Toronto is Canada’s largest city and one of the most multicultural in the world. It is located on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, and has evolved into a dynamic city that has an efficient subway, and a waterfront that continues to be developed to maximize the quality of living.

The city is positioning itself as a global hub for urban innovation with the recent announcement of Sidewalk Toronto, a new mixed-use people-centered neighbourhood that combines urban design and digital technology.

Considered a world leader in areas such as business, finance, technology, entertainment and culture, it is Canada’s financial and economic hub. It is also a prominent center for television production and home to the country’s major broadcast networks.

Boasting one of the lowest tax regimes among international cities, Toronto has an important competitive advantage for international organizations. Plus, its location means that it is a major transportation hub with well-developed air, road, rail and maritime links to the rest of the country, the USA and Europe.

A big part of Toronto’s charm is reflected through its many cultural neighbourhoods where the old European charm is blended with North American energy. Old Victorian houses, churches of bygone eras and modern skyscrapers coexist to make the city, both productive and inviting. Another striking feature is the wealth of parks and trails, and bicycle paths that stretch for more than 660 kilometers.

Through the construction of new housing and mixed-use projects, restoration and rehabilitation of heritage areas, and investment in a light rail network (the second busiest light rail system in North America), the city’s urban core is poised to expand. The emphasis for targeted investment in infrastructure has been placed on local transit, transportation and affordable housing. The objective is to make the city smarter, greener and more inclusive.

Toronto has a bright future of continued multiculturalism and growth. By 2030, first and second generation immigrants are expected to be 78 per cent of the population, up from 50 per cent today. By 2040, up to 110 million passengers will pass through Southern Ontario’s airports.

PLACES

Score: 7.9/10
HOUSING

HOUSING

Score: 6.3/10

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the most populous metropolis in Canada with a population of 6.26 million in 2018. It is centered on the City of Toronto and surrounded by several regional municipalities.

In the next 50 years, the population in GTA is expected to continue growing rapidly, as the population density in the City of Toronto soars from 4,150 people per square kilometer in 2016 to more than 7,700 in 2066. Providing affordable housing is likely to be an on-going challenge.

The City of Toronto’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018, which is due for an update, supports the provision of affordable housing because of its role in developing healthy and diverse communities and generating economic development. The Housing Opportunities Toronto Action Plan 2010-2020 was developed to guide the government funding decisions and the actions of the city’s housing development partners. Halton, Peel and York have produced strategic housing plans and the Ontario Government has recently updated the Residential Tenancies Act to expand rent control and slow the rising cost of rental housing in the province. Durham, for example, has a housing plan for 2014-2024, that lays out the region’s vision for housing and how to deal with homelessness. The Durham Housing Review included extensive research on the supply of housing, affordability, demographic trends and the specialized housing needs of diverse populations.

Rapid population growth across the region has made it difficult for housing supply to keep pace. Although increases in property prices have slowed from a peak, they remain quite high.

PUBLIC REALM

PUBLIC REALM

Score: 8.7/10

Several policies and strategies are in place for enhancing the public realm within the GTA. The Growth Plan, a regional management policy for Greater Golden Horseshoe, includes policies for general intensification, new development and designated greenfield areas that focus on transit-supportive urban design and pedestrian-friendly streets. It also encourages the design and development of vibrant public spaces and outlines strategies and acts for waterfront regeneration planning initiatives, such as the Great Lakes Strategy and the Great Lakes Protection Act 2015. The policies and framework identified in the Growth Plan have been adopted by all regional municipalities. While high-level goals are established in regional planning documents, strategies and action plans are typically created at the city level.

The City of Toronto tackles streetscape design with policies that are tailored for different land-use designations in its Official Plan. The importance of public space is also reflected in several other manuals and studies. The city has addressed the protection and revitalization of the waterfront in its Port Lands Flood Protection 2016, the Waterfront Strategic Review 2015 and the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan. These documents include a comprehensive flood-proofing strategy, guidelines to revitalize the waterfront and a framework for a myriad of renewal activities. The Peel Region’s Official Plan addresses transit-supportive urban structure and encourages municipal governments to prepare policies that guide streetscape design, and ensure pedestrian safety and security. It also includes objectives and policies to preserve the Lake Ontario Waterfront and to encourage waterfront regeneration. The York and Durham’s plans also include policies for high-quality urban design that promotes pleasant landscaping, as well as dynamic public spaces and streetscapes.

