Sustainability and Innovation, Minto Group

Key Metrics

· Reduce ventilation ductwork air leakage by 20%

· Targeting a 50% energy reduction

· Targeting a 80% GHG emissions reduction