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Civic Impact

Waterfront Toronto's first sustainability report highlights Waterfront progress

A new report provides a comprehensive update on the changes to Toronto's waterfront, from 2001 (the year the Waterfront Toronto corporation was launched) to December 2012.

The document, entitled The Waterfront Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report, comes courtesy of Waterfront Toronto, the corporation created by the federal, provincial, and municipal government to lead the 20-year, $1.5 billion "revitalization" of Toronto's waterfront.

"From developing green building requirements and minimizing construction waste, to building and protecting aquatic habitat, Waterfront Toronto has worked with a considerable number of stakeholders--developers, contractors, governments, sustainability experts and the public--to ensure that our work considers economic, environmental and social impacts," says John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "Our report provides a first-hand look at the efforts we're making to ensure the sustainable stewardship of the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront."

Coming in at just over 100-pages, the report, which has its own mircosite, highlights, among other things, Waterfront Toronto's work providing affordable housing, protecting the environment, and building several LEED® Gold buildings. 

Given that Waterfront Toronto has been tasked with delivering over 40,000 new residences, 40,000 new jobs, and 300 hectares of public parks (and the fact that Toronto's waterfront is undergoing near-constant construction) the report provides a much-needed benchmark for industry, government, and citizens interested in the corporation's progress. 

In addition to highlighting the challenges and successes throughout the construction process (measured, for example, in terms of carbon emissions and protection of aquatic habitat) the report provides a clear summary of what the corporation has accomplished so far (i.e.. the completion of the Sherbourne Common Pavilion and Sugar Beach) and what is still to come (i.e the Don River Park in the West Donlands and the Union Station second platform). The infographic on page 100 is particularly helpful in categorizing completed and ongoing projects. 

"By covering issues of land, infrastructure, water management, public space and buildings, Waterfront Toronto's Report sets a new standard for responsibility reporting in the real estate sector. But the Report also accomplishes more than just tracking achievements," stated Jamie James,  president of Tower Labs with MaRS, in a press release.

"It provides a living document for builders and building owners to use to attract a new generation of residents, businesses, and visitors to one of the most dynamic urban revitalization programs in all of North America.  There should be a hard copy or link to this report in every marketing brochure for every property in the district."

Writer: Katia Snukal 
Source: John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto
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