URBAN GREEN SPACE

URBAN GREEN SPACE

Score: 8.7/10

The Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan includes policies that protect parks, natural systems, heritage, and the lands within the green belt, as well as promoting the connection of green spaces. The Growth Plan addresses expanding protected green space and encourages municipalities, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders to be involved.

The City of Toronto’s Official Plan supports expanding the urban forest and sustaining biodiversity, and stresses the importance of maintaining urban fauna and flora. It has created guides to provide direction on integrating and expanding green infrastructure and creating context-sensitive green streets, as well as recommendations to enhance the tree canopy within the city. The Official Plans of Peel, York and Durham promote the expansion of the green space network and sustaining existing spaces. All of the regional municipalities include goals and policies to protect existing urban forests and enhance biodiversity.

SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Score: 7.7/10

Social infrastructure has a key role in creating sustainable communities that maintain and improve the standard of living and quality of life. The authorities within the GTA are aware of such need and have developed policies and plans to address and invest in assets for education, healthcare, childcare and public institutions.

The primary/secondary school boards in the GTA have needs-based forward planning to accommodate the changing demographics, which directly affects the funding allocation. The Ontario Ministry of Education has an accommodation review process that guides Ontario’s school boards through consolidation and closing of schools according to needs, but decisions often get intertwined with local politics.

To support the substantial growth of the post-secondary education system, the Government of Ontario has developed a Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework to plan to address education capacity needs, which is in line with the provincial growth planning priorities and expected changes to enrollment. The government also supports expansion through releasing a request for proposals in 2014, for post-secondary institutions to apply for funding. As a result, several post-secondary institutions have received funding for new campus construction.

Last year, York University received CAD127 million and this year CAD90 million was approved, for Wilfrid Laurier University in Halton and a joint Ryerson University and Sheridan College campus site in the Peel Region.

The GTA’s needs for healthcare are identified in Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan which was launched by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and includes the need for more doctors and nurses in Ontario’s hospitals, clinics, and healthcare centers. The government has allocated support and funding for more than 50 hospital projects across the province to allow better access to service with shorter waiting times.

Funding has been made available for present and future renovation and construction of primary healthcare centers across Toronto. From 2015-2016, close to CAD1.4 billion was invested in expanding, renewing and modernizing hospitals. Overall, the province is expected to increase healthcare, both acute and primary, investments by CAD11.5 billion during the next three years. Examples of projects include the redevelopment of Markham Stouffville Hospital, construction of the New Vaughn Mackenzie Health Hospital, procurement/planning of Michael Garron Hospital (a new patient care tower in Toronto), the redevelopment project for Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga and the redevelopment project for Hamilton Health Services.

Patients First: Ontario’s Action Plan focuses on preventing illness and disease through education and preventative care, and educating patients so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare options. Other initiatives in primary care include offering free prescription medications for Ontarians under 24, offering more publicly funded vaccines, and increasing the number of nurse practitioner-led clinics. It addressed Ontario’s aging population by increasing accessibility to long-term care through community and home care, including CAD100 million over three years to help people living with dementia as well as their caregivers. The Government of Ontario has also placed emphasis on increasing access to specialists and reducing waiting times in primary care to the tune of CAD1.3 billion.

Ontario has developed a five-year strategic approach to childcare that includes a performance measurement strategy to ensure the system is accountable to children and families while providing good value, data management to support decision making, and a research plan to aid improvements to the system. The expansion plan aims to increase access to early years and childcare programs while making the services more affordable. Last year, the ministry provided CAD1.37 billion to 47 municipalities, including Toronto, to enhance wages of childcare providers and expand the number of childcare spaces. This funding helped increase the number of spaces by 24,000, working toward the government’s goal of providing 100,000 more children under four with access to childcare in the next five years.

While grants and funding are available for Toronto’s cultural assets, there are very few disclosed or comprehensive plans for new or expanded cultural assets — the funding largely covers operating costs, project costs and event marketing costs. There is evidence of funding for the expansion of some institutions, such as the government fund of CAD5 million for the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. The Toronto Public Library also has plans to renovate four libraries across the district and reconstruct and expand the St Clair/Silverthorn branch library. Operational funding is available to support libraries in Ontario, such as CAD3 million for improving digital services and CAD10 million for public library research and innovation projects. Similarly, there are several grants that provide operational support for cultural attractions such as museums, galleries and community centers.

CLIMATE CHANGE

CLIMATE CHANGE

Score: 8.0/10

Canada is a world leader in the fight against climate change, and the regional municipalities in the GTA are acting to reduce emissions and spark innovation. The City of Toronto has committed to an ambitious set of citywide energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, including a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050, and a pledge to increase renewable and district energy generation.

