BY RHYTHM SACHDEVA
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), in partnership with the City of Toronto, will implement heating and cooling retrofits to four multi-residential buildings in Toronto and Hamilton.
The project will tackle one rental apartment building, one condominium and two low-income social housing buildings; all representing 791 households.
One of the first undertakings will commence at 66 Walpole Ave., off Greenwood Avenue north of Gerrard Street East, which is owned by Toronto Community Housing.
The announcement was made on Monday, July 8, at the residential building’s courtyard, with speakers including Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin, Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“I am pleased that the federal government has come forward with funding towards this important project,” said Tory.
“Future retrofits helped by this new investment will ensure that we are addressing climate change and reducing our carbon footprint as a city.”
Buildings make up 44 percent of carbon emissions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The TowerWise Energy Retrofit Program aims to improve the energy performance of multi-unit residential buildings, to meet the federal government’s 2050 targets of reducing carbon emissions by 80%.
“When I heard about this (announcement), I went to my files, and I found a letter from 2004 saying, ‘Can we please find a way to reduce heating costs for the tenants here at Walpole?’” said Fletcher.
“We know that heating is very expensive so this is going to be a gift to this community, and to many other communities that are dependent on baseboard heating.”
One apartment at 66 Walpole Ave, belonging to a resident, Diane Laitley was used as a trial for the new upgrades.
Two exchange units were installed in her bedroom above the ceiling that provides heating and cooling. They replace the baseboard heater. Each unit has a remote control for residents to use.
While satisfied with the technical changes, Laitley said she was skeptical about the appearance of the units.
“The design reminds me of a laundry room, like back in the day. I don’t like this..it could really use some kind of moulding,” she said.
The complete revamping of 66 Walpole Ave is estimated to take a year before it is complete.