The Zero Emissions Buildings Framework comprises a full set of targets for the five most common building archetypes that require increasing levels of performance over time, updated Energy Modelling Guidelines and a Climate Change Resilience Checklist for New Development. All new private and public developments must meet the Toronto Green Standard, which consists of stepped levels of performance measures with supporting guidelines that promote sustainable site and building design.

Toronto’s new and ambitious climate action strategy, TransformTO, also helps by targeting a reduction in local GHG emissions. As a member of the 100 Resilient Cities Network (100RC), Toronto is working to improve resilience to the physical, social, and economic challenges, including climate change, inequality, aging infrastructure, housing and transit. The City of Toronto is receiving funding and resources to hire a Chief Resilience Officer to develop and implement a comprehensive resilience strategy.

Durham has developed a Durham Community Climate Adaptation Plan to prepare for extreme weather through identifying the local risks and consequences and developing solutions. The region is considering programs that will allow it to reach its long-term GHG emissions reduction target while making Durham an even better place to live, work and play. Peel, Halton and York all have strategies to respond to climate change on a regional level.

Mobility

MOBILITY

Score: 5.9/10
INFRASTRUCTURE: PUBLIC TRANSIT

INFRASTRUCTURE: PUBLIC TRANSIT

Score: 7.0/10

The City of Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest in North America. The city’s transport forms the hub of the road, rail and air network in the GTA. Travel demand continues to rise as the population increases and the economy grows. As a result, the city has made several efforts to refine its transportation system.

Toronto’s mass transit comprises a system of subway, buses and streetcars that are operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and inter-regional commuter rail and bus service operated by GO Transit.

Metrolinx, an agency of the Government of Ontario, was created in 2006 to improve the coordination and integration of all modes of transport in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The first Regional Transportation Plan was developed in 2008 to outline a series of major transportation projects and initiatives that have significant effects. The projects that resulted, not all of them completed yet, include Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT), Finch West LRT, Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, Highway 407 Bus Terminal and the PRESTO fare system integration. Building on the success of the first plan, Metrolinx has updated and published a vision for Toronto’s transportation system for the next 25 years.

The City of Toronto houses Union Station, Canada’s busiest passenger transportation facility and a National Historic Site. Every day more than 240,000 users pass through it, adding up to more than 65 million a year. It is a major railway station and intermodal transportation hub in Toronto that connects GO Transit commuter rail services and bus terminal, TTC subway and streetcar system, ViaRail and Maple Leaf Train, as well as the Union-Pearson Express (UP Express). The UP Express is an airport rail link that began operating in 2015, connecting the station and the airport in 25 minutes. At present, the City of Toronto is revitalizing the station.

The Government of Ontario, GO Transit, and nine transit systems in the GTHA, including the City of Toronto, and Ottawa have partnered to introduce PRESTO — an electronic fare card that allows riders to transfer seamlessly across multiple transit systems. By the end of this year, PRESTO fare gates will be installed at all stations. New pass products, such as monthly passes, will be introduced on PRESTO, and more options to buy, load and set a senior/youth fare type will also become available.

LOGISTICS & FREIGHT PRODUCTIVITY

LOGISTICS & FREIGHT PRODUCTIVITY

Score: 6.5/10

The health of the GTA's economy is highly dependent on its ability to accommodate the movement and delivery of goods. Substantial progress has been made in the goods movement planning and policy context in recent years.

Peel Region is an important freight hub for Canada and a strategic location for national distribution. As a key element of the regional economy, Peel has developed a Goods Movement Strategic Plan 2017-2021 to identify initiatives based on present needs and a long-term vision for the goods movement system. Halton, York and Durham have all proposed a strategic goods movement network to accommodate commercial vehicles on a year-round basis. The City of Toronto is committed to supporting the development of a robust goods movement sector through its Official Plan. A framework was developed last year to outline the city’s Freight Transportation Plan, which will include a cohesive policy direction and program of actions with specific initiatives.

As the primary international gateway for goods movement, Toronto Pearson International Airport has also developed its master plan to identify infrastructure needed to accommodate growth until 2037.

GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY

GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY

Score: 7.0/10

The Toronto Pearson International Airport is the biggest airport in Canada and second largest international passenger airport in North America. It is the hub for the movement of people and goods across the country and around the globe. Its operator, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, has developed a Master Plan 2017- 2037 for the Toronto Pearson, which will be updated in 10 years. The plan assesses the capacity of existing systems, forecasts the demand for 2037 and outlines the facility improvements that are needed to ensure the airport can meet demand and operate efficiently.

Billy Bishop Airport, near downtown Toronto, offers services to more than 20 cities in Canada and the USA, with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via airlines’ networks. It is a key driver of Toronto’s economy, accounting for more than CAD2.1 billion in economic output each year.

The Port of Toronto, one of Canada's largest major inland ports, is located on the northwest shore of Lake Ontario, downtown Toronto. It provides access to 25 per cent of Canada’s population and serves primarily as a bulk cargo destination. It also has a positive impact on the environment and traffic congestion, taking about 54,000 40-ton trucks off Toronto’s roads and highways in 2017. At present, there are no plans for any port infrastructure expansion.

INFRASTRUCTURE: PEDESTRIANS & CYCLING

INFRASTRUCTURE: PEDESTRIANS & CYCLING

Score: 5.0/10

The increased use of active transportation typically results in more livable and vibrant cities, which is why regional municipalities within Greater Toronto have invested in improving and expanding its active transportation network in the past decade. The City of Toronto has developed a Cycling Network 10 Year Plan to connect, expand and renew infrastructure for cycling routes through to 2025. The plan serves as a comprehensive roadmap for the city’s planned cycling investments, including about 525 kilometers of new infrastructure. By next year a bicycle parking strategy should be ready to be implemented. Halton has completed an Active Transportation Master Plan Study to develop the required strategy, infrastructure, initiatives and programs to promote non-motorized travel throughout the region at least to 2031. Durham, Peel and York municipalities have also developed related documents on active transportation infrastructure.

Pedestrian and cyclist safety has been increasing over time with the total collision injuries and fatalities per million trips having decreased since 2003. However, safety is still a major concern for active modes of transport and cyclists and pedestrians still experience high levels of fatalities and injuries with motor vehicle collisions occurring most frequently on roadways in the urban core. Toronto is attempting to address these high injury and fatality rates with the five-year Vision Zero Road Safety Plan.

BUILT FORM: PARKING PROVISIONS

BUILT FORM: PARKING PROVISIONS

Score: 4.0/10

Overall, parking supply in the region remains abundant and has had negligible effect on managing reliance on private cars.

Parking in the Toronto area is also tied strongly to commuter transit ridership. The TTC has parking facilities in its outlying stations to accommodate riders outside the immediate access area of its metro system. The regional bus and rail system, GO Transit, is known to be one of the largest parking providers in the region, providing major parking facilities at most of its stations for commuters to park-and-ride. Bridging the first and last kilometer/mile of transit trips in the region remains a challenge for Toronto area transit agencies. Parking reduction at transit stations is always contentious, as it may have the effect of shifting first and last mile trips away from private cars, but also cause train operators to lose out on ridership.

The City of Toronto regulates the development of parking space through a zoning bylaw and has regulations for parking (cars, buses, delivery vehicles and tour buses) also in place. City-operated parking, Green P off-street and on-street metered charges rates that differ based on the area of the city and on time of day and day of week. Parking prices tend to be competitive with private parking providers.

The city has also developed a guideline for setting up parklets on city roads. A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space for pedestrian by using on-street parking spaces. Once the platform is installed, benches, furniture, landscaping and bike parking can be placed on top, providing additional outdoor amenity area. Parklets can be commonly seen in downtown Toronto.

FUTURE MOBILITY: SERVICES

FUTURE MOBILITY: SERVICES

Score: 6.0/10

The City of Toronto has updated its vehicle-for-hire bylaw after a report prepared by staff in 2016 made a series of recommendations, including fares, accessibility, number of vehicles for hire, taxicab licensing, vehicles, drivers and insurance. The report focused on proposed changes on taxicabs and limousines regulations, and new regulations for Private Transportation Company (PTC) licensing.

Car sharing is also a growing mobility service industry in the GTA, mainly within the City of Toronto, with more than 200,000 residents being members of a car share company. The city has implemented a new car share pilot project and interim policy to enable free-floating, car sharing vehicles to park in residential-permit parking areas of the city. On the other hand, York Region has developed an On-Demand Transit Strategy that seeks to guide future service delivery to low-demand areas and improve transit service efficiency.

FUTURE MOBILITY: TECHNOLOGY

FUTURE MOBILITY: TECHNOLOGY

Score: 6.0/10

Ontario was the first province in Canada to allow on-road testing of autonomous vehicles. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario is running a 10-year test pilot program that allows approved companies and research groups to test their vehicles under certain restrictions, including having a driver in the car to constantly monitor vehicle operation. A year ago, seven groups were approved for on-road testing under the pilot program: Uber, the University of Waterloo, the Erwin Hymer Group, QNX, Continental, X-matik Inc and Magna. However, due to a fatal pedestrian crash involving their autonomous vehicle in Arizona on 18 March 2018, Uber has suspended all its self-driving testing, including operations in Toronto.

At present the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division is implementing its three-year Automated Vehicles Work Plan. This plan helps the city’s various divisions to prepare for automated vehicles and the changes that may arise with the deployment of these vehicles in Toronto. The technology of autonomous or driverless vehicles is also mentioned by the regional municipalities as a challenge.

As highlighted in the TransformTO report, electrification of transportation is part of how Toronto will achieve a reduction in vehicle emissions. To support the transition to electric vehicles (EV), the city is developing strategies that include EV charging infrastructure and any implications EV use might have for the electricity grid. Provision of EV supply equipment in all new multiresident buildings has also become mandatory.

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones is another area that has caught the council’s attention. In May 2018, it requested a report on a strategy to govern the use of drones in Toronto’s outdoor spaces. The strategy will address matters such as public safety and possible restrictions on drone-based photography at parks and other outdoor recreational facilities.

Technology

TECHNOLOGY

Score: 7.7/10
CONNECTIVITY & INFRASTRUCTURE

CONNECTIVITY & INFRASTRUCTURE

Score: 8.0/10

Because of the exclusive federal jurisdiction over wired and wireless telecommunications in Canada, the City of Toronto and regional municipalities have a limited influence on outcomes. A Toronto Broadband Study of Wi-Fi, wireless and broadband found that Rogers Cable and Bell Canada have been the primary providers of wired broadband to Toronto households since the 1990s and standard internet speeds can be bought in most of, if not all, Toronto. The study says price remains a big barrier and that a digital divide exists between residents with and without access to the internet.

The City of Toronto has recognized this problem and is currently working towards resolving the issue. City staff have compiled a report with two primary connectivity objectives: to allow all Toronto businesses and residents to have access to affordable high-speed internet, and to ensure its infrastructure is evolving to align with improved technology standards. Elsewhere in the GTA, municipalities in the York Region have formed a Broadband Advisory Taskforce, and Peel Region has developed a strategy that defines a shared digital mandate and strategic roadmap to meet the growing needs of its residents, employees and partners.

FIXED INTERNET: SPEEDS & FEEDS

FIXED INTERNET: SPEEDS & FEEDS

Score: 9.0/10

Modern telecommunications services are fundamental to Canada’s future economic prosperity, global competitiveness, social development and democratic discourse. Fixed and mobile wireless broadband internet access services are catalysts for innovation and underpin a vibrant, creative, interactive world that connects Canadians across vast distances and to the rest of the world.

The big three — Rogers, Bell and TELUS — as well as Shaw, Videotron, SaskTel, Freedom Mobile and Cogeco, have mature networks on fiber and/or mobile, and are continuing to invest heavily in infrastructure developments. One of the primary providers in Toronto has deployed a full fiber optic internet network that provides symmetrical download and upload speeds up to one Gbps.

This provider also says that the gigabit Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network will provide customers with the ability to download a three-gigabyte high-definition movie in 24 seconds or upload a 500 megabyte file to the cloud in four seconds. The network consists of more than 10,000 kilometers of new fiber on about 90,000 hydro poles and underground via more than 10,000 manhole access points, serving 3.7 million locations with FTTP connections, and expects that to grow to 4.5 million by the end of this year.

MOBILE INTERNET: WI-FI, 5G, NARROWBAND IOT

MOBILE INTERNET: WI-FI, 5G, NARROWBAND IOT

Score: 9.0/10

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulates the fiber and wireless companies to ensure access to the services. A 4G/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service has been launched by network providers in Toronto using compatible wireless devices. These primary providers all have plans for deploying 5G tests within the city. The speed, reliability and scalability of 5G will be able to support a connection between physical devices to make the communication of the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality. This outcome then might be beneficial to connected and autonomous vehicles communications.

Industry Canada, now known as ISED (Innovation, Science and Economic Development), is preparing for spectrum auctions to support 5G and other mobile evolutions. The governments of Canada, Ontario and Québec have partnered with some of the world’s digital heavyweights to work towards the next generation of wireless technology. A new project, ENCQOR, will create a 5G wireless corridor through the two largest provinces in Canada, to support the growing network of physical devices, vehicles and other objects that are increasingly communicating directly with each other. This project will allow an estimated 1,000 small- and medium-sized businesses to plug into an early 5G platform for research and development.

OPEN DATA

OPEN DATA

Score: 8.0/10
Last year the City of Toronto developed an Open Data Standard that has opened an online catalog for the public. As of 14 May 2018, the city had made 1,236 data files available in a variety of useable formats and free of charge. The Government of Ontario also has an open data catalog with both open and restricted data sets. INFORMATION & DATA SECURITY

INFORMATION & DATA SECURITY

Score: 4.0/10

The Province of Ontario has legislated to protect personal privacy. The two acts are based on the principles that an individual has the right to control his or her personal information, and that privacy rules governing the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information are necessary.

Canada also has enacted the Privacy Act to govern the use of all personal information collected by the Federal Government and the rights Canadian citizens have to access information that has been collected. As well, the Federal Government has enacted the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act to, "Govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in a manner that recognizes the right of privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information and the need of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.”

The City of Toronto website has a commitment to protect the privacy of any personal information users may provide when visiting their website.

PLANNING & POLICY

PLANNING & POLICY

Score: 8.0/10
The planning and policies for facilitating or commissioning communications infrastructure are regulated on a federal level. The CRTC is the organization that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest across Canada. The CRTC Three-Year Plan outlines key activities until 2020. Due to the exclusive federal jurisdiction in Canada, the City of Toronto has a limited role in influencing planning and policies. Urban Systems

URBAN SYSTEMS

Score: 6.1/10
POWER GENERATION & DISTRIBUTION

POWER GENERATION & DISTRIBUTION

Score: 6.8/10

The City of Toronto has committed to an ambitious set of citywide energy and GHG reduction targets, including a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. To reduce the demands placed on provincial power generation infrastructure and reduce emissions, the city has also pledged to increase renewable and district energy generation. A Design Guideline for District Energy-Ready Buildings has been compiled for building developers and owners, architects and engineers. The city has identified almost 30 locations with the potential to support new district energy systems (usually hot water, steam or chilled water piped from a central plant).

There are several smart grid/city/metering initiatives being spearheaded by the private sector, but not the City of Toronto. However, the city does have a district energy initiative that will ultimately rely on smart controls.

While there is no financial investment policy framework for emerging energy generation technology, the City of Toronto does support renewable energy generation indirectly through the Zero Emissions Buildings Framework, Toronto Green Standard, and Green Roof Bylaw (which rewards solar PV in place of vegetation).

WATER TREATMENT & DISTRIBUTION

WATER TREATMENT & DISTRIBUTION

Score: 7.3/10

The major challenges for water infrastructure and management that the GTA will face are the tremendous population growth and urban development growth.

The City of Toronto has continued to plan for growth and aligns its financial plan with the required infrastructure improvement and maintenance to ensure it meets its water quality standards. It also promotes the reuse of stormwater to reduce storm runoff from urban areas and decrease the demand on the potable water system.

A 20-year Energy Optimization Plan was developed to help Toronto Water, its biggest energy user, implement capital projects and make operational changes to improve energy efficiency and still provide quality water services. The city’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan is a long-term strategy plan that focuses on protecting the environment and water quality in Lake Ontario, rivers, streams and other water bodies from all stormwater (rain and snow melt).

WASTE MANAGEMENT

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Score: 4.3/10

Waste management plays a vital role in the cleanliness and sustainability of the GTA. The City of Toronto has developed a Long-Term Waste Strategy to identify the action needed to best manage the city’s waste in the next 30 to 50 years. The strategy focuses on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and residual disposal policies and programs that are environmentally sustainable, socially acceptable and cost-effective. The city has also implemented many reduction and reuse programs such as the Sharing Library, which allows the public to borrow materials (tools and bikes, for example) and Support for Reuse Events that allow residents to trade or swap materials in a convenient, yet structured way.

York Region has developed SM4RT Living Plan (Integrated Waste Management Master Plan) which identifies more than 60 initiatives that set the stage for waste management in the region during the next 25 to 40 years. Durham Region tracks and reports its waste management activities, and has recently developed an Organic Management Strategy that plays a role in capturing and diverting organic materials. It provides residents with a network of drop-off facilities for waste electronics, and offers programs for call-in curbside collection and reuse drop-off. Peel Region and Halton Region have also developed their own waste management-related documents to continue their efforts in waste diversion.

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